DALLAS -- The Mavericks opened at home this season with a loss that dropped them to 2-2. Dallas hung around for most of four quarters, but a 20-5 run from the Raptors to close the game sealed it for the Mavericks. Parsons' absence in the second half clearly hurt, as he continues to work on a minutes restriction. The team also just needs time to come together, which several players were asked about after the game.
On the Mavs' lack of rhythm
"We had some opportunities but it wasn't a very rhythmic game to start with. They made it more their type of game, physical, grinding and a lot of physical contact. They turned it into a boxing match and we needed it to be a basketball game. We need to be a little tougher on both ends, we need to get more stops, obviously, and then we have to get the ball in the hole. I thought we started the game loose. We made some loose plays in the first quarter and it reflected in the score. We gave up 31 points in the first quarter. 25 points (in the first) is not bad to score in this league, but giving up 31 points at home, in your home opener -- that's just not good enough."
On being outscored in the paint
"We need to make some more shots. We had an abundance of paint attacks but they are good at going vertical and they do a good job protecting the rim. They have good length and Valanciunas and Biyombo do a good job. Their bigs and even their small guys do a good job going vertical, so we're just going to have to make some better plays. We will get more leverage if we get more stops on defense."
On Dirk's high minutes total
"His average for the last four games has been well under 30 minutes. I am sure he is going to have some nights when he plays more than we want him to play. The game just got to where we couldn't get him out a couple of times. I actually took a timeout one time to get him out. Sometimes the whistle just doesn't blow, but four or five minutes more than what we wanted him to play tonight was because we were not playing well enough."
On Dirk's low shot attempts
"They were hanging all over him, pretty much. He had some looks in the second half he missed. I haven't looked at the game film so I can't give you an overall, a definitive answer, but I think our overall game just has to tighten up. 16 turnovers is a bad number, a losing number against a team like this. We've been down in the 10, 11 range in our first three games. We've got work to do."
On playing together
"We have great chemistry but we haven't had a whole lot of time in the crunch. We'll get better as a team. We're throwing some lineups out there that haven't played together but it's something we'll figure out."
On offensive struggles down the stretch
"I thought we had some good looks. Our goal in the fourth quarter is to keep the ball hopping, not all of a sudden call a ton of plays and slow the game down, we still want to play the way we play, get the ball up quick, share the ball."
On Parsons playing only one half
"We knew beforehand he was only playing one hand, so that's about it."
On Parsons potentially playing just the second half
"I don't make those decisions. I'm here to play and win the game."
On only getting up 10 shots in 35 minutes
"We keep moving the ball and they didn't leave me much in the second half. We didn't call many plays out there, it was mostly free flowing, and we as smart players take what was given to us. They did a better job showing on pick-and-rolls and they didn't find themselves open very much."
On the feeling of playing in front of a Dallas home crowd
"It would feel better with a win. These next two are must wins. We've gotta attack it with that mindset starting tomorrow at practice."
On getting Dirk more shots
"Yeah, we're going to look at the film tomorrow and see where we could improve, like always. When you can get Dirk the ball, you want to. (He's a) Hall of Famer. Obviously he's a bucket getter over here. So we'll look at it and see what we could do better, but mainly we want to get better defensively."
On getting continuity despite injuries
"There's no questions this is an uphill battle for us right now. I think we're doing a good job with it. This isn't going to be easy. We've got to remind ourselves of that from time to time. Had we been healthy, we'd probably have more sets in, we'd probably have more specific plays for specific people. The Lakers game was the first time the starters all played together. It's hard to do anything other than continuity and movement."
"I think the difference is that's just a team that's been playing together, they know what to expect. We're still trying to figure things out and it showed tonight. We can get away with it against the Lakers and the Suns, but this is a different level of team. They just did a great job of exposing some of that."
"We're all trying to get acclimated and figure out where shots are coming, what guys like to do, what our tendencies are. Defensively, we had a lot of breakdowns tonight. We didn't look as assertive as we did in other games."
On getting Dirk more shots
"When he's going like that, we gotta find ways. It's knowing the right plays to run, and when we're in our flow, like coach likes to call it when we're just playing basketball, we can still play basketball and know the hot hand."
On his knee
"It felt good, my knee felt fine. I got to go there early, the more I play the more comfortable I'll be. It's just going to be frustrating how long they have me on the restriction. Watching the second half, these close games, where I could be in there helping. It's just the most frustrating point. Just sitting there helpless, watching my team struggling in the fourth quarters, I feel like I should be out there and I want to be out there so bad. That's going to be the toughest part for me, to be patient, and understand it's what's best and find a way to adjust to that. It's brutal."
On how he'd prefer to play his limited minutes
"I'd almost rather play the second half, to be honest. Close the game. But a team develops their rhythm in the first half and you can't just throw a guy out there in the second half and change it on them. Yeah, I mean, it's difficult. I've never been in this situation before. I also don't just want to play four minutes every quarter and not be able to do anything and get a rhythm and get going. I gotta find a way to be playing in the fourth quarter."