Carlisle on the Mavericks' coming schedule: "Fast and furious."

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last night we got some reactions to the Mavs' win, Crowder vs. Ellington, and a tough spate of games ahead.

The first thing that matters about last night was that the Mavs won, and that is I guess the most important thing.

But you guys, Monta Jr. was in the locker room last night and oh my is that kid forever the cutest. He was wearing a pretty smart blazer with jeans and Gucci loafers while eating popcorn and watching cartoons in the TV in Devin Harris's locker. It was adorable, and that was the second thing that matters about last night. Monta Jr. forever.

The third thing that matters is that for the third game in a row, Jae Crowder wasn't a factor, only playing garbage time minutes.

So. Here's what people had to say.

Rick Carlisle

On Wayne Ellington...

He kept himself ready. He hasn't played a lot this year, but when he has, he's played hard and effectively. This past week was time to give him a shot, and he's responded well. What gets people's attention is when he makes shots, but he does other things as well, or better. Just playing hard on defense, being in the right place, doing things hard, making simple hard plays. So he's given us a lift.

On the difference between play in the first quarter and the rest of the game...

The first quarter was kind of weird. Dirk came out and things were going slow and weird. But [the Pelicans] are a tough team to play. They always stick around in games even though they are really decimated with guys being out. They are really well coached. You gotta play solid and you gotta play the right way. What got us into trouble was untimely casual plays that led to turnovers, and let guys get open threes, things like that. It is the stuff that has been our nemesis all year and we just have to keep working to correct it.

On the team's performance over the last couple of weeks...

We've done better over the last couple of weeks. But we've got a long way to go. It's all going to be coming fast and furious. The home games are obviously of great importance. Chicago coming in is going to be another hard, physical game. We're going to have to be ready for that. Tonight is the first time in a while we got beat on the boards. So that is not a good sign. So we'll have to make that correction before Friday because Chicago is one of the best rebounding teams in the league.

On Dirk's injury in the first...

I think he just had a zinger in his left arm or shoulder, and he came back. Similar thing happened in the game against Memphis, so hopefully he's okay. He seemed to be okay the rest of the game.

On his satisfaction with the Center position...

I haven't looked at the stats yet, but if they look good, then I'm happy. [laughter]. We need all of those guys. Blair didn't play much tonight, he didn't play much the last game, but he's an important guy. So, we need all three of those guys engaged. Sarge [James] is another quality player that is ready to go. With Chicago coming in and their rebounding ability, that position becomes even more important.

On Crowder vs. Ellington....

They're very similar, their style of play is probably a little different, Jae is more of a driver, Wayne is more of a shooter, but really the important thing for us is who can fit into our defensive system and be rock solid, and be ready to make the simple plays. And both the guys are good players and we need them both. Going forward we like what Wayne is doing, but Jae will need to stay ready too.

Shawn Marion

On if the Mavericks are starting to gel at the right time...

I think we are stringing together multiple stops and sharing the ball a lot more. If we continue doing that we will continue to get better. We are not over the hump just yet but we are showing signs of how good we can possibly be.

On if the Mavericks will have to adjust their game against Chicago...

It's going to be a grind. For some reason it is always a grind against them, that is just the way they play. They fight to the end. We know what we have to do and what kind of game it is going to be so we have to get our minds and bodies ready for it.

Monta Ellis

On the game as a whole...

Great win. We stuck together, got plays when we needed it, closed it out at the end.

On his night...

It's more of a team thing. I think the last 12 games we've been playing together as a team. And when we play like that, share the ball, and everyone does does their job on both ends we come out with a win. Biggest thing for me is to keep attacking and making plays for others and try to get everyone going. When it's time for me to score, I'll score the basketball.

Vince Carter

On his numbers lately...

Just playing the game, understanding the game. This is money time, the second part of the season. is where the team fights for playoff position. Just want to do what I do.

Making plays, like I said. At this point in time you've seen it all, every defense that's going to be thrown at you, and it's just making reads and being patient. We're being patient as a team now, and we're valuing the ball more which has helped more than anything.

On Wayne Ellington's performance...

Just Wayne being Wayne. He's a great shooter, has always been a great shooter, and is solid defensively. It's a luxury to have someone like that who hasn't had the minutes, and then you throw him in there and it's like he's been playing all season. He's a professional player and he's handled the situation well, which I think a lot of guys couldn't have done that, but he's shooting lights out and that's why we brought him here.

Dirk Nowitzki

On what happened with his shoulder...

Ever since Karl Malone hacked me in '99 the shoulder sometimes comes in and out a little bit. walked it out in the tunnel and was able to finish the game. It's happened a good 20 times in my career....just gotta keep strengthening on off days and work through it..Hopefully I can still play tennis once my career is over [laughter].

On what they've been doing well lately...

We've been solid defensively, that's where it starts, and offensively we've been playing really well. I think with BWright and Devin back, they give us a punch off the bench, they've found their groove. We have a lot of guys who can make plays. We've been scoring a lot of points and that obviously helps.

On Vince...

Vince has been looking great, coming in and being instant offense like he was last year. He was probably our best player all season, just having great rhythm and every shot's going in....he's been playing well and we need him to score. He's a playmaker for us....we rely on him a lot and he knows that, and he's been great.

On the games coming up...

This stretch we've got coming up is pretty tough, a lot of good teams, some of them on the road, so it should be a good test. I think after Friday we only have a couple game left against the eastern conference and none on the road, the rest is just Western powerhouses. It's going to be tough, and if we want to make the playoffs we've got to keep winning at a pretty high clip.

On the final stretch and his health...

I feel good, I move okay. I think maybe I should have taken a break during the All-Star Game, but I went and had some fun and represented the Mavs. Just gotta keep going, keep the pedal to the metal now, and roll all the way through the season, and we can rest in the summer.

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