Rick Carlisle talks Nico Brussino, the playoff race, and more on 103.3 FM ESPN

Rick Carlisle appeared on DAC, 103.3 FM ESPN’s afternoon show, Friday to talk the emergence of Nico Brussino, the Mavs’ playoff hopes, and more.

Listen below for the interview, and read below for a partial transcription.

On Nico Brussino’s big night in Washington: “He’s had some very good stretches of minutes this year. He played a lot of quality time, and even on nights when he hasn’t put up numbers per se, he’s held his own very consistently. The other night, he did some things that were very timely. He had a couple rebounds — he had nine rebounds in the game. He hit three 3s, and all of them were timely shots. I love his competitiveness. He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s working on the English language, or I should say he continues to work on the English language. He’s 23 or 24; he’s still very young.”

On Denver’s schedule, and the Mavs’ pursuit of eighth place: “I’ve heard — I don’t really get into looking at schedules and stuff — I know they have a tough stretch coming up where they play a lot of good teams. We’ve just gotta mind our own business here and keep doing what we can do. We’re in a little tougher spot. I don’t know that we’re gonna be in a good position for tiebreakers because of divisional record, but again, none of that stuff is determined yet. But Portland and Denver are in a division that’s not as tough as the Southwest, and so if you’re tied on head-to-head then it jumps to I think division, or if you’re division champion that trumps everything. None of us will be, but then it goes by division record. I just think that might be a tough one, so we’re gonna have to really win games. That’s what’s gonna get us there.”

On the team’s youth and momentum down the stretch: “We’re doing a lot of good things. Our youth is still one of our challenges. Our young guys supply very good energy, but they’re still learning on the fly. The Washington game was our first road win since Portland, so it was almost a month. We’ve been at home a lot, but we (were) back on the road here for several games, and this was a different kind of challenge for those guys, but I loved the way they rose to it in Washington.”

Cowlishaw & Dennis appear on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio weekdays from 3-6 p.m.