The Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trailblazers at home on Friday night. We recapped the game here. After losing the Cavaliers on Wednesday night and with news of Maxi Kleber perhaps missing the rest of the regular season, this seemed like a game the Mavericks might get pummeled in. Instead, they responded in a big way, pushing the team back over .500.
Here’s what the guys had to say after the game.
(On if he was surprised by his dunk…)
“No, I’m used to it by now [laughter]. I probably have the most bounce on the team. You know, [Christian Wood], I was telling him he is only length, and he’s got no bounce. So I had to show him.”
(On having the fourth quarter off…)
“It was great. You always want to have the fourth quarter off. That’s the best game ever.”
(On Christian Wood’s first half…)
“I think he did amazing on offense, obviously. I think on the defensive end he was really, really paying attention today. Really just focusing and that’s what helped us a lot. He’s big down there, so he helps us a lot. So today, he was really focused on both ends.”
(On his comfort level on defense…)
“I think I am just minimizing the lapses I have defensively, and guys are trusting me to make the right rotations and I have been. Being the low man, especially with Maxi [Kleber] and now DP [Dwight Powell] being out, kind of being the anchor for our defense.”
(On being matched up against centers…)
“I think it creates a lot of mismatches, in terms of my picking and popping and picking and rolling when the defense switches for Luka [Dončić]. That’s really what the coaches want me to do.”
(On when he found about Maxi Kleber’s injury…)
“I thought he was fine yesterday. Maxi and DP [Dwight Powell] are like our ironmen, but I found out today. Like I said before, Maxi is a defensive anchor for us and so is DP. Those guys have been great defensively for us all season, so we need them back soon.”
(On being aggressive on offense in the first half…)
“I was trying to be aggressive, the team knew I had it going. If you watch the film, we kept running the same play over and over because frankly they couldn’t stop it. They kept finding me and getting me the ball, my teammates trust me to score. That’s what I am here for is to score, and to help these guys off the bench and I feel like I did a great job today.”
(On the dunk by Luka Dončić...)
“It was pretty impressive. He can get off the ground. It’s impressive, the load that he carries and the things that he can do and he can still surprise you with something. That was big time.”
(On the play of Christian Wood...)
“I thought C-Wood (Christian Wood) was great offensively and defensively. He did a great job. Being able to play through him in the second quarter was huge for us. Again, the time he was on the floor – on both ends – he gave us a lift tonight.”
(On Christian Wood’s defense...)
“I thought, again, talking to him yesterday, he’s started feeling comfortable on the defensive end and it showed this evening being able to play in coverage. He was huge for us coming off the bench, being able to get rebounds, being able to play through him with the switch. We ran him I think 13, 14 straight minutes there and he was good.”
(On Dwight Powell’s status after leaving the game with a left thigh contusion...)
“Yeah, he’s hurt. That’s all I have to tell you. He’s probably out. I don’t know.”
(On putting together consistent efforts...)
“In sports, you’re always fighting to be consistent. I think the good teams can do that in continuity when you’re together for a while, when you can understand each other. This is a different team than last year and we’re still learning each other. We’ve shown spots in a half or in a game that we can do it at a high level. But for a marathon, it’s about being able to get better as you go and hopefully we can continue to do that here in the month of December.”
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