Well, I just though the first three quarters were a pitiful display for a team that has aspirations to be in the playoffs and try to move up in the standings. We've seen this before, too many times. We screw around for two or three quarters, and then we want Jason Kidd to bail us out with steals, hustle plays, and fast break opportunities. It's just too much to ask.
I give OKC a lot of credit, for three quarters they dominated play with their sense of urgency and how well they were playing -- without their two best players. That's a credit to them but it reflected very poorly on us.
Josh Howard didn't play the second half, did that play a role?
Well, his ankle was bothering him at half and he couldn't go anymore. So that was that.
Do you sense they thought it was going to be easy?
If anybody thinks it's going to be easy then I don't know where they've been the last sixty games because nothing has been easy for us. The guy I feel for is Mark Cuban tonight. He lives and dies with this team and to see they way we played the first three quarters we should all be ashamed -- coaches, players, trainers, pr people.... It's just not right.
The team seemed to come alive in the fourth quarter. The run was impressive, to cut it from 20 to almost a one score game.
Is that your opinion?
Look, we're dealing with people here It's men not machines. You can't flip a switch. You can't flip a switch and decide it's time to play. Hey, it's an impressive run, but when you play that hard you are going to make runs. And when you don't you are going to get you ass buried. Get down 22 and it was good to see we finally got mad.
Is this a team that deserves to be in the playoffs?
Time will tell. After losses is never a great time to shed perspective on that situation. Over the course of the season, you will get what you have earned.
We're in a Western Conference playoff race and we are talking about not playing hard. That sounds like AAU basketball. Guys are going to have to look in the mirror and check their self. We've got to come out and play hard and play together. I don't care who you are playing, the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder. It doesn't matter this time of year. It's gut check time. Self check. You can only look at yourself and evaluate how you played. If you didn't play hard you are going to sit on the bench. And we're not going to hurt anybody's feeling, that's just how it is.
Is this team wide right now?
Yeah, it's across all fronts. You can't have multiple errors. I'm as guilty as the next man, but at the same time the way we played in the fourth, scrapping around, diving on the floor, getting deflections, that's our game. To go through three quarters and have no resemblance of that is embarrassing. We talk about 'oh give Oklahoma credit'. No, give us no credit for coming out and not playing. This game we are going to have to put it behind us but look at it as if you don't come out for 48 minutes, each half, each quarter, and play as hard as you can you are not going to win.
Is this a fork in the road? Now or never?
Every game is now or never. Every single night out is an opportunity to either move up or move down. There's no ties in what we are doing. You're one or two games in the playoffs or you are one or two games out. That's just how it is right now. For us, we have to put together a string of victories. We hope we can start with the next one. San Antonio is a tough team. They are coming into our building and we have to play with some sense of urgency and pride. And hold ourselves accountable when it's not happening.