Mavs Finish Spurs: Rick Carlisle Postgame Quotes

"This is our players team.  It's not my team.  It's their team, and it really took on their personality over the last two months of the season.  So I'm really happy for that.  The Spurs are a great team.  We played extremely well.  To win in five is surprising, but obviously we are thrilled."

Talk about having all 5 starters and Jason Terry all scoring in double figures.

"Well, balance has been our calling card this whole series.  It's been tough for Dirk to get on track.  Tonight they started out not double teaming him, and his final stats prove that they were right double teaming him all over the court the entire series.  31 points and 11 for 17.  We've had timely contributions from so many guys so frequently.  This is not surprising."

"Josh Howard, again, played such a pivotal role -- with key shots at big times, beat the shot clock late in the fourth, hit a three in the third that was a big momentum play, and made a couple of plays off the ball to save possessions for us -  the loose ball foul we retained possession."

"Kidd, I can't say enough about what he has done for this team.  His knowledge of the game, knowledge of the team, and pulse on the team have been so critical in the last two months. He's really led our team."

"And Jet, I felt for him the other day when got the award.  It's an emotional thing going through all of that stuff.  He had a struggling game in game four.  I know that he really wanted to play well tonight.  He hit huge shots for us all night long and played great defensively.  When he got in the game, he got right on Roger Mason and didn't let him have a sniff at an open shot.  That was big because that was another weapon they had that hadn't got going."

When the Spurs got within four, did you feel like the momentum had shifted, or did you feel like it was kind of your teams night.

"We had just a so-so practice yesterday, and I wasn't sure of our focus.  This morning we got together before we started and talked a little bit about some of the things we wanted to do headed into tonight." 

"And Mario Elie asked if he could say a few words because he was involved in a team that came back from a 3-1 deficit.  And he made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the time to win this series was tonight.  You don't want to give a team any hope, any life.  The conviction in his voice was very convincing.  Our player took it to heart." 

"And then Darrell Armstrong talked about the year they played my Detroit team and they went up 3-1 and lost the series.  I think that stuff hit home with our guys.  We had a very good shootaround.  Then before the game I felt we were locked in and ready to play.  And you have to be on the road.  Game fives are historically the most difficult to win on the road because they are so pivotal.  In tonight's case it was pivotal because it was an elimination game." 

The Spurs played Dirk differently tonight.  What did he see that made him more effective scoring wise?

"They didn't double team him, so he was able to get some shots in one-on-ones.  They went back to the same double team scenarios in the first half and continued with a lot of it in the second half.  That's stuff we've had to adjust to during the series, and Dirk has had to adjust to.  He's done a great job of being patient, finding teammates on one hand, and then on the other hand finding shots in the context of what we are trying to do." 

"He just had a great all around series.  In games that he wasn't scoring he was a factor for us defensively as a guy that was a great communicator and defensive rebounder -- took a charge in game four.  He was finding ways to help us win even when he wasn't scoring.  I thought, in this series, he took a step up as a guy who really is a great all around player and not just a scorer."

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