Naz Reid and the Minnesota Timberwolves walked into the American Airlines Center, clamped down on the Dallas Mavericks, and left the building with a 119-101 win. Minnesota held Dallas’ top five offense to 21.9 percent shooting from deep. The poor shooting was a point of emphasis for the Mavs as they licked their wounds after the game, as was Luka Doncic picking up another technical foul.
(On what caused the poor shooting…)
“We lost. That’s it.”
(On what explanation he was given after receiving the technical foul…)
“That I can’t clap. I’m serious. It’s crazy. And they took away my 3. Like now you can go back? They said I was out of bounds. If the refs don’t call it they can go back and check? It was the first time I’ve seen that, so I don’t understand.”
(On what he thought of the Timberwolves’ defense…)
“They’re good in both ways – offense and defense. They have an amazing team. Ant [Anthony Edwards] is one of the best in the league for sure. I think there was one x-factor. Naz Reid – he’s an amazing player and he hurt us today. He’s been hooping.”
Dereck Lively II
(On how big a test it was playing against Naz Reid, Rudy Gobert, and Karl Anthony-Towns…)
“It definitely was a great team. They’re a great team. They have a lot of very talented bigs. So you know there’s going to be a lot of physicality, a lot of effort on the boards, and a lot of effort on defense. I feel like throughout the game it was a back-and-forth type of game. We definitely showed we were fighting through the game. We just weren’t able to pull it out at the end.”
(On how he felt he played defensively against Minnesota’s bigs…)
“I feel like I was playing overall, pretty well. There are a couple things I need to do better: some screen coverages, sometimes I need to be able to help over quicker, not step out too far so I can be able to get back to my man so there’s no dump-offs. Overall, I feel like I improved a lot since the last time we met.”
(On if there’s been an improvement to what the Mavericks are doing defensively…)
“Definitely. There are a lot of times where we, early in the season, died on first efforts. Just seeing as the season goes on, we’ve been able to try to make it more of an emphasis of being able just to be all over, just getting out on defense, being able to get out on shooters, and being able to talk more so no one’s lost out there.”
(On the team missing so many 3s tonight...)
“It’s just one of those nights. We got great looks. Timmy [Hardaway Jr.]’s 0-for-7. You look at the guys who got looks; they didn’t go down for us tonight. We can’t be discouraged. There’s a lot of positive things. Minnesota is the best team in the league, and we felt that we were playing well. Give them credit but again, we had some great looks.”
(On concern over Luka Dončić’s technical fouls...)
“I’m not concerned. We all understand what that number is. This one was quick. Every crew is different. We have to be better. But it was a quick T — Jacyn [Goble] gave him a quick T. Again, we’ve just got to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong. The clap – a lot of players do it. Some are called for a T, some aren’t. Just be consistent, that’s all.”
(On how officiating differs from crew to crew...)
“Yeah, we’ve got to probably do a better job of doing the scouting report on each official. It’s just part of the game, understanding who’s quick to blow a whistle on a T and who’s not. That’s part of the game.”
(On continuing to take 3s when they aren’t falling versus changing shot selection...)
“One, you’ve got to know who you are – and this is who we are. We can create a lot of 3s. We’ve got guys who are very dynamic in the sense of being able to get into advantage basketball. There’s going to be nights where they don’t fall, but if we can continue to be consistent with being able to create those shots, then if you look at the analytics, the percentages will tell you you’ll probably win more than you’ll lose. There’s going to be nights where it just doesn’t drop but you’ve got to continue to keep playing. I thought our defense gave us an opportunity there. Give them credit – their bench was better than ours tonight. We’ll go back and look at this and see how we can get better and grow.”
(On the play of Naz Reid...)
“He’s had a great year for them. Ever since he’s been in Minnesota he’s been playing extremely well. Coming off the bench, he can put it on the floor, he can get to the basket, he’s a big that can handle it. As you saw in that first half – and for pretty much the game – he can shoot it. We talked about him before the game and at halftime [we said] we’ve got to keep him off the 3-point line, and we just didn’t do a good job. We’ve got to look at getting better at that.”
NBA’s Pool Report on the Technical Foul called on Luka Dončić Called in the First Quarter of Tonight’s Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Maverick’s Game
The Pool Report interview was conducted by Tim Cato (The Athletic) with Crew Chief Curtis Blair following tonight’s Timberwolves at Mavericks game.
QUESTION: What did Luka say that caused the first quarter technical to be called?
BLAIR: After a no call, Luka overtly gestures by hitting his hand multiple times while yelling “call the foul” and aggressively walking towards the official.
QUESTION: Had Luka said anything prior to that technical that contributed to it being called?
BLAIR: No, he did not.
Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch
(On what it took to come back from 15 down…)
“Down early, I thought they came out hot, they made a lot of shots. Our defense was a little bit soft; it wasn’t where it needed to be. It was really our offense. We turned it over two of the first four possessions, we took a bunch of crappy shots. We didn’t play smart there. Once we kind of settled into a rhythm and figured out where our shots were going to come from, it was way way better. Our bench was huge for sure in every way. They kind of came in the game at the right time.”
(On Naz Reid’s shooting performance…)
“I mean, it’s been huge. He’s been like our most consistent bench producer. He does it in a lot of different ways. Obviously, he’s developed confidence, he’s shooting really well this year – but he’s been doing a lot more than just that. He’s another gear in transition, his off-the-dribble game has been great, driving and kicking even. Yeah, so absolutely huge and it also helps us survive nights when it’s tough for Anthony [Edwards] and we are missing scoring there, so it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
(On the team’s mentality…)
“They (Dallas) had that huge start in the beginning of the game, we didn’t let up. We kind of came out of halftime with the mindset to still have the foot on their throats. It’s something I’ve talked about before in the past, just from a maturity standpoint to handle business and keep it business-like. Like you said man, I think we just did the right thing and kind of all had the same mindset and that’s winning the game.”