OJ OK? & Mavs 'Disposition': Practice Report
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle began his Monday media visit by pretending to be in a cooperative mood.
He joked about where the collected media wished him to stand. He kidded about which of his players were "up-and-running.'' At one point, he even pretended to growl ...
Except he wasn't pretending.
"He was tough on us,'' O.J. Mayo said of the two days of practice following Saturday's blowout loss to the Lakers. "But as competitors and the disappointment that we felt in that Lakers game, it's all right. I think we came in ready to work and get better."
Mayo, the NBA's eighth-leading scorer at 21.5 points per game and among the league's most productive players in isolation -- long a Dallas weakness -- certainly put in the extra work. He joined Roddy B and Darren Collison as the final Mavs on the basement floor Monday before the team took off for Philly ... and he did so while working through an ankle problem sustained Sunday.
Carlisle expressed a great deal of concern for OJ's readiness for Philadelphia, a game that begins a streak for Dallas that includes five roadies in the next six games. But Mayo himself assured that he'll be OK.
"I'm good to go," said Mayo, who was restricted from some of the full-contact work on Monday but did extra post-practice shooting. "It's a little sore, but I'll be ready to go.''
Mayo's offensive "disposition'' is obviously not an issue. But Carlisle continues to stress that Dallas' players are making a mistake in allowing their defensive energy to be dictated by whether their offensive shot went in.
"You get what you demand and you encourage what you tolerate,'' said Carlisle, noting that he recently read that slogan somewhere. "The things we do, we do hard. And if we don't do them hard, we keep doing them. It's got to be a situation where demands are met.''
In Tuesday's Donuts, DB.com will address a handful of situations where demands aren't being met -- and where players are talking openly about the conflicts between "what Coach demands and what is being tolerated.''
For now, know that Carlisle is taking the failure personally, labeling himself the "leader'' in charge of fixing what is broken, from top to bottom.
"That's how I've got to approach this as the leader of the team,'' Rick said. "And our guys have got to understand that anything less than a full-capacity effort is not going to cut it with the way we're structured right now."
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