Practice Report: Shawn MarionMavs F Shawn Marion comments on matching up against the Clippers, the strength of their frontcourt, how he's feeling with the last few overtime games and more.
DALLAS — Unable to fully savor the sweet taste of Tuesday night’s signature win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dallas Mavericks quickly turned their attention to yet another Western Conference powerhouse that’s set to invade American Airlines Center.
Outlasting the Thunder en route to a 128-119 overtime win to move to 3-2 on their current eight-game homestand, the Mavericks (43-29) perhaps had plenty of reasons to celebrate while sliding back into the eighth and final position in the West’s playoff picture. However, with the Los Angles Clippers looming, the Mavericks continued to keep a business-like approach while preparing for Thursday’s showdown.
“It’s a hard league and it’s the best basketball in the world,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday after prepping his team for another dogfight. “You know, NBA basketball is supposed to be hard, and so we’ve got to really always recognize what the strength of our team is and that is doing things together. You know, our defense is going to be predicated on showing people an early crowd, because we don’t have a ton of great individual defenders. Our rebounding has got to come from everybody blocking out and then somebody getting the ball. We can’t have any links in the chain that aren’t firing at the highest level, otherwise we’re going to lose on a possession. So, you know, it’s great. It’s a great time and it’s a great time to be a part of this team and in this city. You know, our fan support last night was fantastic. It was a very hard game and we found a way. It’s going to be the same tomorrow night. It’s going to be another hard game, and we’re going to have to find a way again.”
Pushed into overtime three of their last four outings, the Mavs will have to battle expected mental and physical fatigue to remain rested down the stretch run. However, with just a half-game lead on Phoenix for the eight spot while sitting percentage points behind Memphis for seventh, the Mavericks know they still have plenty of work to do in order to secure a playoff berth.
Practice Report: Rick CarlisleMavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks about how locked in Dirk was against the Thunder, how important it is to focus on the simple things, the challenges the Clippers present on Thursday and more.
Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to carry the momentum of Tuesday’s win into a third showdown against the Clippers (50-21) this season, looking to avenge two narrow losses that were determined by L.A.’s game-clinching runs late. And after seven different Mavs scored in double figures during Tuesday’s victory, the Dallas team will once again try rely on its depth and balance to take down a Clippers squad that will be on the second night of a back-to-back following a stop in New Orleans.
“You know, all the games are hard and there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got to make sure that we’re rested up for it and that we’re mentality sharp and our edge is there, and that we understand what it’s about. It’s going to be about the simple things — ball security, rebounding and helping each other at both ends. So, you know, it’s an exciting time and this is great. You’ve got an opportunity to move up if you want, and we’ve just got to stick to the process,” Carlisle explained.
“Right now, I think we’ve got to focus on continuing to help each other and making the game easy for ourselves,” forward Shawn Marion added. “The harder we make the game for ourselves, the harder it can be to win these games. You know, we’ve got to keep turnovers down and keep teams doing what they don’t want to do, make them uncomfortable and keep that pressure on. It’s like basically a playoff game every night till the end of the season, and we’ve got to approach it like that or try to approach it like that. It’s easier said than done, but for the most part I think a lot guys know what’s at stake right now.”
Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center on Thursday, hosting the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers lead season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.