The Mavericks notched another great home win last night and the team was feeling talkative. Hear from them directly here!
How big was Jalen Brunson’s play tonight?
“He had a great game obviously. He’s gotten better and better as the year’s gone on. The last time we played these guys we played big and their quickness was really a problem. We went to a quicker lineup with him in there to guard Collison and he did a real nice job.
“It was a gritty all-around effort. These games are hard and they’re going to be hard the rest of the way. Even teams without great records are all battling. It’s a very good win and this happens to be a very good team in the East. The guys did a lot of good things.”
What did you think about the competitive fire between Luka and Wes?
“Anything involving Wes was going to be a stimulating situation. That’s one of the reasons why we loved him and signed him four years ago. He played a great game as well which was completely expected.
“Those two guys are competitors and they also like to have fun in the heat of great competition. It wasn’t surprising to see some exchanges but in the end they both wanted to win the game.”
What do you think about what Luka was able to accomplish as a teenager?
“One word: phenomenal. It’s been quite an adventure with him and everything that’s gone on. The amount of excitement and interest he’s generated and yet he’s not looking for attention.
“His place of sanctuary is the court. That’s where he’s comfortable and where he loves to play. There’s certainly been ups and downs and there’s been turnovers the last few games but he settled in in the second half and did a better job of taking care of the ball and finding other people. He makes everything easier for everybody out there.”
How was it to go against Wesley Matthews?
“Oh it was amazing. He’s my guy. He was talking a lot during the game so it was really funny.”
Who was it you looked over and talked to on the Pacers bench when you hit that three?
“It was an assistant coach. He was talking a lot during the game, then he didn’t talk that much.”
Is this the level of accomplishment you thought you’d have by your first birthday in the league or is this more than you initially thought?
“I would say I knew I could play here but honestly I didn’t expect that much that I could do but it’s been great but I have to keep working.”
What do you want to accomplish at age 20?
“Just play basketball, the same thing.”
How much fun are you having these last few games?
“Oh definitely more than I was in December when I came back. I feel like I’ve got more pep in my step and my legs feel better and better. Yeah I just feel better overall. I feel like I could actually contribute. I’m not struggling just getting up and down.”
How much has starting helped you feel like you’re in a better rhythm these last few games?
“It’s a little easier to find your rhythm obviously. Today I had the first shot of the game and it was going in and you already feel like you’re in the game. Off the bench is a role and it’s a little harder.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for guys who have done this their entire career because you might run up and down six or seven trips and go without touching the ball and you’ve still got to be able to play well and give your team a lift.
“For me it’s obviously easier to start but whatever the decision might be, down the stretch maybe we’ll go back to Max. Whatever the decision is here the last couple weeks we’re going to try to make it work and play well.”
Wesley Matthews said you texted him trash talking him before the game, do you want to comment on that?
“I was telling him we’re gonna have Luka on him and he hit me back with a picture of my scouting report was a picture of George Washington. That one hurt.
“As you guys know I love Wes. He’s one of the greatest competitors here. He’s a warrior, I’ve always said that. Obviously he’ll always be a friend and we’ll always be in touch. It was really good to see him and he had a heck of a game there.”