What the Oklahoma City Thunder saidand the
after Game Six of the Perfect Season.
(On the Mavs)"I feel like we’re going to be able to play with anybody, ultimately. We’ve got work to do, it’s obvious. We’re gaining a little momentum, but we were gaining momentum last week and then laid an egg last night in Minnesota. We’ve got to continue the right way and maintain the proper focus, and that’s challenging."
(On the Game) "We had a lot of guys play well. We needed everybody tonight. Oklahoma City is a very potent team offensively and they’re very good defensively. We’re still looking at some different things, but we’re making some gradual progress. Our execution of plays when we do call plays is something that’s got to get better. We’re going to continue to work on that."
(On Carter posting up) "At shooting guard he’s a problem for the defense because of his size. We want him to be aggressive. The guy has been amazing weapon in this league for a long time."
(On Lamar Odom) "Best [effort] yet. He’s going to continue to improve, or else."
(On when Mavs Fans might see the Chairman) "Time will determine that. It's going to take him awhile to get used to what we're doing. He may spend some time in the D-League initially. And so, I can't give an accurate answer right now as far as when exactly he's going to be up and on the roster."
(On the bench) "They’re going to be a big key this year, especially in a season that is shortened. If Vince and Lamar play well off the bench, I think it helps me and Jet score. We get easier looks. If we attack from a lot of angles, I think we're a tough team to beat. I've always said this team has a lot of potential, a lot of scorers, a lot of veterans who know how to play. We've just got some work to do. I think we can be a very dangerous team."
(On Carter posting up) "He's a very good post player for his size and when he plays at the 2 he's going to have a lot of mismatches."
(On Mahinmi) "I think Ian has been playing phenomenal the last three games."
(On the Mavs) "This team is set up to get better month-by-month. We should have a good team in March and April. Saying that, we've still got to find ways to win.
(On reaching 8000 FGs) "That is great, but more important for us is to win some games. I think week-by-week we are going to get better, but we can't dig ourselves too deep of a hole right now, so wins are more important right now."
(No, really, EIGHT THOUSAND FIELD GOALS!!) "That's a lot of jump shots, probably two layups out of 8,000."
(On himself) "I've still got work to do, like everyone else. My wind is coming back and my legs are getting stronger."
(On meeting President Obama next Monday) "It’s a huge honor. We didn’t know if it was going to happen or not. It’s very exciting. We deserve it. It’s going to be a great experience. I heard he’s a pretty decent basketball player, so I’m going to ask about his game."
(On the Game) "We had a chance to redeem ourselves, and we got a big win."
(On the Age Difference to OKC) "For us, our experience, that's all we can really fall back on. When you look at the age it's different. We're a little bit older than those guys, but I think just the experience of seeing just about everything. It goes back to the game we had up there; we were down, but we found a way to take the lead. Right now, that's probably the slight advantage that we do have. But they're going to get better."
(On the Centers) "They’ve been probably the only two consistent guys for us. Mahinmi has probably been the best player in this locker room, and he’s going to keep getting better."
(On throwing lob passes to Brendan Haywood) "He’s the big tight end. I trust him, that’s why I threw it."
(On Lamar Odom) "You would love to have him start out with a bang. It’s going to take time."
(On winning a FOGAFINI) "It's big. I mean, this is something we're going to look at the tape tomorrow and build on because this is four games in five nights and most of the time with this shortened season these games are the throwaway games, you have every excuse to say, 'Hey, we're tired,' but mentally and physically we were here tonight, and that's what we have to do from here on out."
(On meeting President Obama on Jan, 9th) "It’s going to be a great honor to meet the chief. We know he’s going to get the benefit of the calls and he has homecourt advantage, so we’ll just try to keep it close."
(On OKC) "If you don’t bring your best game against OKC, they’ll run you out of the gym."
(On his mindset off the Bench) "I’m trying to be aggressive out there on both ends."
(On the Mavs) "Every game is one step at a time. It’s a work in progress."
(On adapting offensively) "You’ve just gotta find where in the offense you can be effective. And I think just patience. We have a lot of guys that are willing passers on this team. So, it’s fun."
(On the Mavs) "We’re very capable. We know that. It’s just gonna take a little time. A lot of guys are having to learn on the floor from each other and want to play well. Sometimes it’s tough, because you try so hard to fit in. You just have to find your spots. And I think now we’re starting to understand how each individual plays, how we can play as a team and how your role fits in the offense."
(On the Suns next) "I think each game we play is important, ’cause we know every team is coming out wanting to beat this team. I’m just glad to see us come out and really persevere and really play well tonight. We finally put it all together."
(On meeting President Obama) "He loves the Tar Heels, so that’s why he’s alright with me."
(On the Loss) "Losing one game out of six isn't the end of the world. They played better than us throughout. It wasn't our night. They shot better than us. And we missed shots we normally make. There is nothing to be ashamed of losing in this league if you play hard and we played hard. They’re a good team. They’re the defending champs. I know they haven’t had the start they wanted, but they’re a good team. You knew sooner or later Dallas was going to play good basketball. They have too many good players and they’re well coached."
(On OKC) "We played too much one-on-one. We've been working on that throughout the year, and we've done a good job moving the basketball. When the outside shot is not falling, we usually get to the basket and get to the free throw line more. That wasn't the case tonight. But their hearts were in the right place. We just didn't play well."
(On SmallBall) "I just tried to get a spark because we didn’t have much going offensively when we got down 15."
(On the Mavs) "I thought they played much better than us throughout the game. We were fighting and competing, but it wasn’t our night. I thought that second quarter, when they scored 34 points, that was the difference."
(On who's better) "Dallas was a better team than us last year, they proved that in the playoffs. We would like to close that gap. We feel that we've gotten better, but we still have things to work on and areas to get better at. They match up well against everybody. You have one of the smartest point guards in the league and you have Dirk making the shots he makes -- he commands double-teams -- and he's a great passer now and they have good shooters around him."
(On the Loss) "We didn't have any energy from the beginning. We need energy. It changes the whole game. We need to play with more effort. Everybody looks to me so I've got to start the game better. I got to be better on both ends."
(On his right foot) "It’s just sore. Tonight it kept me out of being able to play. Hopefully it’ll feel better soon. I’m going to ice it all day and see how it feels."
Locker Voices (via d210tv) starts around 2 min mark
Lamar (d210tv, too)
Thunder Locker | notmuchelseyet
MMB | Bowecap Hello there
Jason Kidd, future Hall of Famer, second all-time in assits in NBA history and league-leader in "0-for-1 shooting, zero point" quality games.
I have no doubt that the Mavs will eventually put it together. The only real question is when, and how much it will hurt their playoff position. The talent is there, but the team needs time to develop roles for its new players. And no, having a starting lineup that only consists of one reliable scorer isn't helping matters.
But that isn't really relevant today. Why? Because the Mavericks, despite all of their flaws, are still the Thunder's anti-thesis. Dirk Nowitzki is the guy Ibaka can't guard, because he's almost never blocked and can shoot the lights out. The Thunder still can't defend against a team that can rotate it around for quick threes or do excellent backdoor cuts. But, most of all, it's because the Thunder have been turnover machines lately, and Jason Kidd makes an absurd amount of steals against them.
Thus, I'm predicting the Thunder's first loss tonight. It's not easy to do, and I know the Mavericks aren't exactly on a roll. But at home against a fierce rival is an excellent place to prove themselves, especially when they show themselves to be a clearly superior team (barring KD's miracles).
Oklahoma City's major problem was a lack of rebounds. Perkins, Ibaka, and Collison were all in foul trouble, forcing the Thunder to play small in the second. This allowed the Mavericks a few more opportunities, and didn't give the Thunder the steals they needed.
Strategically, Dallas was more diabolical than they've ever been. Rick Carlisle generally runs really simple plays, and that held true tonight. Other than the dumps to Dirk on the wing, Carlisle is really fond of the backdoor play, whether that be through a wing player running the baseline or a post player freed of his defender. Carlisle spent so much time pounding it on either side of the post that he actually got the Thunder bigs afraid to provide help defense due to foul trouble. This basically kills the Thunder's main defensive strength, and allowed Mavs guards to drive the lane with ease.
Dailythunder.com Bench sucketh
The dream is over. No 66-0. Beating the Mavs in Dallas is a challenge especially with Thursday’s buzzer-beater fresh on their minds, but Dallas played a night before and OKC was well rested. You can’t win every game, but it was disappointing to see the Thunder play this flat and at times, unfocused. They battled to the finish line, getting the Mavs’ lead down to eight with possession but failed to get a good shot and couldn’t get stops on the other end. It happens. The Thunder lost on the road to a good team. Back to work tomorrow.
Shawn Marion clanged his fair share of runners, but he also finished with 17 points and did a fantastic job of beating Durant to his spots. KD is as tough a cover as there is in the NBA, but Marion held his ground and forced Durant to compromise his. It’s always odd to say that a player should be credited with game-changing defense when his assignment hit for 27 on 21 shots, but such is life when playing against one of the best scorers — nay, best players — in the league.
Long Jumpers (16-23 ft) were a rarity, DAL 2-10, OKC 2-11
Thunderrumblings from Game
I wrote this last year, but I love how Dallas coach Rick Carlisle subs Dirk Nowitzki. He comes out around the four-minute mark of the first and third quarters and comes back in with a minute and a half to two minutes left in those quarters. It might be a good way for Scott Brooks to use Durant. It could limit Durant’s minutes but also keep him on the court during critical stretches. One more thing. It would put Durant in with the second unit at the start of the second quarter, which is one way of starting Harden without worrying about scoring off the bench.
Haywood bricked none of none from the line. So far he is sporting a still solid brickrate of 54,5%. Celebration for our
thirdbest Center, Beaches! [nsfw]
On the other Hand, Dirk missed one FTs. Yup, still not in full Form.
Outrebounded? Nope, 41-41
Shocker of the Night: DAL 56-42 OKC in Points in the Paint
Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell by now, all italic sentences are made up thoughts, not actual quotes.