What the Los Angeles Lakers saidand the
after Game 4.
Coach Rick Carlisle
(On Offense) "We had a lot of guys play great. Jet's shot-making was breathtaking, really. Nine of 10 from three, and then Stojakovic hit six out of six."
(On 20 Threes) "The three-point shot is a big part of the game now. It's been part of the success that we've been able to have. But more importantly, we guarded. You hold this team to under 40 percent, you're moving your feet, you're guarding and you're rebounding. That fueled a lot of good things that happened for us offensively."
(On what's so different with these Mavs) "It's an understanding that a full commitment to the defensive end is really what's going to fuel the success that we're going to have."
(On Jackson retiring) "My belief is that he’ll retire for a while. But I don’t know how long you can go to Montana and meditate and smoke peyote or whatever he does there. I don’t know. He’s going to get bored. And I mean that in an endearing way. But, look, we’re talking about the greatest coach in the history of our game."
(On seeing and sweeping a few bottles of Gatorade from the Table) "I'm not paid by Gatorade."
(On the '2nd Scorer' issue) "We've been doing it by committee all year long. There are a lot of guys who can make plays and make shots when it counts."
(On keeping the foot on the pedal) "We just talked about not ever letting up, not relaxing. And you saw it even in the fourth. We were up comfortably, but we kept competing."
(On celebrations) "Just gotta stay focused and enjoy this for a day. I'm probably gonna have some pizza tonight and cheat on my diet. And just go at it again the next couple of days. Gotta stay sharp, obviously we're gonna have five or six days off. We're gonna have some practice days ... and be ready for the Western Conference Finals whenever they start."
(On the Mavs after the win) "A lot of people are doubting what we can do. And still, we beat the Lakers, we got out of the second round, the job is not finished. From Day 1 when we started in training camp, we set goals for ourselves and we set the bar real high. This was great, I don't wanna understate the meaning of this victory and getting out of the second round, but we're back in the Western Conference Finals and it's been awhile. The job is not finished."
(On the Underdog label) "We still feel like we are [the underdogs]. I don't think that anybody in our locker room feels like we're a favorite to do anything "
(On Defense) "Defense for the Mavericks is not new, but we've gotta get people talking about it now."
(On 20 Threes) "The way they play defense, they suck in, you gotta be ready to shoot the shot. That's when I'm at my best. And tonight, again, without the penetration of J.J. and J-Kidd, those looks wouldn't have been there. So, I just had my feet set ready to shoot.
(On making 9 of 10 Threes) "And I fumbled away two or three opportunities. One early and one late."
(On the Game) "When you have 12 individuals, 13 individuals, however many it is, focused in on one specific goal, it's very powerful. And then when you have a fan base that we have at home, it's even tougher."
(On the next game) "Right now, it's Memphis or Oklahoma City and both of those teams are young. They play with tons of energy and they pose big threats for us. But again, it's really more about how we approach this thing, and we've said that since Day 1. We match up well with everybody."
(On Terry's hot hand) "He’s been doing that the whole playoffs. For some odd reason they were leaving him open this afternoon and he was doing what he does best, and that is catch and shoot, and he made quite a few of them. If it wasn't Jet, it was Peja, he went 6-6 [from 3-point range] and so you got two of your best guys going. It stretches the defense."
(On the Sweep) "I've been on the other end of a lot of losses against the Lakers and Phil [Jackson]. So, it's good to get a win. It doesn't matter if you get to sweep the series or not, just to win the series and move on. This is a two-time defending champions that we beat and we have to use that experience and we can't have a let down."
(On the Game) "I think our concentration was really good at the very beginning. Even after we led 3-0, we always treated Game 4 as a big game and the series was 0-0. And that's what happened tonight. Our focus was unbelievable."
(On hitting some outside shots) "I think they've been so focused all series on Dirk, and tonight with our penetration we drew so much attention that our corners and wings were wide open for 3's. And everyone made shots tonight."
(On 2002) "It's nine years ago. We had our chance. It was very emotional for us over there, but it's been so many years we all have to move on with our lives and our careers. I'm a different player and that was years ago. I'm on a different team."
(On the excitement) "If we were having this conversation and somehow faced the Lakers in the Finals and right now we were celebrating with champagne, I'd be pretty excited. But until then, I'm not going to get too excited."
(On what the sweep means) "It felt good tonight, but we know we're only half home. We've got eight wins but we need eight more and that's our ultimate goal."
(Seriously?) "You can see it in guys' eyes. Look around the locker room. Guys are not that excited."
(On the Game) "This was an incredible day. Not only did we play great defense, we played great offense. We shot the ball amazingly. I don't know how many records we set three-point wise and it was a great show tonight."
(On the Mavs) "This is the best we've played since early in the season. We came out of training camp with defense on our minds and I felt like we started the season off right and then with our injuries we slipped a little. Playoffs start and you have to get back into the mind set of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish things and I felt like we really picked things back up."
(On Defense) "We understand that defense wins championships. This is a team that has always had offensive fire power and if we can stop teams on the other end we have a great chance to win every game and make it easier on ourselves."
(On holding the Lakers to 37.8%) "If we show up every night defensively the way we did tonight, there's no stopping this team."
(Talk about the two fragrant fouls late in the game) "That is unfortunate that those guys would do that because we're all NBA players out there and we're all playing the game and there is no need for that kind of stuff. We'll move on and we've got another series to prepare for."
(On the response to that) "The way you get them back is by sending them home. We did that."
(How much will the rest help?) "I think it's huge because we've got some older guys that can use some rest and get our bodies right and then we'll see what happens in the other series and mentally get ourselves ready for the next round."
Another cross-off on the Lockout job-opportunity List.
(On Defense) "We're helping each other. Everybody's communicating out there and it's showing."
(On not being the Underdog next Series) "That's fine. We're hungry. We're starving. Our stomach is only half-full."
(On Bynum's hit) "Yeah, that’s not a basketball play. It happens sometimes in basketball. I got to be ready every time I drive the paint. Sometimes that happens."
(On if the Lakers were picking on him) "Not really. It happens. I have nothing against them. It happens
(On the forearm) "I bet they played 10 replays of it on TV. It was a pretty good hit. I'm happy nothing really happened to me. I'm going to be a little sore, but just happy we got the win."
(On the Mavs) "We were shooting the ball great tonight and we were getting stops and that's why you play basketball for is days like this."
(On his game today and have a career-playoff high in scoring) "It was awesome and I wanted to give it all for my teammates to get a win tonight so I came off the bench with a lot of energy and the pick-n-roll was really working for us tonight. We were running them a lot and it was just awesome."
(Talk about how good the Mavs bench has been) "We knew we had a good bench especially when we shoot the ball like that and we really came out with energy and we were more aggressive than they were tonight and it worked out for us."
Coach Phil Jackson
(On the Game) "Well I don't think I've seen a team play to that level in a series in a game like they played this afternoon. They [Dallas] were terrific. I didn't think we played bad to start the ballgame, but that second quarter it was like the roof fell in on us. I wasn't happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar [Odom's] and Andrew's [Bynum's] part. It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated. And Barea was one of the guys that really frustrated us tonight. Other than that the Lakers will have to go back and put it back together, again, to have a team that comes back and challenges next year."
(Are you stunned that 6 days ago the Lakers were being talked about as the favorite to win the West and her you're sitting now?) "No, I'm not. I think I told you guys all along that Dallas is a very good team. We had the same record they had during the season. And they played better as a team than we did."
(Were you worried after New Orleans gave you such a hassle in the first round that this might happen?) "No, there's a way we can play that we can win ballgames. We had to play a style that was refined and a pace that was ours. We were able to do that for three-and-half quarters in both the first and the third games in the series, but we weren't able to finish them off. That's the difference. Perhaps Dallas is a little deeper team, a little more talented off the bench than we were and it came to bear during the course of these playoffs."
(Have you coached your final game, if so what are the emotions of the moment?) "[It] feels really good to be ending this season to be honest with you. I came back this last year with some trepidation. Kobe's knee was an issue and obviously our team was older. The thrill of trying to chase a three-peat is always an exciting thing. But, yes, I knew it was a big challenge for this team to three-peat. We've gone to the Finals and to go back twice and win it after losing '08 puts a lot of strain on the basketball club from all angles: personalities, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and getting charged up for game after game and assault after assault when you go in and play a team. So, it was a challenge bigger that we could beat this year."
(And you final game I assume? Was this your last game?) "I haven't answered that, have I? And you're not going to force me to answer it. But, yes, this is in all my hopes and aspirations that this is the final game that I'll coach. This has been a wonderful run. I go out with a sour note after being fined $35,000 this morning by the league, so that's not fun having a feeling like I've been chased down the freeway by them. But as Richard Nixon says, 'You won't be able to kick this guy around anymore.'"
(On cheap shots) "I wasn't happy with the way our players exited the game, on Lamar and Andrew's part. It was unnecessary, but I know they were frustrated."
(You're not a sentimental guy, but what did you tell the guys in the locker room right now?) "That we're disappointed in the way we finished the game. We wanted to have a good game. I didn't like the way Andrew and Lamar finished like I mentioned just now. We ran into a buzz saw today. Sometimes you can't get a win. You'd like to have an opportunity to challenge but we didn't."
(On the Mavs Offense) "They just hit three after three after three."
(On the Loss) "We just didn't execute. We made too many mistakes defensively, and tonight it was just one after the other, and they didn't miss 'em."
(On the Reasons) "You've got to put credit in the right place. And that's the Mavs' locker room."
(On the Mavs spacing) "They executed extremely well, their spacing was excellent, they shot the ball extremely well. Their depth hurt us. Every night it was another player stepping up and performing, and making big plays. The credit belongs in the Mavs Locker room."
(On what losing Jackson means to him) "I grew up under him. The way I approach things, the way I think about things -- not only basketball, life in general -- comes from him. It's a little weird for me to think of what next year is going to be like."
(On flagrants) "They played better than we did, so to make the game ugly like that when players could potentially get hurt, we don't want to see that happen ever. I think they'll learn from that, regret doing that. It's not something you want to see that in the game of basketball -- ever."
(On Dirk) "This is the best I've seen him play in his career, to be honest with you."
(On the Lakers and Mavs) "I don't know where we lost it, that drive, that bond we had in the past, that cohesive drive in order to overcome adversity. When I think about this series, and I think about this game it looks like we got beat by a good team, which of course we respect."
(On the Sweep) "We expect to win. For myself, a humbling experience. I came in ready. I've been able to do so many things, but I would give it all up, the rewards or the recognition, to be able to play in the championship round."
(What happened on the ejection?) "I was a little embarrassed. I went to fill the rim out, they were already up 30, and I didn't mean anything by it."
(What will you remember the most about playing for Phil?) "Just the moments. History and being a part of it. Winning and losing championships and being victorious."
(Why were they able to be so successful from three?) "They played their butts off. They played how you're supposed to play in a close out game."
(Does getting blown out make a difference while getting swept?) "Losing is losing. Of course, you don't want to get beat like that, get swept. Obviously something wasn't there. We couldn't overcome a lot of things we usually overcome. A lot of things we used to overcome. It makes no difference; it could have happened the next round or the Finals."
(Can you put your finger on what went wrong this series and season?) "When you look back on the season, letting teams hang in there that we shouldn't let hang in there with us. It's a humbling experience, I'll tell you one thing. Coach always says basketball is a humbling game. When you play on this level and you win and people expect you to win and everything is great, people know us. When you get beat like the way we got beat, you realize this a part of life."
(On the Mavs) "When I think about this series and I think about this game, their bond on the basketball court was better than ours, it seemed like. They were able to come back from 16 in Game 1. Come back from seven or eight with three minutes to go, and there was something missing from us."
(Was it frustration why you got ejected?) "A little bit frustrated and they kept making layups."
(Are you disappointed in yourself?) "No, I'm not disappointed in myself. It is what it is. We got embarrassed tonight, so that's what happened."
(Why the flagrant foul?) "I think it was more we were getting embarrassed, they were breaking us down. So I just fouled somebody."
(Did you sense your guys were tired?) "I think they just came out and beat us from the start."
(Why were they able to be so successful from three?) "Because they definitely studied tape, watched how we were playing defense, and they just picked it apart."
(Was the threes a result of a hot hand or lack of defense?) "They studied for our defense. Dirk was drawing double teams. Their whole thing was drive and kick."
(How much was the fact that the Lakers have played so many playoff games in the past three years impact the game) "I don't think it did. I think we got kind of demoralized last week in Game 1. Then coming out and losing Game 3 in the last five minutes, we just didn't play defense."
(On the Mavs) "They beat the shi- out .... they beat us bad."
The Last Question
Before this series started, very few people gave the Dallas Mavericks a chance; they weren't supposed to make a series with the Lakers last more than 5 or 6 games. Today, the Mavericks swept the two-time defending NBA champs out of the playoffs in four games.
So, technically, those people were right.
This win means more to the Dallas Mavericks than just advancing to the Western Conference Finals. They swept the two-time defending champions, in the final season of the greatest coach ever to lead a team in the NBA. They did it with grit and determination and clamp-down defense, all while being called soft by the entire sports community. They may have eight more games to win if they want to get that ring, but for now we can all sit back and revel in the glory of a massive accomplishment. I am SO proud of my Dallas Mavericks today.
Silver Screen and Roll Feel Free
Big credit to the Mavericks for dropping the hammer without mercy. They were amazing in this series, never more so than today. Rick Carlisle's strategy of swinging the ball from strong side to weak until a three-point shooter opens up reached its stunning apotheosis in Game Four as Dallas buried an NBA playoff-record 20 threes. Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic almost literally couldn't miss, combining to hit 15 of 16 long balls.
NBA.com Crashing Halt
The cheap shots that came later from the Lakers -- both Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum lost their cool and were ejected for flagrant fouls before it was over -- added a tasteless punch to one of the most epic meltdowns a championship contender has endured.
"We were losing by 30," a still stunned and clearly embarrassed Odom said after it was all over. "What the [expletive] do you expect?"
The Mavericks will go down as the team that ended an era and the legendary career of arguably the greatest coach in NBA history, and perhaps the history of professional sports in this country.
How they did it, though, will always be subject to interpretation.
"It's like when you're 13 or 14 years old and you have a little fist fight or whatever," Odom said. "You get hit in the mouth too hard and you realize, 'I got beat, man.' Of course, you want to play better. You know that ... but they beat our ass."
SBNATION Of Dignity and Disgrace (Must-read on Phil)
The Lakers turn to shambles overnight, and the Mavericks are the new favorites in the West. That's why we keep watching; for that earthquake that changes everything.
Phil Jackson understands that concept, I think. It's NBA evolution. That's why he refused to lose his cool when the Lakers crumbled, and it helps explain the second story of Sunday's game—that L.A. could go out like this it doesn't taint Jackson's legacy even a little bit.
ESPN Dime Underdog
Imagine a world where Dirk Nowitzki is the darling of the TNT studio, Mark Cuban is running away from reporters and Matt Barnes is forced to admit that the Dallas Mavericks just punked the team that was chasing a three-peat.
ESPN DAL Foul Embarrassment
"They were disrespectful fouls, but it just showed their character," Mavs starting shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson said. "I think we kind of took their heart, especially winning on their court the first two games and then coming in here playing the way we are it made them frustrated. I don't think nobody ever played them like that. When people get frustrated people show their real character."
ESPN LA Swept away[,] in Transition
These were the first playoffs in more than a decade in which Bryant wasn't able to take over or close out games. He was 12-for-37 in the playoff fourth quarters that mattered; we won't include the two shots he missed in 4 ½ minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday, when the Lakers were hopelessly behind on their way to a shameful 122-86 sweeptastic loss to the Mavericks.
Land o' At the buzzer
Not much in the way of nuance, gray area or degrees. Plain and simple, this was an inexcusable performance by the two-time defending champions.
An actual game breakdown strikes me as an exercise in pointlessness. The game was far too lopsided in Dallas' favor.
3-pointers: Lakers 5/24, Dallas 20/32
No other stats mattered! The rest was just trivia. Well, trivia and meltdowns. The general themes we've been discussing through the series magnified themselves in one big grand finale.
An advanced Boxscore at Arturo
Peja and Chandler were supposed to be done because of injury. Dirk and Kidd were supposed to be old. Before the playoffs started the Mavericks were the desired opponent for most teams. So far that hasn’t ended up being the case.
Kobe’s killer instinct, which was sketch to begin with, did not appear. Bynum and Odom didn’t show up for the game and got kicked out early anyway. Pau Gasol finally showed up and played a little above average. Unfortunately, a little above average isn’t going to win games in the playoffs.Hardly anyone saw Dallas coming. I suspect most people thought this would be a fight though and after the dust settled it wasn’t
Forum Blue & Gold Premature End
The fact that no Laker could effectively contain his man off the bounce completely ruined any semblance of cohesiveness on the defensive end. The fact that the Mavs put on a shooting performance for the ages was just the rancid cherry on the Lakers’ poisonous sundae. They could have made only have their three pointers and the result in this game would have been the same.
Losing is never easy, but losing while committing the type of dangerous foul that Bynum did is even tougher to swallow as it paints him and his team in a terrible light. No one likes sore losers and that’s exactly what Bynum looked like.
In the end, this wasn’t the Lakers day, series, or ultimately, their season. They lost to a better team and while it was unfathomable to think that would be the case just a couple of weeks ago, it is the truth. Dallas had the ingredients to beat this Laker group and with players underperforming (Gasol, Odom, the bench in general) this team didn’t have enough to win this year.
SI.com Champs to Chumps
At least the book on Phil Jackson's final season finally has a title now: The Unflattering Farewell.
While the Mavericks are to be celebrated with gutsy and smart moves like bringing in Peja Stojakovic(notes) to run at power forward midway through the first quarter, sitting Dirk Nowitzki in the process, or knowing exactly when to go to the zone as Kobe dribbled away. But Los Angeles is the real story here. A championship contender was just swept out of the second round as it abandoned all the elements that made this team so great during its three straight trips to the Finals. A loss to the Mavs is no big thing; Dallas is that good.
But a loss like that? Full of terrible play? Full of uninspired play? Full of unintelligent play? Full of lazy play? Full of dirty play? That's inexcusable.
Basketballprospectus Decisive Ending (only half-free)
at Dallas 122, L.A. Lakers 86 (Dallas wins 4-0)
Offensive Ratings: Dallas 133.3, L.A. Lakers 94.9
I feel like I already wrote this column seven years ago. Just replace the Detroit Pistons with the Dallas Mavericks and the general tone of my analysis of the 2004 NBA Finals holds up now. The parallels between the two series are striking. Both saw the Lakers enter as prohibitive favorites only to be thoroughly outplayed by a less-heralded foe, with Phil Jackson looking on from the sidelines as he prepared to ride off into the sunset.Then as now, most of the commentary centered on what went wrong for the Lakers.
NBAPlaybook Threes? Dirk!
When looking at Dallas’ three point shots, the common thread is Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki was on the court for 15 of the Mavericks 20 three point shots, and in my opinion, Nowitzki was responsible for 12 of the makes. In addition to making the three or getting the assist, the attention that Nowitzki drew forced the defense into tough rotations, resulting in wide open looks behind the three point line:
This was not how you expected to see Phil Jackson walking away from the NBA.
The Lakers were the best team in this series on paper, but the Mavs created a disconnect between preconception and reality. There were close games and blowouts, but virtually nothing went according to plan. Bynum was largely contained, despite his precedent of excellence against Tyson Chandler in the post. Bryant had some big scoring nights, but occasionally hindered the flow of the Laker offense and barely attempted anything other than jump shots. The Mavericks were anything but the lesser team, and despite what any player or team’s reputation in this series would have suggested, the Lakers’ run ends here.
This is the franchise of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, of Robert Horry, the .04 shot, the Shaq alley-oop, and the past two championships. And instead the Zen Master watched as his troops failed to commit, then committed an epic display of petulance to send him off. Nothing can tarnish the legacy of the Lakers, arguably the greatest franchise in the NBA, in all of sports.
But man, did they try hard in Game 4.
Hoopshype Champs lose their fight
The Mavericks dissected the Lakers’ triangle offense with defensive mastery. I felt before the All-Star break the Mavericks where the only obstacles for the Lakers and despite struggling down the stretch of the regular season they are back in tremendous stride.
The Point Forward Why the Lakers got swept
All series long, the Mavericks forced Los Angeles defenders to make difficult choices. This was mostly the result of the attention the Lakers had to pay Dirk Nowitzki on pick-and-rolls, his ability to beat Pau Gasol off the dribble in isolation and coach Rick Carlisle’s smart move to space the floor with shooters. Over and over, the Lakers had to make impossible split-second decisions on how much help to send at Nowitzki, which shooters to challenge when Dirk kicked the ball out and which defender should do the closing out on each Dallas shooter.
Also: attempting to defend Barea with Ron Artest was hilarious.
I'm really proud of Rob for putting up a full bullet point for every point in the final margin
Haywood bricked one of [three] from the line. Why oh why don't you chop that wood,
PortlandLakers? He is now 6-20 on FTs in 11 games. Celebration for our third-best Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
Dirk missed as much FTs as Peja Threes. Zilch!
Chandler 5-9-0 Haywood 4-8-1 Mahinmi
DNP-Playoffs/French.2-1-0 Garbagetime. Bynum 6-6-1 and one cheap shot.
Mavs 44, Lakers 31. Check this: 32 Assists for Dallas, 16 for L.A., only 5 at Halftime. The Mavericks had more Assists than the Lakers field goals. It's a teamgame, sometimes.....
PIP-BoysLAL 44 DAL 38.
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes. Also, 223 Photos.
Finally....KneeJerk Recap (TM) Jonthefon v3.04
The Mavs (beat/
lost to) [ ]¹ tonight (thanks to/ despite) totol reliance onDirk’s Awesomeness. The (cloud in the silver lining/ major culprit) once more as usualwas the (reliabilty/ lack) of support from his team-mates, with the exception of Jason Terry/ ². Especiallyuseless was Jason Kidd/ Shawn MarionJose Barea Tyson Chandler/ Brendan HaywoodDeShawn Stevenson³ and it is (GUESS WHAT) THEY’RE ALMOSTNOT ALLUSELESS!
¹ Inserted Opponent
² Only one of them, mind you. Peja took fewer Threes.
³ Two at the minimum, up to all six
seven of them. Guys, the team is shooting 60%. And you post 1-5 and 1-6 lines...