(Writer's note: for every Mavericks home game that myself or Tim Cato can attend, we'll drop this post featuring quotes and video from the night's game. Without further ado, here are post-game videos and quotes after the Mavericks preseason loss to the Sun on Wednesday night.)
Defense. Defense, defense, defense, defense and more defense. That's all the locker room was talking about after the Mavericks 100-94 preseason loss to the Suns. Quotes and video below (NOTE: crank the volume, my camera phone doesn't like to record sound):
On the Mavericks overall effort and team defense:
"I think they were like 8 for 10 to start the game and 8 for 10 to start the second half. So our team defense was poor. When you factor the turnovers in that early in the game it's a recipe for disaster. We've got some things to clean up and have some time to do it but the first quarter score of 31-28 was a misleading score. The guys that were killing us, they got out of the game and we made a run against their second unit guys. We've just got to get better. It was not good.
On turnovers becoming a problem again:
"It was a mixture of poor recognition, bad decisions. We've got to keep the game as simple as possible. We have to play with a high level of force and keep the game simple. If we do that, we'll be a solid team. It wasn't where it needs to be tonight."
On whether Jae Crowder can be a weapon off the bench and what the preseason means:
"Right now, we don't know. With Dirk [Nowitzki] out, I think it's different for everybody. We're just trying to learn and get comfortable with each other. It's preseason, it's different lineups and all different sorts of stuff. We don't know what the rotations are gonna be, what lineups are gonna work. We just take it one game at a time."
General thoughts on tonight:
"We have a lot to improve on. We're a work in progress for sure."
On what needs to change to get better defensively:
"We have to be on the same page. We've got a lot of new guys coming from different teams with different sets. O.J. Mayo might be used to setting a screen down. Darren Collison might be used to fighting over the screen. I'm used to denying the wing. We just need to get on the same page and work in practice -- which we do. Coaches work tirelessly to figure it out."
On whether the turnovers on offense are affecting the defense:
"It's separate. We want to play fast on offense and we don't want to turn the ball over and then we want to play possession defense. We're working on getting to that level where we just come down, make the smart the play, don't turn the ball over, play pressure defense and then get back to the offensive end as fast as we can."
General thoughts on tonight:
"Offensively, we're able to score some points but defensively we're not where we need to be. Still, offensively we stil have some improvements to be made. A lot of new guys are filling in and trying to figure out if Dirk's coming back and where he's coming along. We've got to continue doing our jobs whether he's here or not."
On how long it can take for new guys to gel:
"You can't make a timetable for something like that because every player's different. It takes time to adjust to every player. It's a process and there's no one saying how long it could take. It could take two days, it could take 20 days, it could take two months, I can't say. It's our job as professionals to gel together and make everything work."
On what Dallas needs to do to get back on track defensively:
"We've just got to pay more attention to coverages and what we need to do. Right now, on the defensive end and offensive end we've got to get it together. We've got a couple weeks till the season starts and practices left. Probably much more defensive practices."
On what's the biggest cause of the turnovers
"Slow down. We're all wanting to do good and be succesful but we've got to slow down and see the play, make the play, not the home-run play."
On describing himself as a defender
"I don't know, we've just gotta get better. You can point fingers at any individual, but any good team that gets after it defensively it's five guys, all pulling on a string. I rate myself as good as my teammates."