Video Quoteboard: Fighting for the playoffs

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Behind the scenes after last night's win over Memphis.

In true Mavericks style, last night's matchup against Memphis ended up being a little closer than we all would have liked towards the end, but the win never really seemed to be in doubt. A lot to like about that game too - lots of passing, the return of Samuel Dalembert, Vince looking good for a second straight game. (Thank you, Brandan Wright?)

Join us for some postgame behind the scenes below!

Rick Carlisle

On whether this was a "complete game"...

Being able to come home and start off this homestand the right way is really important for us. We take nothing for granted. This whole season has been work. It's been challenging, and it's going to continue to be that but we're showing some signs of coming together in some different ways and we've just got to continue.

On the end of the game...

We had some letups at the end when we had a lead and this is one of the real challenges in this league. Leads are hard to build and yet human nature takes over and you relax and you allow a guy a shot...and we had 3 or 4 of those plays that just keeps a team in the game...and we have to fight that. We're in a situation where we're one of 6 or 7 teams fighting for two or three playoff spots. That's what it's gonna come down to and concentration and focus and attention to detail are going to carry the day as to who gets in.

On Vince's game...

He's the kind of player that demands attention....his ability to make threes and make plays brings a defense close...tonight, again, Wright didn't have the game he had the other night obviously, but this shows the difference in the physicality of the opponents and level of defense. But having that extra weapon, it really helps Vince.

Sam Dalembert

Today was a test for me personally, I was in at a crucial point of the game, I challenged myself and all the hard work I've been putting in, just tried to get myself back in there. ... I stay ready and I never know when they're going to call on me ... it was a big challenge and I embraced it.

Monta Ellis

On 25 team assists...

We've got a lot of scorers on this team. and any given night anybody can get hot. as long as we continue to share the ball and play for one another it'll come out like we did tonight.

Dirk Nowitzki

On the team performance...

It was a good win. Obviously, [Memphis] is an undermanned team, but they're scrappy. They got Z-Bo in the post and a bunch of guys who will play hard. It was a good win. I thought defensively, we competed, and that's what we wanted to do. We held them under 40% shooting -- any time we do that, we usually put ourselves in a good position to win the game.

On Sam Dalembert's play...

The lift that Sam gave us off the bench...he's been out of the lineup for a few games, but he was phenomenal, using his length on Z-Bo. Got some blocks, got some rebounds, tried to go between his legs on the break one time so that was sweet. He had it all tonight.

On Shane's speed providing a important dimension...

We all know that Jose's isn't the fastest point guard in this league, so it's a nice mix-up when he comes off the bench or when Monta goes over to the 1. They pick up full-court and they push the ball up the floor, so it's a good mix-up for Jose, that's for sure.

On how he felt after an unscheduled game off on Saturday...

I felt fine. Obviously, it wasn't what I planned. I didn't feel great Monday in practice; I was still weak, but the good thing is we didn't have a game for another two weeks. By Tuesday I felt a lot better and today I felt fine.

On where the team is right now...

Our schedule in November was probably one of the worst in the league. I think we got almost half of our back-to-backs out of the way already; we were all over the [place]. It was just so many games that it was tough for us to really get some practice time going. It showed sometimes -- it showed in rotations, it showed in pick-and-roll coverage. I just think we made some mistakes here and there. Good teams need their time to practice and get better. We have again this year eight or nine new guys so more practice is good. We used it for nothing crazy Monday/Tuesday, but we competed hard for an hour every day and I think it helped us.

On how he feels they did in that tough stretch...

I think we would have looked even better if we had B-Wright or even Devin [Harris] in that stretch with all of those games. They're both athletic players and I think we could have used that in this stretch. But hey, we made it through okay and we came out about .500. We're right in the hunt and in the mix. Yeah, we lost two or three games we'd love to have games, but that happens, especially with so many games.


[Ed. Note: Tim Cato contributed substantially to this article, including the videos]

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