What the New Orleans Hornets saidand the
after Game Seventeen of the Perfect Season.
Coach Rick Carlisle
(Pregame) "We're going to shut Dirk down for four games, from game activity. At this point, we feel he needs an uninterrupted eight days of work to resolve some physical issues and some conditioning issues. This is the decision of athletic trainer Casey Smith and me. If it were up to Dirk, he would play. But right now, we feel the right thing is to take this time, get some things resolved and hopefully by next Sunday, he'll be feeling a lot better and ready to go."
(So does Dirk get a paid Vacation?) "This is not a rest situation. Quite the opposite. He'll go through harder workouts this week than he would have if we were having practice days and in some cases, he'll go multiple times. It's where we're at."
(How he liked that?) "He had no choice. There was no negotiating on that one. The important thing to realize is this is not a rest week, this is a work week. We’re going to get some of these minor issues resolved and we’ve got to get him back to where he needs to be.’’
(Were you guys poopin' your pants at the thought of Dirk's Knee condition worsening by playing?) "This is something we have to do right now and I’d rather just leave it at that. At this point it’s pretty obvious that we need to take this period of time and he’s got to work hard, and he will.’’
(How related is that to Evil Knievil?) "It's knee related, it's conditioning related, yeah. Unresolved physical issues covers the knee and conditioning and whatever else.''
(Postgame : on playing without Dirk Nowitzki) "Look, we’re down a couple of key guys. We’re down Nowitzki, we’re down Vince Carter. Those are two guys that have been great players in this league. So, we’re gonna have to pick it up collectively, and it’s gonna come down to how we compete. It doesn’t fall on just one guy. Everyone’s gonna have to do their job and do it well. We’re gonna have to get it from everywhere."
(On the Mavs) "We had to get plenty of minutes from a lot of guys, we needed tough play from top to bottom, I think we played 10 guys tonight, we actually played 11 and all of them were a factor in the game.
(On the Hornets) The one thing about this team, and it’s why Monty is a great young coach, is these guys compete all the time. They run some of the best offensive stuff I’ve seen, and it’s very hard to guard. And so you’ve got to play. If you don’t play, they’re going to kick you in the butt.
(On getting a win on the road in New Orleans) "This is a great win for us, this has been a very tough place for us to get a win, we hadn’t won here since I got here and even a time before that. One of the reasons it’s hard to win here is because these guys compete hard, but I’m proud of our team after the first two loses on this trip, we really gutted two games out. That's not easy to do."
(On Marion) "Right now Shawn, he’s our best player. He’s been in this position before, he knows what it’s about, he likes the responsibility and he came up big for us in two big areas – scoring and rebounding.’’
(On Top Dogs sans Dirk) "Marion and Jet (Jason Terry) are going to be our two main guys. And then we’re going to have to get even contributions from a lot of other guys.’’
(On Odom) "I liked the way Lamar played. We're a running team and with him starting and getting more minutes, this is an opportunity for him to get in the habit of running and to raise his level of conditioning. The only reason he didn't finish the game is he was dead tired, but he did a lot of good things. He made some timely plays, and this week is a big week for him. A lot of what we’re doing is just out of flow, and the ball found him two or three times and he made important plays for us. Our best game is playing out of that dimension and he’s getting a better feel for how to play with our guys, and tonight was a good indication of that. He had 16 points and those points were all important points for us.’’
(On the week ahead) "It will be good to go home, because it’s been a long trip. But we know going home doesn’t guarantee anything. We’re gonna have to stay at a high level. We’ve got dangerous teams coming in all week and they’re games we’ve gotta win."
(On getting the news) "I wasn't thrilled at the beginning. They wanted to send me to Frisco, too [Laughs all around]. We talked about it yesterday in the meeting and I just thought it was a good decision for everybody. I think I'm not helping right now anyway and the guys are better off if I'm not out there, so it just gives me time to really do some of the stuff that I couldn't be doing. My knee was bothering me the last couple of weeks. I couldn't lift or run and do the stuff I needed to do because my knee was swollen most of the time. So this week my knee feels better and this actually gives me some time to lift and really get back where I should be, and I look forward to coming back."
(They should've never gave you ****** money, let alone play in the Euros) "Playing in the Euros, looking back now was obviously not the right decision, but it was a decision I made for my country. But it definitely didn't help me get ready for the season. So I started working out basically late November, then I had a good three weeks or a month for five, six games a week, so it wasn't cutting it. I consider this week here, for me, as another week of training camp where I can use it and get better. Got a little fire back; a lot of guys say I'm done. I obviously read the stuff. Hopefully, I'll be back soon. You saw it. I couldn't go by anybody off the dribble and that's part of my game. Right now i'm just basically a pop-up shooter every time I caught it, and if I didn't have a shot I had to swing it because I just couldn't make a move, couldn't go by anybody and just didn't feel comfortable. So that’s something I have to work on this week, again, is putting the ball on the floor and really getting confidence in my leg strength and getting that back and then I’ll be back to my old self."
(So, when does your daily Brendan Haywood start?) "I already worked out this morning. I’m going to work hard this week. The knee definitely feels better than it did two or three weeks ago, but by me continuously playing on it I guess it wasn’t getting better quick enough, so it’s better for me to take this week and really work hard and lift every other day and really get my leg strength. I’m looking forward to it."
(On playing without Dirk Nowitzki) "We’ve gone through this last year when we lost him for nine games. We felt like we have a lot of talent here, and we feel like our depth is one of our keys. Everybody just has to step up."
(On Odom) "I thought Odom was great. Down the stretch, we went to him and Marion and they responded."
(On starting) "This was a game we just wanted to get. Y'know, my body was betraying me a little bit, it was off and on, off and on, off and on. I've felt better before, but once i heard [of the Losing Streak] i kinda just wanted to gut it through and do whatever i had to do to win tonight."
(On comfort Level) "I'm becoming a lot more comfortable offensively, i'm just trying to learn the schemes, offensively and defensively, find out where imma find my shots and trying to play off guys.[...] I wanna learn within the system, coz i think that'll help us down the road."
(On his thoughts on the finish) "I thought down the stretch we didn’t execute well. A couple of times the ball just went somewhere or we fell down. Whatever the case may be, it was poor execution down the stretch. This is another game where we had our chances and we couldn’t make free throws. We had open looks tonight and I don’t know what our three point percentage was, but it was poor. It’s one of those things where you have to keep plugging away. That’s all you have until this changes. Our defense is holding teams in the 80’s, which is what we like to do. Now our guys have to go out there and have some fun and score the ball and trust the offense a bit. Even with that, we got good shots out of our offense, we just didn’t make them."
(On the inability to score the three hampering overall offensive performance) "Well, what it does, is when you miss that many threes you usually have a long rebound and they get out in transition. So, when we miss they are taking off and getting easy buckets and our defense isn’t balanced. It does mess with your overall offense. There are times when you are not making that three point shot, you should take a dribble inside and try to find something else, especially when you are in the bonus. I think we got into the bonus nine minutes into the fourth quarter. That being said, we missed a bunch of free throws. You can’t point it at one particular thing. You point the finger at us as a team. We have to get back in the gym and keep working on it."
(On the great effort but still coming up with the loss) "I just think they (Mavericks) hit timely baskets. And those baskets were the ones that they were able to extend the lead in the third quarter. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but neither did they, but they made it at times where they were able to extend leads. We had to claw our way back in the second half, and we expended so much energy that we came up short."
(Real talk, Son) "We came out very lazy in the third quarter, they got out to a quick jump, and then we had to fight back again. We did that. We’re used to doing that. In the fourth quarter we have to figure out ways to execute our plays and get quality shots and not make the mistakes we’ve been making
(On the chance to win the game) "Yeah, we had a chance. A play here and there, it’s pretty much the same story. We were right there and then a turnover happens and then a miss, rebound or something. We’re just not closing games out the way we know we can. That’s the story of our season so far."
(On the quick start for the Mavericks in the third quarter) "We came out lazy in the third quarter. They got out to a quick jump, then we had to fight back again and we did that. In the 4th quarter we have to figure out a way to execute our plays and get quality shots and not make the mistakes we’ve been making."
"So What? Break his fingernail!"
"WooH. My Himi!"
NBA.com Monty Presser |
MMB | Bowecap MOVE
With Dirk and Carter missing in action, and fans everywhere kind of wishing Jason Terry (14 for his last 53) and Jason Kidd (4 for his 19, including 1-15 from three) could find some way to be missing in action or else learn why their jumpshots are, you wouldn’t have laid bets against the Mavs beating any opponent, even that mutant team Professor Farnsworth comes up with in Futurama AFTER their best player exploded.
But they did, and once again, the defense is the reason why. And, once again, it is hard to say exactly how. Granted the Hornet’s 28 in the 4th had a lot to do with their 17 free throws in the frame, but surely that’s part of being a good defense.
The Hornets continued their confounding habit of not being able to win close games and dropped a winnable one to the defending champs 83-81. I'm gonna keep this short because I'm tired and I didn't watch this game with intentions of recapping tonight (read: I drank a few beers and yelled at the refs.)
Summers had a dunk attempt absolutely erased by Yi Jianlian. I know this sounds like the most unlikely sequence in the world, but it was vicious.
One baffling aspect of a forgettable January has been that New Orleans instead is competitive in virtually every game. The Hornets seemed to have a reasonable chance at victory in every fourth quarter this week, but the bottom-line result was losses to Portland, Memphis, Houston and Dallas. Many NBA analysts measure teams' true ability by point differential – how many points a team averages minus how many it allows. Illogically, the Hornets have actually improved their average scoring margin this week, because they lost by 7, 6, 2 and 2 points, respectively. Entering Saturday’s game vs. Dallas, they were minus-4.9 points per game. Some of the Hornets’ inability to secure victories in crunch time can be attributed to having so many new players, along with the fact that they’re one of the least-experienced teams in the league.
Hornets247 Struggle tough
The Hornets hung tough despite struggling on offense in the first. They did it behind their solid defense, limiting Dallas to only 40 percent shooting. The Okafor-led squad entered halftime tied at 41, but in the third the Mavs found a number of easy baskets inside, and the Hornets remained cold offensively, at one point scoring only four points in a stretch of 16 offensive possessions.
2MG's Difference (had it really easy the last few games, never more than 3 bulletpoints)
Odom’s opportunities for playing time and production won’t be any more ripe than those he’ll see in the coming week; Dallas will need his scoring pretty badly while JET continues to struggle from the field, and thus Rick Carlisle may be more willing to allow Odom to play through his mistakes in the hopes of later seeing glimpses of the old Odom. We saw plenty of said mistakes on Saturday night, as Odom put on an absurd, one-man showcase of jump passes and curious decisions. Crossovers and fakes in isolation before throwing a cross-court pass to Shawn Marion? Managing five three-point attempts against a slew of opponents who have no hope of stopping him off the dribble or in the post? Odom’s judgment with the ball still isn’t where it needs to be, but it’s a credit to his talent and effort that he was able to contribute 16 points and four boards in 26 minutes of action nonetheless. The space cadet performances are part and parcel with Odom, but hopefully he can manage a more level game on Monday night.
Whoa Boy! 18-22 at the Rim for Dallas. 43 Bricks elsewhere
Brendan bricked none of nil from the line. Scouting Report, anyone?
On the other Hand, Dirk Replacement Lamar missed 3 of 6. Clearly, he's prepared to play some 5 now
Outrebounded? Nope, 48-41 Keep it up
32 FG, 17 Assists for the Mavs. Could be higher.
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes.