Jameer Nelson yelled something across the room, interrupting Tyson Chandler while he was talking to the media -- and then Nelson did it again, just to make sure Chandler knew it was on purpose. "You gonna come over here and grab a mic?" he answered back. Minutes later, Dirk was singing in the shower and you could hear it from the locker room. When he finally came out, he laughed about getting blocked on a 3-pointer then a dunk on the same play.
The Mavericks locker room was in high spirits Monday night, and who could blame them?
The preseason is quickly drawing to a close -- "before you know it, we will be heading down to San Antonio," Rick Carlisle said -- and the team is starting to take shape, one way or another.
The starting lineup is getting comfortable
Rick Carlisle: "So far, things are going the right way."
Tyson Chandler: "When we get the ball movement, we're a dangerous team because all five guys are clicking out there. We're still learning, we're still trying to figure out each other, but it can definitely be explosive offensively."
Nelson: "We've got a lot of offensive weapons and a lot of guys who can be successful in the offense because of their roles. Coach does a great job of just letting us play and do things that we do as individuals, and collectively as well."
Dirk Nowitzki: "I think offensively we'll be fine ... we got a lot of guys who can shoot."
Jameer Nelson: "We have a lot of offense so the defense is going to be key for us."
Nowitzki: "We've got to get better defensively. Some of the calls, some of the pick and roll stuff. That's where that crew is going to be challenged each night, defensively and rebounding. I think we can score with the best of them."
What can Al-Farouq Aminu bring to the team?
Carlisle: "What do I like? What don't I like? He's rebounding, he's active, the shooting is improving. Defensively, he's one of our better guys. He has a tenacity going after the ball. He's a multi-position player, and he can probably defend four positions. He's an important guy in this equation."
Nowitzki: "He's a great find. Especially, he's signed for the minimum, he's a hell of a find."
Carlisle: "With Aminu, Jefferson, Parsons, Crowder, those guys all play two positions, the three and four. There's a lot of possibilities. I'm still getting to know Aminu's game, so seeing him out there with different people is an important thing."
Nowitzki: "He's a great all around weapon on the defensive end. He brings some of the stuff that [Marion] gave us."
Chandler: "I love it, I love what he brings to the table. He's all over the place defensively. He can guard one through four defensively. It seems like he's always got a knack for the ball."
Aminu: "Sometimes it's not the funnest guarding the four, but I really want to become a great defensive player and it's a part of my game that I really feel I can flourish at and I've just been taking an effort to improve in that area."
Chandler: "He's one of those guys, you're not going to see a lot of what he does on a stat sheet, but he definitely impacts a game while he's out there."
What still needs to be done?
Carlisle: "We have a quick week here because it's busy and there is a lot going on and we have a back to back. Then there will be an off day and before you know it, we'll be heading down to San Antonio. We have to make the best of the time. We have veterans out there, so it is an easier process for those guys to get to know one another and we kept things very simple. We have to just keep things moving in the right direction and keep working to bring our conditioning and all of that to where it needs to be."
Dirk, on the three guard lineup: "I didn't see that coming, but we've been successful with multiple ball handlers throughout the years. Even when Jason Kidd was here, we had him at the 3 some."
Dirk, on getting blocked by Vince Carter: "I got blocked today in the corner on the 3, I didn't Tony Allen would actually get there. Then I tried to dunk it, and I got blocked on that, too, so that was a nice little sequence for me. I told [Vince] I thought it was a flagrant 2, the refs must have missed it. No, it was a hell of a play. It was so quick, I didn't even know he was under there, I figured, 'wide open lane, might as well try to get one in.' But that wasn't happening so much."