Practice report (01/15/13): Carlisle not smitten with Mavs' 'fool's gold' winning streak
Practice Report (01/15/13)
Carlisle not smitten with Mavs' 'fool's gold' winning streak
Reminding his players at Tuesday’s practice not to get too high following a come-from-behind overtime victory over a lowly Sacramento squad before home wins over Memphis and Minnesota with both on the second night of back-to-backs, Carlisle continued to stress the importance of remaining on an even keel. The coach also reminded his team that the Mavericks (16-23) still currently sit seven games below .500 as they prepare to welcome in Southwest Division rival Houston, who will also play the second half of a back-to-back on Wednesday night in the third outing of a four-game homestand.
“It’s good to have some tangible positive results in terms of wins,” Carlisle said, “but some of it has been a little bit of fold’s gold, ’cause we’ve been catching teams on back-to-backs and things like that. I talked to the team about that some, and we’ve got to make sure that we don’t become too smitten with ourselves just ’cause we’ve put some wins together. We’ve got to really stay focused on having an edge and fighting for every inch on our home court. It’s critical.”
Still, the coach remains optimistic that the Mavs are finally headed in the right direction as the young team continues to jell on the fly. One reason for that optimism is the play of the starting Dallas backcourt Monday night in a 113-98 win over the Timberwolves, as point guard Darren Collison and leading scorer O.J. Mayo combined to score 43 points while dishing out 18 assists.
“You know, me and O.J., we’ve been trying to handle this thing all season long and it hasn’t been easy,” Collison said. “You know, this is our first time playing with everybody else, so that chemistry and that jelling is going to take a little bit of time. But me and O.J., we enjoy taking on the challenge and we look forward to doing more in the future.”
With the 25-year-old duo leading the way with nine assists apiece, the Mavs dished out a season-high 33 dimes on 46 made field goals while also totaling just 10 turnovers en route to the second straight double-digit win. Now, Carlisle and his young stars in the backcourt all hope to build off that momentum against a Rockets team that pushed the Mavs to the brink of defeat before Mayo’s season-high 40-point effort led the visiting Dallas team to a 116-109 road win back on Dec. 8.
“You know, we’re getting a lot better,” Mayo said of his contribution and that of his backcourt mate. “We’re young players and still working to get better. You know, we watch film every day with Coach [Carlisle], and even if we have a good game, he’s going to pull out some stuff that we could have did better and we need to avoid. So we’re just trying to get better.”
“Well, they were terrific last night and they’ve been getting better and better all year,” Carlisle added. “I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect those performances every night, but the guard position is key for us and I like their improvement. And we need them to continue to play at a high level.”
Note: The Mavericks return to action at the American Airlines Center for the third outing of a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, catching the Southwest Division rival on the second night of a back-to-back as well after their home matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Mavericks lead the season series 1-0 after a 116-109 road win in Houston on Dec. 8. The game will air locally at 7 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.