A Provocative Mavs Quoteboard From SA
So the Dallas Mavericks drop one on San Antonio's home floor and split the season series in a matchup that's not going to need a tiebreaker anyway. Big deal, right? Well yes, it is a big deal.
With San Antonio in second and Dallas nowhere near there, this might be a first round matchup. If that's the case, the Mavs are in trouble. In both wins, Dallas caught breaks -- the game in January benefited from a *very* close call and last week the Spurs were on the second night of a back-to-back. Both losses, including tonight's 104-87 final, have been blowouts. And jot this down; Jason Kidd's birthday plus San Antonio equals Bad Things.
Another Death By Glasswork -- on San Antonio's massive edge in rebounding ... "A lot of the damage on the boards came in the first half. We did a better job early in the third quarter and that's what got us the lead. The lineup that they had out there tonight had a lot of big guys that were crashing from all over. Our inability to secure rebounds early in the game kept us from climbing out of a hole in the first half. Clearly, that's what got us the lead." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Rebounding was the key tonight. Our rebounding was a big part of tonight. They got every rebound and they out rebounded us. That's the game right there. We win the rebounding game and put ourselves in great shape to win tonight. With this team you have to rebound. They get their hands on a lot of balls on defense." -Shawn Marion
"One time Bonner got a defensive rebound around three of our guys and that is something that should not happen. Those are just things you cannot let happen against a great home team in the Spurs." - Dirk Nowitzki
"Guys have been going in and getting offensive rebounds. Especially guys like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. They have been doing a great job of hustling and getting 50-50 balls for us. They have also been controlling the defensive glass." -Matt Bonner
Getting only two (!) rebounds and 5-21 shooting (!!!) from Dirk didn't help ...
"That's my bad. I don't care, you can always box out and rebound ... I had a brutal night. I actually felt good at the beginning of the game then during the middle of the game I just could not get the ball in the rim and a lot of my shots were just short. I just did not have enough to get the ball in tonight." -Dirk Nowitzki
"Like I said before it was a team effort. We kept rotating guys on him and tried to be physical. We made him work for everything." -Matt Bonner
"You know, everybody plays Dirk hard and physically. We've gotta try to work on getting him some cleaner looks. And he had some that he normally makes that he didn't make tonight. In those cases you've gotta make up for that with efficiency with the ball and being able to rebound it, not giving up second-chance points and things like that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
That so was not a Flagrant -- on Cardinal's takedown of Tim Duncan partway through the second quarter ...
"I feel good, I feel good. It was a physical game and that's basketball game for you." -Tim Duncan
"To me, it was a dirty play. When you can't play no more, I guess all you can do is go out and try to hurt people. At the end of the day, Tim's my teammate and I care about his health. As you see, Tim came back the next play and dunked on him. That's how you've got to reply to people like that, who can't play no more." -Stephen Jackson
Are we glad to see you! Welcome back Shawn ...
"I felt good. Once I got out there, I was able to stay warm and keep my body going. That's pretty much it. I got a little winded there a couple of times, but for the most part, my wind was pretty good. My knee definitely feels a whole lot better. We've definitely taken care of it to keep it strong. The way the season is, you got to do what you have to do to be ready." -Shawn Marion
"Marion is probably the Defensive Player of the Year this year. He's been that great on guys individually." -Coach Rick Carlisle
About the game-deciding 22-2 run ...
"Well, they made shots and we didn't. We were up five and it was just an end-of-quarter wall. They made two threes at the end of the quarter and then they just kept going. That's basketball, a game of runs, and we just have to limit it to not being 20-2." -Jason Kidd
Oh hey look, New Guy -- on the acquisition of Keleena Azubuike who's going to play with the Legends ...
"We like him as a player. The hope is that he can possibly help us this year. He's an energetic, athletic guy who's a very good 3-point shooter and can run and slash. He's the kind of athlete that we're trying to find for our team." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"He's a great athlete. He's strong and a great 3-point shooter. He's a good defender and an all-around good guy. He had some unfortunate knee injuries, but hopefully he's overcome it." -Brandan Wright
(In case you haven't heard -- Sean Williams was waived by the Mavs on Thursday.)
Conspicuous by his absence -- Lamar Odom, DNP-CD ...
"It's something that I talked to Lamar about, both yesterday and today. That, I was going to look at a different rotation tonight. There were a couple scenarios. If Ginobli had come off the bench, Marion would have come off the bench and match up with him ... The way it happened with Ginobli starting, we started Shawn. It tweaked what the original plan was but we knew that was a possibility. It was something I wanted to look at. The thing that it shows is that Lamar's minutes are valuable to us. So, we've got to keep him in the fold. I'm not big into sending messages. I did think it was something we needed to look at. It was looking at a different scenario. I'm just saying Lamar's minutes, whatever they are, are valuable to us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I guess [utilizing Odom] is a coach's decision. I don't know what to say. I work with the guys that are on the court. The rest is not my decision ... If he keeps working, we'll see what the future brings. I can't tell you anything else." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He's going to get his chance, and for him to just stay positive and for us to stay positive with him and keep making sure that he's working and when his name or number is called, that he's ready. You've got to go with the guys that are playing and when they're called upon, then they've got to do their job. He'll be back out there soon." -Jason Kidd
"Expect the unexpected as far as life is concerned," Odom said on Saturday. "I've been through a lot. I've buried a child. There's not too much I haven't seen, so I understand it. I'm a team guy. He's the coach." - Lamar Odom
So what now?
"We know what to do defensively and offensively, it is just a matter of going out there and doing it. If we rebound the ball, we win the games." -Shawn Marion
"We're in a position now where we've gotta win games, and we've gotta get ourselves into the playoffs and we've gotta get into the playoffs healthy and whole." -Coach Rick Carlisle