Mavs Quoteboard: '66 Games Flew By' - Dirk

Dirk says, '66 games kind of flew by,' and for the moment, that's as deep as we need to bother going as it regards the regular season and the Atlanta finale. It's turn-the-page time for the defending champs, something a veteran team does well. Lots of Dirk reflection and Thunder thoughts, too, in Mavs Quoteboard:

There are losses that feel like wins. This wasn't one of them. The Dallas Mavericks completed the season in a similar -- albeit less humiliating -- fashion to how they opened it, with a double-digit loss. About the only positive thing one can say about is Jason Kidd got another night off and nobody got hurt. The Mavs finish this nutsoid season 36-30, good for seventh place in the West and a first-round match with Oklahoma City. Final 106-89 and let's get the real party started, already.


Everything you need to know -- ugh, 23 points behind in the first quarter ...

"Well, that was another tough one. I think we just started the game off slow. And when we get in the playoffs, we can't start off in a hole. We did it in Chicago and we did it again tonight. We were just fighting an uphill battle all night long." - Dirk Nowitzki

"I thought the first quarter was horrible and then after that it was better. Our energy was poor, they made shots and we didn't respond well. We gave up close to 70 percent shooting, which is gonna get you in a hole every time. We did better after that, but it was a bad start." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"We showed a lot of determination. You could see that hunger in our eyes even before the tip." -Joe Johnson

Going into the postseason with two losses -- what, us worried?

"Mental edge don't matter. It doesn't matter if you're on a high or a low. The last few games don't matter. It's irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how we come out in Game 1." -Jason Terry

Reflecting on the Post-Lockout Season Of Weirdness ...

"66 games kind of flew by. It's been a crazy ride -- a lot of games, a lot of traveling. So, I think everybody's happy that the regular season is over. For the first time, really, we're healthy and J-Kidd feels good. So, we'll see if we can let it all hang out there and we'll see how far we can ride it." -Dirk Nowitzki

"I think we're all happy -- especially the older guys -- that everybody's healthy and ready to go." -Jason Kidd

Speaking of health, about Jason Kidd and the Maverick backcourt ...

"We've seen when he's not out there. I think D-West and Roddy are not pure point guards. They're both two-guards, if you ask me. Both have their qualities scoring the ball, but they're not really the type of guys who get you into your offense. So we definitely need him out there leading the break and his toughness on defense." -Dirk Nowitzki

About the first-round match with the young and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder ...

"We know they're very perimeter-oriented with Westbrook and Harden and Durant. They're three of the best perimeter scorers we have in this game, so it's going to be tough ... They're a very, very good team. They're young, athletic, talented and they've got a great home crowd. That's a fun building to play in, it gets as loud as any building in this league. We've got to hang in there and they're going to make some runs. They're very athletic, they're going to get on the break some, and they're going to make some threes, and we've got to withstand some of those runs and answer with some of our own runs and we'll see what happens." -Dirk Nowitzki

They're a talented team. They're young, they're exciting, they can get out and run. We have to be strong on the defensive end because they can the score the ball. We've got our hands full. We know it's going to take a team effort to find a way to get a win up there." -Jason Kidd

"Well, they're a great team. They're a great young team. We're a veteran team. We know the kind of capabilities that they have as a team and we know what we have to do to play at our level. And so, it's a great matchup. There's geographic interest, because the two teams are close together, and we had a really intense series with them last year. So, it's a tough matchup, but we're looking forward to it." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"Obviously, it starts with Game 1 in a tough environment. Oklahoma is a tough place to play, but we match up very well with them. They're playing very well, so it's gonna be tough, but I think we're up to the task." -Jason Terry

Reflecting on last offseason's personnel moves ...

"We would have loved to have all the warriors back and go at it one more time, but I think it was a business decision that they (the front office) had to make. We'll see over the next couple of years, couple of summers, if it was the right one -- if they can get a big fish, a big name in here. And if not, maybe we should have signed everybody. We'll just have to wait and see what the future brings. But I don't think it was an easy one for them, either. They loved Tyson and J.J., all of them, what they brought to the city. I don't think that's a decision they made lightly. Once we made the decision to bring guys in and we did the move for Lamar, I thought we were going to be right there in a position to win. Some of the new guys, it took them awhile to get going. Some of them never got going. It is what it is. We've got to move on and let it all hang out in the playoffs." -Dirk Nowitzki

Having homecourt advantage would be nice right about now ...

"We lost that advantage a couple months ago. Last year, we were in the top four and at least in the first round we had the home court and that helped us. This year, we were a little too inconsistent for the top four. If we'd have been healthy all year, it would have been possible. But we were just too inconsistent." -Dirk Nowitzki

"We're going to have to find a way to win a game on the road." -Jason Kidd

Regarding the Dallas assets come Saturday night ...

"I think we have an older team, experienced team with J-Kidd running the show. I don't think it gets more experienced than that. With Jet and myself, we've been through a lot together and we've got some new guys that obviously have been through a lot of stuff. If we share the ball, I think that's when we're at our best and we get stops, speed the game up some and find the open guys and play together and I think we're going to be a tough team to beat ... Our littles have got to do a good job, our bigs are going to have to rotate and scramble and help each other and rebound, and we'll see how good we can be." -Dirk Nowitzki

Speaking of an asset, here's Delonte West -- mangled hand and all ...

"I was amazed at how quickly he was able to reintegrate himself and become a major factor. The first night in Miami he played eight minutes. The second night of a back-to-back he played and he basically played during crunch time and was a major part of us winning that game on the road and coming back from 15 down. It was great and it trampolined him right back into things in a big way, and he's played real solid ever since." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"The pain is still there. It's like something that's just lingering right now. It's not hurting now, but once you hit it, or if somebody reaches and smacks it, it reminds you all over again. It gets frustrating, but it is what it is." -Delonte West

The game in brief, or we have other fish to fry right now ...

"After tonight, it would be a stretch to say that we're playing our best, cause clearly with the way we played the first quarter and we don't have Kidd out there and other things. But at this point, we have to move forward and we have to get ready for Saturday. … We don't have a lot of prep time, and so we have to flush this one very quickly and get ready to key in on the things we're gonna have to do to be successful in this series." -Coach Rick Carlisle

Here's where the fun begins ...

"You can't be successful and win an NBA championship if you go into it feeling like it 'might' happen. You've got to be certain. And our group this year has a strong belief, but we know it's not going to be easy." -Coach Rick Carlisle

"Now the dress rehearsal is over and now this is for us to protect our crown, what we did last year, see if we can get another one." -Jason Kidd

"More than anything, I'm just excited about the opportunity to get back into the playoffs and make a run for it again." -Vince Carter

"It's time to play basketball and we're ready. This is what you play for, to win another championship." -Jason Terry

(h/t's 75-Member Staff, DMNews and ESPN Radio)

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