The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Mavericks locker room

Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle
On the game’s transition from poor shooting to a high-scoring shootout
“I’m not really sure (how that happened). Both teams were four in five nights. Strange things happen in this league. They had foul trouble. They had a guy that’s taken 10 threes all year and shot 3-of-10, comes out and makes 4-of-5 out of nowhere. They’re a well-coached team and they really fight you. It’s a very hard game. I give our guys a lot of credit. What can you say about Dirk [Nowitzki] – 40 points on the fourth night in five. It’s amazing. Monta [Ellis] obviously had a big game offensively. It was a grind.”

On Jae Crowder starting
“He started last night, too. He’s done a good job both nights. He’s played multiple positions. This is an important time for him because he’s stepping up into a big role in terms of responsibility filling in for Marion, who is one of our better players. Hopefully Shawn will be feeling better soon and we can get him back, but I don’t know what the timetable is going to be there. Until that happens, we’ve just got to keep grinding away with the guys we have available and go from there.”

On Dirk’s second-half performance
“He’s a great one. He knew that we need a lift. Last night we shot it well from the beginning of the game. His spacing is a big part of our offensive attack. They were late getting to him a few times. The threes that he hit when we were struggling to start the second half, and then he got fouled on one or two of them, were just massive, massive plays. We’re fortunate. Our guys played hard, but they played really hard, too. We’re on the climb. We’re trying to build this thing back up to where we were. Monday is going to be another battle.”

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki
On what the difference was offensively in the second half from the first half
“I’m not sure. It was an ugly game in the first half; we shot like nine percent in the first quarter. We had some good looks that didn’t really go down for us. It was the fourth game in five nights and it was the same for them as well so it kind of looked like it. Then all of the sudden the basket started opening up and everybody’s confidence went up. But I think we gave up 60-70 points in the second half. If we get this hot we should have won easier than we did. It came all the way down to the end and we had to grind it out so that was a little disappointing but offensively it was a great night in the second half.”

On the team getting to the free throw line a lot tonight
“Well, Monta [Ellis] is so great at attacking the rim. On the pick and roll coverage they showed, he kept the ball some and beat him and went down the lane. We are a good team if we get in the bonus early and every little foul gets us to the free throw line. We have a bunch of good free throw shooters so that really helps us. We always try to get into the bonus early, it doesn’t happen like that very much, but today it definitely did.”

Mavericks guard Monta Ellis
On the ugly start to the game
“Yes, it was. With having four games in five nights your going to have games like that, but we did everything we could to get a win and we came out with one.”

On how they play improved in the second half
“We knew we just had to keep grinding because they were going to continue to attack but we had to do whatever we could to get the win. We got a great lift from Dirk, who had a terrific game, and other guys came in and hit some big shots down the stretch. I think it was totally a collective team effort and we are happy with the outcome. We are going to take this one and move on.”