What the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat said
after Game One of the New Season.
(On the Banner causing Delirium) "The pre-game ceremony - no excuse there, We’re going to have to play a lot better basketball and we’re going to have to forge an identity with this team. It’s a different team. That’s work. And it’s going to take honesty and it’s not going to be easy."
(On the start of the Game) "The early turnovers were the biggest problems to start the game. We had some shots that didn’t go down, but the early catastrophic turnovers that are unguardable, where they go down and lay it in or dunk it, those are the ones that kill you."
(On Odom) "We’ve got to work him into things. He’s going to be playing more positions for us than he probably played for the Lakers. I see him being able to make the transition quickly because he’s a smart player and he’s a skilled player. You can tell how much he wants to be a part of it and how much he wants to be a positive part of things."
(On Haywood) "I think it's important to point this out and to be very clear about it: Brendan Haywood is not Tyson Chandler, He's a different kind of player. And you're not going to see the same kinds of things out there as you did with Tyson. Brendan is effective for us. In the first half, he was one of our more effective players from a plus-minus standpoint by being on the floor and he was doing some good things."
(On Carter) "I like the way Vince played. I've still got to look at the film, obviously, but Vince is going to be a good player for us. He's an eight-time All-Star and he's a Hall-of-Fame player, and he's got plenty left. It's just we need to examine what's going to work best for us in terms of putting us in the best possible position defensively at the beginning of games, etc., etc. It's something I'll have to look at. Game to game, we could have some variance with our lineup at the 2-spot, which is nothing new around here. I'd obviously like to get to something consistent where the guys are comfortable, but right now is not a time a time to be talking about being comfortable with everybody coming at us the way they're going to."
(On Denver next) "Denver is going to come in here with a shot at the champs. It’s a situation where we’ve got to work to make quantum leaps as often and as quickly as we can as a team."
(On the game) "We just weren’t sharp in really any category, and you can’t win a game like that, especially against a hungry, athletic, great team with great players. So, we just weren’t sharp enough on both ends of the floor. Just not good enough to win."
(On Work) "We got our work cut out for us. We got to get sharper on the plays, we got to get sharper defensively. We got to get the calls quicker and react quicker, so we got some work to do."
(On the Mavs) "We’ve just got to play better. This was just the first game and it was a nice day for us and our fans with the banner, but now we’ve got to get over this. And we’ve got to figure this thing out pretty quickly, because the games are gonna keep coming. Tomorrow, we’re gonna play a hungry, young, athletic team and they’re gonna be ready like everyone is playing the champs. So, we’ve gotta be ready."
(On Championships) "Once you win it all, that's such a great feeling. I've got three more years on my contract, and we would love to win all three years in a row and have the same feeling. Once you get a sniff of us winning it all, I think it's tough to lose again. We would love to work our way up to the playoffs and peak there again and give it our best shot. Nike."
(On Broken Pinky) "It’s hurting, too. I got hit in the third quarter, but I’m all right, I’m a soldier. It was a defensive play. I think it was right before a three-point play. It is what it is."
(On his game) "My personal expectations is to go in there and help this team win, try to be a force in the paint offensively and defensively. Obviously, that wasn’t the case tonight. You can’t worry about what anybody else is saying or trying to prove anything to anybody else, You’re trying to help your team. It’s about the guys in this locker room. It’s not about the outside world."
(On the ejection, frustrating?) "Usually after 13 years, a couple of rings, seeing my face, now I'm playing with the champs, you usually get a warning or something like that. Of course I was frustrated. I mean, I got thrown out the game. The second one was probably necessary and the first one was a surprise, to be honest with you. Being that this is a person that I seen before, had conversations with before, I was kind of shocked by the first one. I thought LeBron James slid in kind of late, the ball was out of my hands. They were up 30. You kind of just let them play."
(On the Loss) "We’ve got to get better and it will take a little time to get better, even though the start of the season is going to be a sprint. It’s still a long season with 65 to go. We’ve got another one tomorrow, so we’ll chalk this one up as a loss and get ready for Denver.""
(Was your benching Coaches or Health's decision?) "I don't know, that's what he said. We're a new team, that has to kind of learn each other on the fly, that's just the way it goes. There's a lot of teams that have the bulk of their guys returning. We don't. There's six guys missing from last year and added six more guys. So it's going to be a process and we need to learn on the fly. I think we understand that."
(On the Mavs oncourt chemistry) "It's going to take time. We just have to go out there and play. We're a veteran team that's very capable. The best is yet to come."
(On the Mavs) "This looked like us in October. We have to speed things up and understand how important it is to get back on defense and not turn the ball over."
(On the Roster turnover Impact) "Chemistry is big. We've got a lot of different pieces out there. We're going to work everybody in, and everybody is going to get used to one another. It's going to take time. For the guys who have been here, we've got to do a little bit more.''
(On the game) "Tonight, obviously, we didn’t get off to the start we wanted. You can’t give up 30 points in the first quarter, let alone three consecutive quarters. As you see in the fourth quarter, we gave up eight. So, that’s more like Mavericks basketball, but you’ve gotta do it for 48 minutes."
(On boards)"Once we get stops we have to rebound the basketball. So, it’s something we have to keep working on and get better at.
(On the Mavs) "You gotta throw this one out. Today was a struggle, for whatever reason, but I like our pieces. I think we're loaded talent-wise."
(On Revenge) "It’s not about last year’s storyline. It’s not about anything else other than trying to establish our season on the right note, and obviously I think we did that for the most part. It was a good, business professional win for us tonight to get this thing started. We understand this is going to be a wild journey for everybody with all the condensed games coming one after another, and all we wanted to focus on tonight was our mindset to come in and focus on tonight.’’
(On high Pace) "I think that’s a great storyline but that’s not necessarily how we played tonight. We used a lot of different things offensively to be aggressive, and that’s certainly one of them, but we have to be able to play different styles and different ways to be able to hurt you and we feel we have enough versatility and the depth to be able to do that. At times we’re able to really be aggressive in the open court, and other times we’re able to execute in the half court. And that’s what will be needed, particularly against the real tough defensive teams."
(On the Game) "We tried to play aggressive. We're a focused team. We had a great training camp. We came in with the same mindset we had at practice, use our speed and play with mental focus."
(On the Finals flop) "You can never let it go all the way. I beat myself up about a lot of stuff. I didn't talk to nobody or say nothing to anybody for three weeks, just moped around and let it sink all in until it's time to refocus. But I was glad I was able to get back up out of it and get back to work.""
(On celebrations/motivations) "Celebration or not, we had a game plan and implemented it. We came out and played a good game. They didn't."
(Ok, now, seriously. The Celebrations! Clearly you heard it?!) "Yes, we heard it. But at the end of the day they are the champions and they deserve it. We just came back to the locker room and stretched and got ready for when it was time to get back on the court.
(On statement win) "We came out and played this game. We’re 1-0 and they’re 0-1, and I’m sure they’re going to be a very good team, and so are we.’’
(On Miami) "It’s different from last year and we’re a little more together and more comfortable. This is step one, and we did a good job today.’’"
(On James) "That's the way we'd love to see him all year, just being on attack at all times."
(On James now vs Finals) "All I can go off is Game 1 of the season. He was very aggressive and not necessarily concerned with what anyone is saying about him. He's gonna have to do it all year. He's one of the most scrutinized players that has ever played in any sport. It's his job not to worry about it and it's his job to go out there be one of the most talented players to ever to play this game."
Locker (via d210)
MMB Rottcap #1 Give up
You'll be saddened to know I missed the majority of the third quarter waiting in line for bad nachos.
Peninsula is Mightier -
A little slow.
ESPN Steiny-mo: Identiy-swap
"I was expecting some dramatic moment," Heat newcomer Shane Battier joked, toying with the media crowd around him. "I was expecting a dark cloud to descend over the hall. But there were no rah-rah speeches. Nothing like that. "Anticlimactic is the word I'm looking for. Sorry, guys."
It wasn't the afternoon's lone letdown, either.
Caplan: Not as bad as it looks
Even before the game and the banner, owner Mark Cuban might have even seen this one coming.
"This is going to be the definition of a season where it doesn't really matter how you start," Cuban said. "It's how you finish.".
Heat Index Calm as a..
If the Mavericks’ banner ceremony was supposed to create some sort of emotional reaction from James or his teammates, it didn’t. The Heat didn’t watch and apparently weren’t too interested in the proceedings. After the game, James referenced the Mavericks getting their rings, which they did not get.
"We wanted to try to be businesslike," James said flatly. "We’ve had a great training camp, even though it was short, and we want to implement what we’ve been focusing on."
The Mavericks didn’t just look discombobulated, they looked disinterested. They were completely overwhelmed on both sides of the ball. It was about as bad a performance as the Heat’s was good. They allowed the Heat to collect 40 percent of their offensive rebounds. It was a disaster.
For the Heat, this game is the standard for them, the late give-up notwithstanding. This is the energy, focus, and execution they need to play with if they want to play at their potential.
For the Mavericks, best to forget this game ever happened and move on.
While Dallas struggles, they’ll be particularly vulnerable to zone defensive looks. The Heat toyed with that strategy at various points in their Christmas Day blowout, and it just crushed any semblance of spacing Dallas had been able to create. In theory, the Mavs ball movement and high post presence would be able to counter zones fairly well, but the lack of fluidity and struggles on the offensive glass make things particularly difficult for Dallas against space-oriented defenses.
Haywood bricked none from the line. Also took none in 14 minutes of falling behind. So far he is sporting a perfect brickrate of 100%. Celebration for our
thirdbest Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
On the other Hand, Dirk missed one of ten FTs. Can't win that way.
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes. Also, inserting text was a major Pita today. TY, software.