Video Visits: Mavs Shootaround News From OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY - "They're going to play a desperate game,' says Mavs coach Rick Carlisle of OKC's plans for tonight's Game 4. And what do the Mavs say their response will be? is in OKC to help you come inside and give a look and listen to Rick, JJB and Peja as the fellas look to take a 3-1 series lead in Western Conference Finals:

Getting Cozy: Yeah, Oklahoma City Arena (somebody snag those naming rights, y'all!) is a hostile building for the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

So at shootaround, let's get cozy and comfy ...

Dallas is probably fairly comfy and cozy here, having gone 3-0 this season in OKC. So all's fine -- though the "saggy pants'' look is creating a problem at the free-throw line, huh?

Rick Meets The Media: Carlisle talks aggression -- from the Thunder, that is. ...

"The emotional ups and downs are the things that both teams have to overcome," said Rick, busting out the ballcap. "We need to put our game at a high level and they'll try to do the same."

That would help the Mavs avoid a series trend of sorts, says Rick.

The team that wins,'' he said, "gets their ass kicked in the next game."

The Zebras: It's a trend first discovered years ago, and now it's always headline news: When Danny Crawford works a Dallas playoff game, it's worth a sidebar.

The Mavericks have a 3-16 record in playoff games worked by Crawford -- though they are 1-0 this year. Ken Maurer is also working, as is Tony Brothers, who OKC fans complain about almost as much as Mavs fans complain about Damn Danny.

So maybe they'll offset one another.

How To Start: JJB's got it nailed.

Yup. Start well. And finish well. And it'll be 3-1.

Mavsellaneous: "In certain situations,'' Rick says, the Mavericks will employ a full-court press tonight -- but maybe not against point guard Russell Westbrook. He did have seven turnovers in Game 3, but those were mostly decision-making errors, not ball-handling ones. So the trap works better than pressing, we say. ... The Thunder is (are?) 26-6 after a loss.

The Final Word: "Not allowing space to operate is important,'' Carlisle said. "You watch both series going on right now, it's hard to breathe out there. Teams are up and into you.''

Rick, you think it's hard to breathe out there? You should see what it's like in front of TV sets for Mavs fans!

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