- So NBA.com/stats has a new feature called SportsVU and it had a couple cool stats regarding the Mavericks. In short, of all the rebounds that are available for Shawn Marion to get, he leads the league grabbing 90%. And of all the players in the NBA, Monta Ellis has the most "drives" to the bucket.
- What to make of all that? Nothing, really. It's two games worth of stats and really shouldn't be taken until we get at least to double digit games to draw data from. But if you're a stat geek or just want to look at some cool charts that you may or may not understand (trust me, I'm more the latter than the former), check it out.
- Dallas' 40/46 free throws attempted was the most since 2/8/10 at Golden State (they went 41/46 that night).
- I got stonewalled on a question by Rick Carlisle. He mentioned that he didn't like some of the bench matchups, so I asked the following: "Wayne Ellington didn't play tonight. Was he one of those matchups that you didn't like, as you mentioned before?" Stone cold, straight up, "It's a coach's decision." Gosh, the look that accompanies those answers is terrifying, but me and the other MMB peeps had a good laugh about it afterwards. Trust me, if you plan on covering the Mavericks for any length of time, that's bound to happen.
- It didn't help that his sarcasm meter was on full throttle tonight. When a reporter mentioned he had talked with Calderon earlier, Carlisle blasted back, "Oh really!? What did he say?" But in and around all this, he did actually say a few things worth repeated, listed below.
On Shawn Marion's versatility as a defender.
"If you think of the history of the modern game, I can think of less than five, maybe six guys who can guard a guy like Conley for big minutes, then turn around and guard Zach Randolph. And then any other kind of guy in between. Jordan could do it, Pippen showed that he could do it, LeBron James does it. I don't know, I could probably come up with some other names but there aren't many. We're talking about a really special player and he really personalized this game tonight. He felt lousy about last night and he knew we needed a spark. From start to finish, he was on."
On the run Memphis made to close the first half.
"It's the NBA; teams make runs. We made a run last night so we had to withstand it, we had to change with a bit of a paradigm shift at the start of the second half. We had to kind of get to the side of having an edge, playing with an edge."
On Sam Dalembert.
"Dalembert did a nice job tonight. He made some timely plays out there offensively. Defensively he was a factor, other than the fouls. I thought he and Blair did a tremendous job off the bench. He brought consistent attitude to the game. That was huge and it's a big win for us. It's important to get off to a solid start to the season."
On the defense.
"Before the game, we looked at seven clips, seven defensive clips [of plays] that happened in the first four minutes [last night] that were just unacceptable for what we've talked about, in terms of what we need to be. I appealed to the guys that if we want to be good, we've got to turn this around. And they did."
On Jose Calderon's poor shooting start.
"I'm not worried about him. His jump shot is by far on the lowest list of whatever problems and challenges he might have. If you want to talk about his rhythm and conditioning and that I've been doing a lousy job getting him good shots, we can talk about that, but he's a great shooter and that's why we got him. He made three big ones tonight and he's going to keep getting better."
On Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis playing big minutes.
"I stretched him and Monta out because I didn't like some of the matchups with the bench guys and they did a good job closing the game."
On the fast start and setting the tempo.
"We heard about it from coach all day about how we started the game off yesterday, and we gave up 40 points in the first quarter yesterday, so that was a big emphasis. I thought we played with good energy and we knew they had a tough game yesterday."
"Shawn is one of the best all-around players this league has, we all know that. I think coach mentioned it, there's not a lot of players who can guard the point guard then the big four guy."
On what he's learned about the team.
"If we play hard and fight defensively we can play with anybody, and if we don't we can get embarrassed like we did in Houston in the first half. We're not good enough to coast so we got to compete at all times and make it hard on the opponent."
On the 46 free throw attempts and whether this team is more suited to draw fouls.
"It was good tonight, we got in the bonus early then every little push foul and over the back automatically gets you two free throws so we love to get in the bonus early. That's usually an emphasis every week. Some nights it works early, some nights it doesn't."
On Jose and his shot.
"We all have confidence in him, we always say to shoot when you're open. I even want him to shoot more, he pump fakes too much. We want him to shoot."
On whether he's actually going to have tomorrow off (it's a team off day).
"For me, no. Since Holger's is here, I'll probably come late night, probably seven or eight [p.m.] and get an hour in. It's more like a recovery, get a couple of shots up, get a little bit of stretching and call it a day."
(ed. note: sorry, just one video today. I'll try to get more next time around.)
On staying ready coming off the bench.
"It's my job. I don't have a choice! It's just bringing the level of intensity up from where the starters, whatever tone they set."
On his routine in the offseason to stay prepared.
"Aw man, we'll be here a long time. I have to do a lot to keep with these younger guys who have careers in this league. I have to prepare myself."
On athleticism off the bench.
"We just have a lot of guys who do a lot of different things. Coming into camp, I just talked to a lot of the younger guys about what was needed. Now that we have Jae [Crowder] and Sarge [Bernard James] who are a year older, a lot of guys know what is expected of them. Everybody's wanting to do their job. That's the way we're going to win."
On Marion and his defense.
"He's just very versatile. You can put him on one through four, sometimes a five, and he's great. He's able to rebound and play hard and he can run the floor with the best of them. That gives us an advantage."