After the game was over, after the Mavericks had lost by 26 points and after they had set an ugly franchise record with their 36-point deficit at halftime, after they had scored a season-low 26 points in the first half, we joked if the Mavericks would have been better off firing shots from half court game. Or maybe Charlie Villanueva should have just taken every shot. That's how bad of a beatdown it was.
Dallas' locker room, obviously, was somber and quiet. Here's what the audibly embarrassed Mavericks said about the loss.
On tonight's loss: "We played very poorly in the first half and they played great. Obviously we didn't come out with enough force. The majority of the blame should go on me for not getting these guys ready to go. We had a crowd that was ready to get into it but we didn't respond well at the beginning. The second half was better but at that point you are fighting out of such a big hole it is very difficult."
On the gap between the Mavs and Spurs: "We had a bad night but we are going to have to flush it and get ready for tomorrow. That is about all I can tell you. As far as the analysis, they are a great team—there's no question about that. They are one of a small handful that has a shot at it. Right now we have to dig deeper—simple as that."
On tonight's team effort: "I felt like they came out tonight with great force and I thought we were ready coming into the game but obviously we weren't. Give them a lot of the credit and, we all own it.
What happened tonight? "They were making shots. We were missing shots. That was one. They were more aggressive. They put more effort—especially at the beginning of the game than us. Not [that] we didn't want to win—of course we wanted to play, but they had more [effort]. And in addition they were making shots and we were missing shots. Against a good team like the Spurs we just got from 10, 15, 20 [points] and it's hard to face the team like that. Against San Antonio from the beginning you have to be the aggressive and we were not aggressive today."
On the gap between the Mavs and Spurs: "I would say no, but the way we played today it looks yes, But I also think you need to remember the first game. It's a long season. Obviously if we face them in the playoffs I'm sure it's going to be different because it's the playoffs. It's win or go home. They're not concentrating just to play against us. They're just dealing with the same kind of schedule that we're dealing. And, again, tomorrow is another game and another challenge for us against a good team."
On his run in with David West: "Nothing—he's trying to help his team win games, and I'm doing the same thing. He was just pressuring the ball, and I was just trying to change direction. Nothing serious and I don't think I'm going to worry about it too much."
Did you deserve the second tech? "I think yes. I think it was a good call, the right call because I reacted, but I should be smarter because I already bad one tech. I just have to make better decisions next time."
On what happened: "They kicked our ass. We played terrible. That was probably the most embarrassing game I've been a part of on any level."
On the gap between the Mavs and Spurs: "They're a good team. They're not 50 points (better)—or whatever the hell they beat us by."
On what has to change against Memphis: "We have to play like we care. Not to say that we don't, but we need to play like it. Everybody on this team cares. Everybody wants to win, but we have to play like it. It's one thing to have it in your mind and it's another thing to have it in your mind and act it on the court. We have to do that more often than not. We can't wait for that light to turn on for us. We're not that kind of team. We don't have that luxury. We have to turn on the light ourselves. We can't wait anymore."
On the gap between the Mavs and Spurs: "If you keep losing by 30, then yeah, obviously there's a difference there. They've been one of the best teams all year long. They're one of the best defensive teams—they've got length. On the offensive end they create problems. Their ball movement and drive and kicks are so good, that we're always a step behind. I thought we played a lot harder in the second half, but obviously we were down too big.
On Matthews calling this the worst loss he's ever been a part of: "I mean the first half was ugly. The second half we competed and were right there. But to lose a half by almost 40. That's tough. I've been in a lot of tough games over 18 years, but this is definitely up there. Like I said, they're good defensively and we couldn't get anything to go in the hole."
Is Dirk concerned with the way this team is trending? "Well yeah if you look at our recent stretch before the all star game. There were some tough games. Unfortunately, those games against the tougher opponents, we haven't been able to pull out one or two. That's tough, but we got another opportunity tomorrow. I think Devin being out the entire time hurt us. We need some speed on the perimeter and coming off the bench."