In the past, we’ve done quote boards, compiling what the players and coaches had to say after games. This season we’re going to try to get back to posting more of these throughout the season, especially after significant games.
Let’s hear what Rick Carlisle, DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews had to say about last night’s game.
What stood out to you tonight?
“That we held them under 50 in the second half. That was the key to the game. They had some guys crazy going in the first half. (Zach) Lavine was going wild and (Jabari) Parker got it going. They were rising up and hitting difficult shots.
“The second half it was a battle to see who wanted more and our guys really dug in and collectively did a great job. Everybody kind of struggled in the first half but in the second half you got real even contributions. Finney-Smith played 39.5 minutes and it was hard to get him off the floor because of the defensive match ups.
“I thought Wes (Matthews) did a great job. He hit some timely shots down the stretch. It’s such an important game when you’re 1-1 to get to 2-1 instead of 1-2. The metrics of losing that game are very very difficult. We needed it and found a way.”
After the first two games with what happened in the first quarter is 28 points in the first something you can live with?
“Yeah I’m ready to throw a party.” (Laughter)
“We’ll see where all this goes with the wild pace if it calms down. I don’t expect it to that much. It’s just very difficult to guard this kind of skill, the speed, and all that. Atlanta’s got the same thing; they put 133 on Cleveland last night and (Trae) Young had 35 points. They’re making a lot of great things happen on offense as well.
“It’s a huge challenge. Whereas in the old days holding somebody under 100 was a reasonable task. I don’t know if that’s in the cards that much anymore. All in all with the tough shots they hit in the first half we did a lot of good things as a group to find a way to win the game.”
Luka looked like he got banged up a little on those falls, how do you think he handled that?
“He’s a pretty tough kid, he gets banged up a lot. He hops back up. For a 19 year old kid he’s put together. He’s big, he’s strong, and he’s a competitor. It’s fun to watch him go at it.
“He’s not afraid of contact, he’s not afraid of collisions. He did a lot of good things on both ends tonight.”
You’re the third player in Mavs history to start the season with 3 double-doubles; talk about how you were able to just dominate the glass.
“Honestly I was just trying to do my job: set screens, roll, and just get guys open and control the glass. That’s what I’m trying to do.
“Whenever Dennis, Wes, JJ, and Luka, our play makers, make a play when I roll to the basket I just try to finish it.”
Have you thought about how this team will change whenever Barnes and Dirk come back?
“Honestly no, I haven’t. I’m just focused on the guys who are healthy. Harrison is hopefully going to be back very very soon and I don’t know when the big guy is coming back.
“But like I said our team is so deep, and we need Devin to come back too, but we want those guys number one to be healthy, and we need those guys for the long season ahead. We’re focused on the guys we have in the locker room right now. The guys like Ryan (Broekhoff) and Maxi (Kleber) and Jalen (Brunson) they’ve done a great job.”
With the stops you guys got defensively in the second half do you think the defense is coming around?
“You see it in spurts but it’s only our third game and we haven’t put it together for 48 minutes. We’ve got to find a way to do that because that’s what the great teams do.
“There’s not many lapses. Like I said our shots may not fall every night but defensively we’ve got to have that effort and focus every night.”
Talk about how you guys played defense and the stops you guys had defensively tonight.
“It was about time. They’re a good team, a good offensive team for sure. They’ve got guys who can make a lot of plays.
“Obviously LaVine got it going early, got going middle, got going late, but we were able to get the stops in the second half and play the way that we’ve been talking about playing all season long.
“Our offense is never, I shouldn’t say never, but rarely going to be an issue for us. We’ve got a lot of guys that can score, a lot of guys that can make things easier for other people. It’s always going to come down to our defense.”
Is a scrappy game like tonight suited to what y’all are able to do?
“It has to be that way.
“You’re not going to win pretty. More often than not it’s going to be an ugly game that you’re going to have to be sacrificing your body, getting in scrums, getting those lose balls and those extra possessions.
“Our guys did that tonight and it made the difference.”
What things get easier when Barnes gets back?
“We’ve got another play maker.
“We’ve got another guy that can score the ball, and another guy that is a champion back, a guy that can do virtually everything on the court. We’re trying to hold it down right now so he can get healed up and join the fold.”