Mavs Quoteboard: 'He's Human' - OKC On Dirk
If youth and continuity are the keys to this season, the Dallas Mavericks are still playing catch-up even considering the progress that's been made so far. The Thunder were courteous enough to remind us all of that when they blew into town and built a wall for the good guys to bang against. Not that the good guys were ineffective -- OKC only shot 40.7% -- but on the strength of 11 more boards and 13 blocked shots (and yes, some friendly whistles), they took it 95-86.
The general opinion of the former Seattle Supersonics ...
"They're the team to beat. They're playing the best right now and that's fine with us. I know there's about three or four other teams that would like to beg to differ, but for the time being they are the team to beat and they're playing very well together." -Jason Terry
Something vexes thee? About Coach Carlisle's ejection, coming after he booted a ball into the bleachers ...
"I want to apologize to our franchise, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and our fans. The incident where the ball got kicked into the stands, that can't happen. My intent was not to kick it into the stands, I was trying to kick it to the referee, but I'm not a very good kick. But that can't happen. The officials made the right call on that one and that's a regrettable situation." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"It was an interesting night. He could try out for FIFA. He was right, though. It was an interesting game. It was emotional at times and Rick felt like he needed to make his presence felt. It was kind of crazy how the possessions went. We attack the basket strong and didn't get anything. They call ticky-tack down on the other end. Just a bad night all the way around. But we were still right there in position to win the game." -Shawn Marion
"It happens. Coach is engaged in the game. He's fiery and wants to win, just like everybody else. It was unexpected." -Vince Carter
Speaking of not loving the calls, which somehow worked out with the Thunder getting 33 (felt like more) tries at the stripe ...
"Well, that's obvious. But look, we weren't playing well either. When you're not playing well, a lot of things get magnified. The ball wasn't going in the basket, there were some other things we needed to do better. They were playing pretty well, and they were getting to the rim on us; that caused a lot of problems. The free throw disparity was huge, but the number of makes versus makes wasn't that far apart. It was just a tough night for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Yet more things we don't need on top of Odom's upset tummy and Brendan's sore back and Kidd's Achilles and Dirk's struggling -- regarding Shawn's hyperextended knee ...
"I'm planning on coming in Thursday and getting treatment and hopefully, it'll be good. It did hyperextend it a little bit. It hurt. But we'll keep treating it." -Shawn Marion
About Brandan Wright -- has he earned a clever DB.com nickname yet?
"Ever since I signed here, Jet has taken me under his wing with the screen-and-roll and we just have great chemistry on the court. We haven't been together that long, but he does a good job of looking for me when I'm rolling off of screens. He knows that I draw a lot of attention when I go into the paint, so we've just gotta keep that going and thrive in those opportunities ... That's my role on the team; be a guy with a lotta energy, do a lotta things, run, block shots, score in the paint, be that spark." -Brandan Wright
It's a block party up in here -- 23 blocked shots total ...
"Well, Ibaka blocked some shots. He did a great job of protecting the basket, but again, we had some opportunities that we just didn't take advantage of. Against a shot-blocker, you have to get to his body, which I thought we did on several occasions, it just didn't go our way." -Jason Terry
"It was very disruptive. The blocks [Ibaka] had in the second quarter, I thought were really the difference in the game if you look at the big picture." -Coach Rick Carlisle
On Dirk's non-factorness -- 2-15 for 8 points, including a potential big 'um that went halfway down before rolling up and out ...
"Most of the time, I play defense on Dirk. But tonight, I asked my coach if he can let Kendrick Perkins or Nick Collison stay on Dirk so I can stay in the paint. Because most of the time when I play defense on Dirk, I'm outside because he's a shooting big guy and I can't leave him open. So it's tough for me to go down and block shots. After playing a lot of games against the same team, it was easy to know." -Serge Ibaka
"We usually to just play up on Nowitzki, make him hit tough shots and, like I said, he usually still does make them. Ibaka's blocking ability changes the entire game. It can take away a big part of what they're trying to do in getting to the basket. He probably had four or five where he went straight up and made them miss, which are the same as blocks. So if you look at it like that he may have made them miss 15 or 20 shots. That's huge." -Nick Collison
"We finally found out that he was human." -Coach Scott Brooks
"I'm just not in a good rhythm. I had some good looks there, I thought, in the second half especially. A couple of them were just in and out." -Dirk Nowitzki
Time to worry? What's going on?
"At this point we've all got to be patient. The medical aspect to this, I can't speak to, I'm not a doctor. But this is going to take some time and we're going to have to be patient, and he's going to have to work through it ... I'm staying very closely connected with Mavs athletic trainer Casey Smith on the minute situation, and we'll go from that. But that's about all I can tell you at this point." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"It happens. This guy has been playing at a high level for years. He hasn't been himself, but he'll bounce back. It's a long season. We got to have him out there on the floor. He's got to get his opportunities and when he gets it rolling, we're going to be tough to beat." -Jason Terry
"I think that he has to get his rhythm back more than anything. I mean, he sat out four games, and it's hard to get back into game condition. That's just the way it is. He's getting back into it and you can put the ball in his hands a lot. You can run anywhere all you want, when you're out there playing on the court it takes some time getting used to." -Vince Carter
"I think maybe sometimes I'm not confident in the movement. I swing the ball and do pick-and-rolls instead of really making a hard move, and when I try to make a hard move it bothers me a little bit.But it is what it is. I think I've got to play through that and I'll get it right sooner. The swelling is gone, so I think that was the major thing for the first month dealing with swelling off and on. But it's been reacting well since we took that little break. It hasn't swell up after games, and so that's the major thing, so that's encouraging. The rest is just hard work ... I don't know what to tell you." -Dirk Nowitzki
The Game In Short ...
"We had some guys down, but we're more than capable of winning this game. It was a tie game there with just two minutes left and Westbrook hit a big pullup there on a screen-and-roll. He was just a little too open. But we battled." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Give them credit. Third quarter there they kind of took control of the game. We just didn't make shots. And when they get it going and they get to the free throw line more than us, you're putting a lot of pressure on your half-court offense and we just didn't have it tonight." -Jason Terry
"I think we were right there with them with a lot of key guys out tonight, but we played through it, gave ourselves a chance to win, but we couldn't pull it out." -Vince Carter