Some game notes
- A Monta Ellis injury update: "Monta Ellis has a strained right hamstring. He limped to the locker room late in the fourth quarter and his status is unknown. He didn't say much after the game, but he was walking pretty slowly. He said more will be known tomorrow."
- With the way he was walking, it wouldn't shock me if he missed a game or two. But he's also a tough guy and hasn't missed a game all season -- one of two Mavericks to do that (Jae Crowder is the other, which is hilarious).
- If he is out? Things get pretty interesting, especially if Devin Harris starts and does well. But it also wouldn't surprise me to see Ellington in his place.
- A shameless site plug: We have an Instagram! Here's the link -- one night in, and we already have a couple of quality posts if I do say so myself. Another reason: Rebecca and I will be at All-Star Weekend next weekend (!!!) and we will have full Instagram coverage. It's well worth a follow if you are a IGer.
- Dirk is a magician -- there's no other way to explain 20 points on nine shots.
- As I mentioned on Twitter, the most important stat of the night was Dirk's 26 minutes. The funniest stat of the night? Utah attempted a FRANCHISE RECORD 35 three pointers. They made 12 and still only scored 81. Oh my goodness. That's seriously the best.
On the team's rebounding
I'm not happy about anything. At this point, we're shoring it up, we're doing better with it. We can't start feeling to good. Chuck Daly, one of his favorite sayings was, 'don't trust happiness.' Especially in the NBA because it can get you quickly, you can start feeling good about yourself.
We changed our whole defense. We played zone whenever we could. The matchup was hard and they were doing some things to loosen him up. We had to change. We did and the guys did a good job with it. A guy's not going to make every shot -- even though it seemed like he was going to at the beginning. I don't think he scored in the second half, so that was good.
On Monta's injury
Yes, there is concern. Any time a player walks out early, there is concern, but we'll get it chcked out and we'll see what's what. ... I'm not going to talk about it right now until I get an official thing. I think it's a hamstring, but beyond that, I don't know.
On upcoming road trip
Always before you hit the road before an extended period of time, you want to win that last game. We head on the road, so we did a good job there in the second half. Not so good in the first, they got off smoking. I got Williams nice and hot there, especially in the first quarter. But then I thought we did a good job there defensively. I thought 'Trix did a great job on Hayward all night, chasing him around, making it hard on him. And he's obviously on of their key guys.
On why they're "an awesome rebounding team" (and Sefko was using some sarcasm)
I wouldn't say awesome. You know, I think when we hold our own on the glass, we have a chance to be in games and win games, on the road as well. But if we get pounded constantly by 10 and 20 on the glass, it's going to be a challenge with the offense on the other end to produce and make shots all the time. If we can be a little more consistent defensively and rebounding wise, I like our chances going into the last 30, 31, 32 games.
On the rhythm the bench is getting into (asked by yours truly because why not)
Yeah, I think ever since Devin came back, he gave us another punch off the bench. He can create, he can shoot a little bit. He's a very good defender for us. That's a nice change of speed from when Jose's out there. Vince has been in a great rhythm, he's money again every time he shoots now. The bench is playing well. We missed B-Wright early in the season, but he's been solid finishing in the paint.
What was the key to slowing down Marvin Williams? Dirk: "taking me off him."— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) February 8, 2014
On what the Mavs have done well over the winning streak
Defensively, we're locked in a little bit more. Helping each other more, really trying to protect the paint. Obviously offensively, we feel like we can score every night. Defensively, we've really honed in our mistakes and trying to get better at that end of the floor.
On the six out of seven on the road upcoming
We're a veteran team, we're kind of used to it. We've just got to take them one at a time. Trying to make up some ground. Obviously, it starts on Sunday [against Boston].
On what would happen if Monta misses time
It just leaves opportunity for other people. Obviously, you can't replace what he does -- you have to do it by committee. He's been playing great for us, so hopefully he doesn't have to miss any time -- but if he does, you've got to depend on other guys.
On whether the All-Star Break is good or bad for Harris, since he's recently returned
A little bit of both. I definitely could use the rest, kind of regroup a little bit, but I don't want to lose what I've built on so far. I just take it with a grain of salt and try to come back ready to go.
On overall performance
Tonight, these are the kind of games you have to win. I think everybody had that in our minds before we started the game and, as I said, we came ready to play. Everyone who stepped on the court did a great job tonight.
On his performance
I have some tough nights and other ones are better. Some nights the ball wants to go in, and other nights you don't feel as comfortable, like the night before, and there is nothing you can do. You are tired, too, because you are trying to get that break.
Utah coach Tyrone Corbin
On what Dallas did well
They were the aggressive team. They had the most energy. Give them credit, they executed better than we did. They made the shots when they did, they got all the 50/50 balls and they got second opportunities. One thing we can't afford to do against anybody right now where we are as a team is have guys outwork us. They outworked us tonight.