Quoteboard From LA: On Dirk's Legs & Mavs D

A post-Mavs-loss-to-Lakers Quoteboard as we ask questions about Dirk's legs and about Dallas' defensive strategy at the end ... and we let Dirk and Carlisle do the answering:

There are times when a basketball game can become a work of art. Acts of mind-bending improbability executed faster than thought inspire awe and wonder in onlookers and participants alike.

This was not one of those times.

Nobody could get anything going offensively, the distance shooting wasn't there, silly fouls and cheap turnovers galore, the score struggled to crack 70. The Dallas Mavericks had hung in there after a bad stretch in the fourth, but Derek Fisher nailed the Lakers' only three-ball of the night with 3.1 left and the Mavs couldn't answer. Lakers win, 73-70.

A big Quoteboard today, sponsored by McKinneyDentist.com , as we ask questions about Dirk's knee and about Dallas' defensive strategy at the end - and we let Dirk and Carlisle do the answering:

On the abysmal fourth quarter ... "I think where we lost it was the beginning of the fourth where we stopped them five, six, seven times straight and that's where we should have gotten some separation. We should have gone up 10 points but we just couldn't get anything to drop." -Dirk Nowitzki

About that last shot, Fisher for three ...

"We made the decision to get the ball out of Bryant's hands and we just didn't get to [Fisher] in time. We had the full intention of rotating over to him, but he got the shot off quick and he shot it high so we couldn't get to it. But he made a great shot. In that situation, you've got to live with that decision. And it's tough." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"We knew we wanted to run at Kobe. We were kind of hoping they put him on the wing, so we could rotate, rotate, rotate. But they put him at top, so Jason Terry ran at him and I rotated a little harder knowing that Fisher made a lot of big shots in his career. I didn't want to overrun him and give something easier up, but you have to give him credit. It was a heck of a shot by him, and that's what he does, he makes game-winning shots." -Dirk Nowitzki

"This is what I do. When opportunities like that present themselves, I'm confident in my ability to step up and make the right play. I've been fortunate in my career to come up with some of those big plays." -Derek Fisher

Regarding the Return of Lamar Odom to Lakerland ...

"Actually, it gave me energy. I'm still trying to get my rhythm back. I'm still getting in shape, and once I get there, then I'll be able to help this team." -Lamar Odom

Defense is good; scoring is required ...

"We couldn't make a shot in the fourth. We couldn't make a shot pretty much the whole night. I thought defensively we were competing. Sometimes you have to make shots too in this league and we just couldn't do it tonight." -Jason Kidd

Something we do not need -- on Vince Carter's sore paw ...

"I stepped wrong and it popped. It's not broken, but it's swollen." -Vince Carter

"We were posting him some, we were running some high screen-and-rolls, he's a good shooter to spread the floor for us, so that would definitely, definitely hurt us." -Dirk Nowitzki

About playing LA for the first time since the conference semis ...

"It's different. They're a different team and we're a different team so there's not a whole lot there. They're playing a different style of defense pick and roll wise which is a big adjustment. They're personnel is different. They've got three or four guys in the rotation that weren't there last year. They've got a new coach, and of course they still have some of the same great players. For me this wasn't like a rematch from the playoffs." -Coach Rick Carlisle

Right attitude, better results? We hope ...

"I owe it to Dirk to kind of leave [the Lakers] behind. My brothers in this locker room and the person that I learned it from will tell me the same thing. If I didn't, it wouldn't be fair to these guys ... In order for me to succeed, you have to move on, no matter what, and I plan on succeeding in this next chapter of my life." -Lamar Odom

The Game, In Brief ...

"It's frustrating, especially since we should have won this. But, it is what it is. We've got to learn from it and just get better." -Shawn Marion

"We couldn't throw it in the Pacific and we still had a chance to win." -Jason Kidd

Welcome to post-lockout basketball ...

"To have your 14th and 15th game in 20 or 21 games, you probably can't be too surprised that it was a little bit sloppy and a little bit ugly." -Derek Fisher

"All teams are going to eventually have games where just nothing seems to go, your legs are gone. You just have to fight through and find other ways to score; get to the basket, get to the foul line." -Dirk Nowitzki

"It's a lot of basketball and you're going to have some games that are extremely ugly and this is one of them." -Jason Kidd

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