The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Atlanta Hawks on Wedneday night, losing only their seventh home game of the NBA season. It was a tough loss, as Dallas gave away the ball just enough early and it caught up with them late as they could not find any defensive stops against an Atlanta team that played outstanding basketball.
Here’s what Luka Doncic, Josh Green, and Jason Kidd had to say following the game.
(On what’s going on with the defense…)
“I wish I knew. If I knew we wouldn’t struggle.”
(On Coach Kidd saying the team isn’t focusing enough on the defense end…)
“He’s right. I think our offense is fine. We scored 122. That’s good. They scored 130. We’re good on offense. We just have to make sure we put in the same effort on defense.”
(On if he’s surprised that he doesn’t get more calls…)
“No. I had 12 free throws today, the most in the game, so it’s fine. I think every game they’re letting more contact. Not just me, the whole NBA, so that’s their criteria. It’s fine for everybody.”
(On the report regarding roster influence…)
“Obviously, people who are next to me – who I talk to – they know that [report] is not true. I didn’t say anything about that. I talk to Nico [Harrison]. I talk to Fin [Michael Finley] more than I used to. That’s just the way I talk to them. We have great communication [and] that just stays between us.”
(On if he saw any signs of adjustments that hurt the team in any way from the players who returned to lineup after being out due to injury…)
“No, I don’t think that hurt us. I didn’t think there was that big of an adjustment. I thought ‘Doe’ [Dorian Finney-Smith] and Josh [Green] did a really good job for us for the first game back. One playing 34 [minutes] and the other one playing 20 [minutes]. You know when you look at the team scoring 122, I don’t think that didn’t have any effect, because when you saw us play on the road in person you saw us score 120, but we gave up 140, and 130 tonight. Well, that’s not going to win any game. No matter what the record in this league, everybody is scoring, or everybody is capable of scoring. So you’ve got to play defense, and right now we’re not playing any defense.”
(On how to fix the team’s defense…)
“Well, that’s a great question. If it’s with this personnel, you have to keep asking or demanding for those guys to play defense. It’s not, you know, just the offensive end and tonight, again we gave up 130. The team shot 57 percent … It’s a shootaround. You know in this case, in this league you do that no matter if you have Luka [Dončić], or Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] or Lebron [James], you’re going to lose. It doesn’t matter how many points you score, you’re always going to be short. And so until we put a better effort into playing defense and understanding what we have to do, then we’re going to score 120, but we’re going to give up 130, and 140.”
(On how it feels to be back playing…)
“It feels amazing. I loved it. It’s fun being back. Just wanted to get the win though.”
(On if he was surprised by how long he was out due to injury…)
“Yeah, I remember being in the locker room after the game and I was like ‘it’ll just be two games and I’ll be good,’ but obviously it wasn’t two games. It was more of just making sure I’m just ready to go whenever my time was going to happen. It’s one of those things where I’d rather it happen now than at the end of the season, so it is what it is. I’m moving forward now. I’m playing.”
(On what is going on defensively…)
“I think a lot of it is communication. We’re trying to communicate. We know the potential we have on the defensive end, so it’s just a matter of doing it – locking in and doing it – because when we play defense at a high level it’s very hard to score against us and very hard to beat us. I think that’s our main thing right now going into tomorrow, going forward, is defense. It starts with everybody. I need to be more vocal, and so does everybody else. Just have to work on it.”
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