Mavs Sleepwalk To Home Loss To Nuggets
Some of what the Dallas Mavericks did Monday at the AAC seemed like standard operating procedure. For instance, Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 22 points, and Dirk Nowitzki passed Brooklyn's Kevin Garnett on the scoring list and finished with 18.
Oh, and for the third straight home game, Dallas allowed 50-percent-plus shooting as the Nuggets shot 55 percent.
But less usual: The Nuggets beat Dallas 110-96 to hand the Mavs their first home loss of the season ... and Dallas did this with a very literal "sleepwalk'' through the process.
The Mavs dropped to 7-1 at home and 9-6 overall in a loss accented by center Samuel Dalembert's non-start. Why did he not play early as per usual?
"Sam missed shoot around this morning because he overslept,'' coach Rick Carlisle explained. "The two guys that were there got the first two rotations and then he played after that."
Carlisle has longed emphasized a "Be Ready'' approach to playing for the Mavs. Dalembert seemed embarrassed at having failed there.
"I'm very disappointed in myself,'' said the veteran center. "I don't have an excuse. It shouldn't happen. I'm still trying to get over it. I'm very upset. ... I deserve the (benching) the coach and the organization made for me. I'm 100 percent behind him. I apologize to my teammates."
Rick's thoughts on the game and the odd situation:
There was, it seemed, plenty of blame to go around for a second loss to Denver in three days. Said Carlisle: "This is a coaching loss. I didn't have these guys ready to play. It's clear. I'll take the blame for this.''
Denver was ready with J.J. Hickson scoring 22, and Kenneth Faried adding 10 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Lawson's 19 points and 14 assists confounding the Mavs.
Nate Robinson finished with 17 points, 15 of those in the second half, and when the Mavericks got within four early in the fourth, Robinson scored 11 straight Denver points.
"It's a 48-minute game and you've got to be ready,'' Carlisle said. "Sometimes success is a form of adversity. Prosperity is always one of the challenges in pro sports because teams can strike back so quickly. You've got to be able to sustain, and we didn't do it.''
Part of success is showing up to work. Part of sustaining is getting out of bed. Part of this loss is a starting Mav failing to do so.
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