Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle on NBA Finals, Jason Kidd

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
12:11
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Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the NBA Finals, talks about the Nets' decision to hire Jason Kidd, the advice he'd give Kidd about being a head coach in the NBA and more.

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Chauncey Billups assisted on O.J. Mayo signing

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
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DALLAS -- The plan to have Jason Kidd help recruit Deron Williams to Dallas didn’t quite work out for the Mavs.

But the Mavs did get an assist from an old point guard during the free-agency process. It just wasn’t one that’s ever worn a Mavs uniform.

O.J. Mayo reached out to Chauncey Billups, one of his favorite players in the league, while researching potential destinations this summer. Billups strongly recommended that Mayo play for Rick Carlisle, who played a significant role in Billups achieving his potential.

“He said (Carlisle) is a great coach for me to help expand my game,” Mayo said.

Billups, like Mayo now, was a No. 3 overall pick in his mid-20s who hadn’t lived up high-lottery expectations when he signed with the Carlisle-coached Pistons in the summer of 2002. Detroit was Billups’ fifth NBA team, and while he showed promise as a part-time starter the previous season in Minnesota, he had yet to prove he could be a premier point guard.

Carlisle gave Billups that opportunity in 2002-03, when he started for a 50-win team that advanced to the conference finals. That was the only seasons Carlisle coached Billups, but Billups gives Carlisle credit for helping him become a five-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion who is now known as Mr. Big Shot.

Mayo hasn’t bounced around the league, having spent his entire four-year career with the Memphis Grizzlies, but he has a lot of similarities to the 2002 version of Billups. Mayo is a No. 3 overall pick whose career hasn’t progressed as anticipated.

Billups’ advice to Mayo: Let Carlisle coach you.

That’s exactly what Mayo has done. He arrived in Dallas a month ago specifically so he could work with Carlisle.

Mayo usually works on one specific weakness each summer. He’s worked on whatever Carlisle wanted recently.

“My whole thing is to give my game to Coach and let him help me get better in ways I can help the team,” Mayo said.

That’s included refining something Mayo considered one of his biggest strengths: shooting the ball.

They’ve worked on keeping the ball high and staying ready to shoot, especially when Mayo gets fatigued. Carlisle used Reggie Miller and Rip Hamilton -- a couple of elite shooters he’s coached -- as examples and pointed out Mayo’s flaws while reviewing film of Grizzlies games.

“It was different, because I had never worked on it,” Mayo said. “It was actually a little irritating because I was comfortable with my shot, but he’s helped it a lot. Through workouts, it’s more efficient, more consistent. He’s just a great coach.”

Just like Billups told Mayo.
Rick Carlisle expected to lose the top two assistants off his championship staff. It's happened in a little more than one year.

The Trail Blazers on Tuesday hired Terry Stotts, who had served as the Mavs' offensive coordinator since Carlisle arrived in Dallas. Ex-Mavs defensive coordinator Dwane Casey was hired as the Toronto Raptors' head coach last summer.

Carlisle strongly recommended Stotts, who has a 114-158 record in parts of four seasons as the head coach with the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. The Mavs will miss Stotts' experience and offensive expertise, but Carlisle was ecstatic to see his friend get another chance as a head coach.

"A great hire for a great franchise," texted Carlisle, who was an assistant in Portland early in his coaching career. "Terry was a big part of our championship success in Dallas, and we wish him the very best. He has the great fortune of going to work for Paul Allen, who, along with Mark Cuban, is one of the best owners in the NBA."

Will Rick Carlisle return as Mavs coach?

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
9:00
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Mike Hill and Jalen Rose discuss whether Rick Carlisle will get a contract extension and coach the Mavericks next season.


DALLAS -- Coach Rick Carlisle, who is among the many Mavericks who are entering free agency, received tepid support from superstar Dirk Nowitzki on the subject of the coach's potential return to Dallas.

Nowitzki praised Carlisle’s performance over the last four years but stopped well short of publicly lobbying for the coach to get a new contract.

“This team, this franchise obviously has a lot of decisions to make,” Nowitzki said. “That’s obvious. Rick had a great four years here obviously. He took us to the promised land with a team that probably nobody thought could do it. I think he found a good mix over the years of stressing defense a lot and giving (Jason) Kidd some movement, giving him some freedom on the offensive end. Sometimes he did a good job getting out of the way and just letting us play and if he saw things are not going that well, call some plays and kind of pull us back in.

“I thought over the four years, he tried to do a good job. We’ll have to wait and see what the decision is with him, but he did a great job and obviously led us to the promised land.”

As has been the case all season, Carlisle didn’t want to address the subject after the defending champions’ four-game playoff exit.

“I’m not talking about my situation,” Carlisle said. “Right now is not the time, so I’m going to pass on that. You know, I’ve had four great years here. Again, I can’t tell you guys or anybody how much gratitude I have for the opportunity Mark and Donnie have given me and the players have given me here and what we’ve experienced through all the things, the great things last year and some of the other ups and downs.

“This is a first-class franchise. … This team and this franchise is going to continue to be great as long as Mark owns it. I’m confident in that.”

Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has said several times that Carlisle “isn’t going anywhere.” However, owner Mark Cuban has declined to discuss the situation all season and stuck to that policy before Saturday’s Game 4.

"Want to have a long discussion about business?" Cuban said. "It’s my approach to business. It's worked out really, really well for me and I just want to be consistent."

The one exception Cuban made was giving Avery Johnson a five-year contract extension after the Mavs played in the 2006 Finals. Cuban fired Johnson two seasons later.
DALLAS – The Mavericks insist that they didn’t mail it in when things went haywire in Game 3.

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Mavs coach Rick Carlisle dishes on what he told his team after Game 3, how the Mavs can claw their way back into the series with the Thunder and more.

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They claim that effort wasn’t an issue in the lopsided loss that put the Mavs in danger of becoming just the fifth defending champion in NBA history to fail to win a playoff game the next season.

The Mavs say they were just that bad Thursday night. And the Thunder was that good.

“Hey, listen, we fought the whole way,” said coach Rick Carlisle, the lone member of the Mavs to address the media Friday. “We fought last night and didn’t play well. You tip your hat to them and we’ve got to defend our court in Game 4 and get back on the plane.”

That echoes the opinions voiced by players after the Mavs set an unfortunate, if obscure, NBA record: largest margin of defeat by a team playing in its first home playoff game in defense of an NBA championship, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“We tried, but you’ve got to give them credit,” Dirk Nowitzki said Thursday night. “Every time we made a little push, they made shots.”

Nowitzki talked about the importance of just getting a win, for pride’s sake. He certainly didn’t sound like a superstar who believed his team had any chance to become the first team in NBA history to overcome an 0-3 deficit to win a series. He acknowledged that the Mavs took a step back this season, the sort of comment that usually waits until exit interviews.

But Carlisle claims that the Mavs’ belief in themselves remains strong. He insists that all hope isn’t lost despite the 0-99 record of teams that lose the first three games of best-of-7 NBA playoff series.

“Somebody’s going to do it. It’s going to happen,” Carlisle said. “The thing is, to get to that point, we’ve got to focus on tomorrow’s game. We’ve got to focus on the first quarter, the first six minutes and work it whistle to whistle. That’s the way it’s going to happen.

“We still have a lot of belief in ourselves and what we’re doing. We’re going to keep fighting.”
DALLAS -- If you were stunned by this offensive stinker, you must not have watched the Mavs much this season.

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This has been a bad offensive team since the day the defending champions -- might as well use that term while we can -- reported to the American Airlines Center for an abbreviated training camp.

Dallas’ decision makers anticipated that it would be a difficult process to fit in a few significant new pieces without much practice time, but the hope was that the Mavs would mesh throughout the course of this lockout-condensed season and be prepared to peak in the playoffs.

Pfft.

With the season on the line, the Mavs managed to come up with one of their worst offensive showings, shooting 34.2 percent from the floor in Thursday’s 95-79 loss that put Dallas on the verge of being swept by the Thunder.

“Just picked a bad time to really put a stinker out there,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. “Nobody really had a good game for us. They took it to us on the other end. We picked a tough time to really get nothing going on the offensive end.”

That’s happened a heck of a lot this season, which is why the Mavs ranked 22nd among NBA teams in offensive efficiency. To put that in perspective, the Boston Celtics are the only playoff team that was less efficient offensively than the Mavs.

The versatile pieces that Mark Cuban and Co. expected to make Dallas a more dynamic offensive team haven’t panned out. Lamar Odom provided plenty of drama and precious little production. Vince Carter faded after the All-Star break and has really struggled in this series, making only nine of 31 shots from the floor.

The Mavs’ big guns have had off seasons by their standards. Nowitzki’s numbers are his worst since his second season in Dallas, before the Mavs’ run of a dozen playoff appearances in a row. Jason Terry’s stats are his worst in his eight-season Dallas tenure.

When one of those guys struggles, it’s tough for the Mavs to win. When they’re both off, it’s bound to get ugly.

That was the case in Game 3, when Nowitzki was bad and Terry was worse (11 points, 3-of-10 shooting, four turnovers).

“They played great defense all night long on Dirk and myself,” Terry said. “We’ve got to find a way. I think our offensive strategy right now is pretty much predicated on pass the ball around and see what happens. I don’t think that’s a good strategy for us.”

He’ll get no argument from coach Rick Carlisle: “I’ve got to do a better job of helping those guys. That’s something I really take responsibility for.”

Carlisle said something about watching film and trying to get this fixed. The truth is it’s too late for this season, and there’s a good chance Terry is gone next year.

If the Mavs want to get back to being a good offensive team, they better catch their big fish in the free-agency market.

For the sake of Dallas’ recruiting efforts, let’s hope Deron Williams was too busy to watch Game 3.

Rick Carlisle: Mavs not deterred

April, 29, 2012
4/29/12
10:00
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OKLAHOMA CITY – It takes a lot more than one good punch to knock out a champion.

Make no mistake, this one hurt the Mavericks. They had Game 1 stolen on the road, leading by seven points with three minutes remaining, before they let it slip away. Or before the Thunder seized the game, depending on one’s perspective.

Either way, Dallas is dealing with a 1-0 series deficit after Kevin Durant’s game-winning 15-footer bounced in the bucket. How will the Mavs respond?

“We’re going to keep coming at these guys,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Trust me, we’re going to keep coming at them.

“We have a tough-minded team. We have a locker room full of champions and these guys have big heart. We put ourselves in a strong position tonight and we didn’t get it done. It’s on us. It’s on us. But we will not be deterred. We’re going to keep coming back at these guys. That’s what we have to do.”

The Mavs came back strong after every tough loss during their title run last year.

They didn’t let a historic collapse in the Rose Garden linger after the blew a 23-point lead in the second half against the Trail Blazers, evening the first-round series after four games. That was Portland’s last win of the series.

They answered Oklahoma City’s Game 2 win at the American Airlines Center by winning the final three games of the West finals.

They twice trailed in the NBA Finals, losing Games 1 and 3 to the Heat, but were celebrating at Miami Beach’s Club Liv after Game 6.

Granted, some key members of that team departed Dallas after the lockout, including emotional leader Tyson Chandler. But the majority of the Mavs’ rotation owns a championship ring, and newcomers Delonte West and Vince Carter have significant playoff experience.

“If a team can recover from it,” Dirk Nowitzki said of such a disappointing loss, “it’s an experienced one.”

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was talking to a room of reporters, but it felt like he was trying to send a message to the referees who will work the rest of this series.

Asked about the defense Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins played on Dirk Nowitzki in the Mavs’ Game 1 loss, Carlisle emphasized how physically the Thunder played the Mavs’ superstar.

“They’re going to do things to try to disrupt his rhythm,” Carlisle said. “They’re going to grab and hold. To me, a typical example is the play before the first half ends. He’s getting grabbed and held, and they call a foul on Dirk because he’s just reacting to all the contact. You know, that turns into a possession for them and they hit a 3. It’s a big momentum play.

“I’ve seen this for four years. Dirk Nowitzki’s the hardest guy in the league to guard because at 22 feet, if you back up and take your hands off him, he’s going to make the shot. So people grab and hold him all the time. I mean, all the time. He shows incredible restraint in those areas.”

Nowitzki scored 25 points on 8-of-18 shooting, but he had almost as many turnovers as buckets. Two of his six turnovers came in the final 90 seconds, when Perkins bodied up on Nowitzki as the Mavs were in the midst of crumbling in crunch time.

Nowitzki appeared to express frustration with the officials a handful of times during the game. That included the play Carlisle referenced at the end of the first half, when Nowitzki was called for an offensive foul after throwing an elbow at Ibaka while they fought for position, and a few times when the whistle didn’t blow after Nowitzki drew contact on drives to the basket early in the game.

When asked about Carlisle’s comments, Nowitzki answered diplomatically.

“I always talk during the game a lot,” he said, referring to conversations with officials. “My style is never to complain after the game. I won’t do it now.”

It is worth noting that the officiating crew of Joey Crawford, David Guthrie and Tony Brothers wasn’t whistle happy on either end. The Mavs had a 25-20 free throw advantage.


It’s playoff time. In the recent past, that’s often meant Mavericks fans, including their owner, ranting about refereeing.

The Mavericks broke the Curse of Danny Crawford last postseason, winning three of four games officiated by the official many fans held responsible for the Mavs losing 16 of the previous 17 playoff games officiated by him.

Crawford’s assignment to the Game 2 of the Mavs’ first-round series sparked a nationwide controversy. But nobody was talking about Crawford after he worked Game 4 of the West finals, when the Mavs’ rallied from 15 down in the fourth quarter to win in Oklahoma City.

And the Mavs won in Los Angeles with 2006 Finals villain Bennett Salvatore blowing a whistle.

Recent history suggests that there will be some good, ol’ complaining about officiating from the Mavs during this series with the Thunder. Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the Mavs’ two most noteworthy outbursts about officiating this season occurred the last two times they played the Thunder.

The NBA office hit the Mavs for a total of $135,000 after those games. Those fines:

*Cuban got hit for $75,000 after ripping the ref crew of Ron Garretson, Michael Smith and Mark Ayotte to ESPNDallas.com after the Mavs’ Feb. 1 home loss to the Thunder.

"Look, I haven't said a whole lot about the officiating in a long, long time, but I haven't seen it this bad in a long, long time," Cuban said. "Guys miss calls; that's part of the game. You're not always going to have a great crew. Officials have got to learn that's part of the game.

"But these were officials that have been part of the league for years, and it was just off-the-charts bad. And, if no one ever says anything, nothing ever happens."

*Carlisle got fined $35,000 for kicking the ball in the stands while frustrated by a no-call in that game, drawing his second technical foul of the night.

“That can’t happen,” Carlisle said after opening his postgame press conference by apologizing for the incident. “My intent was not to kick it into the stands, I was trying to kick it to the referee, but I’m not a very good kick. But that can’t happen; the officials made the right call on that one. That’s a regrettable situation.”

*Jason Kidd got fined $25,000 for complaining about the defending champions getting a season-long lack of respect from the referees after the Mavs’ March 5 loss in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder had a 33-10 advantage in free throws attempted with the crew of Tom Washington, Brian Forte and Pat Fraher calling the game. The Mavs were especially upset about a critical, questionable foul call on Ian Mahinmi that sent Serge Ibaka to the line for the go-ahead free throws with 46.2 seconds remaining.

"We don't get the benefit of the whistle," said Kidd, who infamously called a crew that included Washington “the three blind mice” after a one-point loss to the Pistons while playing with the Nets in 2006. "I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk [Nowitzki] should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But he doesn't."

On a related note, the Game 1 officiating crew will be Joey Crawford, Tony Brothers and David Guthrie with Bennie Adams serving as the alternate.

Pregame buzz: Mavs want to win, rest

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
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DALLAS -- It happens almost every year. Teams tank games late in the season to try to manipulate the playoff matchups, attempting to avoid a team they’d prefer not to face or targeting a matchup they consider favorable.

The Mavs insist they won’t do that in the final week of the regular season. Never mind that the Lakers, who would be the Mavs’ first-round foe if the playoff started now, swept the season series.

“The approach is to play well and win,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It seems to me like when you do that, it’s karmically the right thing to do. We’re not going to play guys crazy minutes or anything like that. We’re going to do things in the right spirit of the process we feel is right for us to get ready to play. The whole thing about wishing for this team or not wishing for that team, that’s dicey.”

Note that Carlisle did not promise to play all the Mavs’ veterans in their final three games. He isn’t revealing plans, but it’s a pretty good bet that Jason Kidd will sit out at least one of the final two games.

That’d be fine with owner Mark Cuban.

“I’m all for strategically resting, because you don’t get judged or you don’t get rewarded for your record in the last five games of the season,” said Cuban, who maintains that nobody in the West playoff picture fears anyone else. “There’s no benefit there. If things don’t work out for whatever reason, people don’t say, ‘Well, at least you didn’t rest guys the last five games.’ Everyone wants to get ready for the playoffs in the best possible position.”

But the purpose of resting Kidd and perhaps other veterans wouldn’t be to manipulate the seedings. It’d be to make sure that the Mavs are as well prepared as possible to peak in the playoffs.

Fresh Fit: Vince Carter in crunch time?

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
11:57
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Our weekly look at Mavs newcomers:

Vince Carter’s role in the Mavs’ revamped, Lamar Odom-less rotation is clear. He comes off the bench at small forward, allowing Shawn Marion to slide to power forward when Dirk Nowitzki comes off the floor.

The question is whether Carter or Marion will join the Mavs’ closer committee of Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry during crunch time.

Coach Rick Carlisle’s answer in Utah was Carter, who played every minute during the fourth quarter and three overtime periods. That put three of the four most prolific active fourth-quarter scorers on the floor for the Mavs, as only Kobe Bryant has more career buckets in the final frame than Nowitzki, Terry and Carter. Carter also ranks below only Bryant and Nowitzki for game-winning shots made among active players.

Of course, it should be noted that the 35-year-old Carter’s production has dipped the most by far of that closer quartet.

Carter hit a couple of big shots – a pair of 3-pointers that were critical in forcing the first overtime – but those were the only shots he hit in the fourth quarter and overtimes of the loss to the Jazz. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ most valuable defender watched from the bench.

Carlisle, as tends to be the case, was vague about the reasoning for his decision to play Carter instead of Marion with the game on the line. He mentioned that Carter was playing well, leaving out the fact that Marion didn’t appear to have much in the tank, registering only four points and two rebounds in 23:51 during the Mavs’ fourth game in five nights.

Carlisle’s decision also could have been influenced by the Jazz’s lack of an elite wing scorer. It’s hard to envision Carlisle opting for Carter over Marion in crunch time when Dallas needs to defend someone like Bryant, Manu Ginobili or Kevin Durant during the first round of the playoffs.
The Mavs’ futility in the fourth quarter reminded Rick Carlisle of one of his favorite sayings from a former boss.

“It’s making work out of sex,” Carlisle said, attributing the line to longtime NBA coach Bill Fitch.

Yes, the Mavs should have been able to kick back and enjoy themselves after taking a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter Friday night at Portland’s Rose Garden. But they got sloppy, committing eight turnovers in the final frame, and had to sweat down the stretch of a 97-94 win.

“I liked our intensity and our effort the majority of the night, but we made so many judgment errors that we can’t make going forward,” Carlisle said. “That’s an adjustment that we have to make.”

It looked a lot like the Mavs’ performance in the previous night’s win over the Warriors. The Mavs led Golden State by as many as 24 points in that game, but the Warriors got within three at one point in the fourth quarter.

So you can’t simply shrug off the sloppiness by pointing out that steady-handed floor general Jason Kidd was wearing a suit on the Mavs’ bench. Kidd played against Golden State, although the preference would have been to let him sit out the fourth quarter. To Carlisle’s credit, he didn’t make any excuses. But he also didn’t offer any apologies for winning ugly.

“We survived it,” Carlisle said. “That’s good news.”

Added Shawn Marion: “Right now, you just have to pile up Ws. I don’t care how you get them.”

A few more items from the Mavs’ closer-than-it-shoulda-been win over the Trail Blazers:

1. Changing of the center?: Brendan Haywood remains the Mavs’ starting big man, but his role has been greatly reduced recently. Brandan Wright has gotten most of the minutes at center the last four games.

It was an especially stark contrast against the Blazers, when Wright played 27 minutes and Haywood played only eight. Haywood’s only other single-digit-minute outing this season occurred when he sprained his knee in the opening minute of a loss to Oklahoma City.

Wright is earning his minutes, averaging 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the last four games. However, it isn’t as if Haywood is playing poorly, especially Friday night against Portland. He had four rebounds and two blocks in those eight minutes, and the Mavs had a 10-point advantage with him on the floor.

It’s a safe bet that Haywood will get a much bigger share of the minutes Sunday when the Mavs have to match up against Lakers low-post monster Andrew Bynum.

2. Workhorse West: The Mavs had to rely on Delonte West even more than they expected with Jason Kidd’s scheduled night of rest. Rodrigue Beaubois strained right calf in the second half. As a result, West played 44 minutes, producing a 21-points, seven-assist, six-rebound, three-steal line. OK, so West also had six turnovers, but there’s no doubt the dude came through when the Mavs needed him.

“Delonte is a money player,” Carlisle said.

3. ET (No J): Jason Terry has averaged one of two absolutely awful shooting performances per month this season. The Mavs can hope that this was it for April. Terry, who had been shooting well since his 1-of-10 stinker March 29 in Miami, was 3-of-16 from the floor Friday.

Carlisle: Brandan Wright will play PF

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
4:28
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DALLAS – At long last, Lamar Odom is gone. Now what do the Dallas Mavericks do when Dirk Nowitzki needs to rest?

Shawn Marion essentially served as the backup power forward during the Mavs’ championship season, and that’s a possibility again, especially if Vince Carter logs significant minutes at small forward. Brian Cardinal’s playing time could increase dramatically, but “The Custodian” has struggled mightily in limited minutes this season. You can count on the Chinese media that has hung around all season to inquire about the potential for Yi Jianlian to crack the rotation.

But the best answer might be Brandan Wright, a former lottery pick whose NBA minimum salary has been a remarkable bargain for the Mavs but has rarely played power forward this season.

Coach Rick Carlisle has been hesitant to play the high-flying, 6-foot-10, 210-pounder at power forward because Wright doesn’t have the shooting range to be a perfect fit at that position in the Mavs’ scheme. But this is far from a perfect situation, and Carlisle said Monday that he plans to use Wright at power forward.

According to 82games.com, only five percent of Wright’s minutes with the Mavs have come at power forward.

“We’ve done it in certain stretches this year,” Carlisle said. “This morning we looked at the film of those stretches. There’s some adjustment, but we’re not going to reinvent our style of play. There’s got to be a few tweaks if he plays that position and we’ll go from there.”

Wright has performed well in his few stints at power forward, his primary position until this season, averaging 24.5 points and 14.0 rebounds per 48 minutes. That’s an extremely small sample size, but those numbers compare favorably to his per-48 production at center (20.5 points, 9.7 rebounds).

Regardless of position, Wright tends to give the Mavs a spark with his athleticism and energy. He has flaws, such as his limited shooting range and lack of strength, but the Mavs never have to wonder whether he’ll play hard.

That alone makes Wright an upgrade over Odom.
DALLAS -- It made Rick Carlisle sick to watch Clippers guard Randy Foye get wide-open look after wide-open look.

“I was waiting for somebody to knock him down, do something,” Carlisle said after Foye’s season-high 28-point performance in the Clippers’ rout of the Mavs. “We just didn’t do that, and really that’s on me. If we’re not aware and if we’re not going to be physical with a guy that just gets it going like that, then it’s on the head coach.”

[+] EnlargeRandy Foye
Glenn James/Getty ImagesRandy Foye lit up the Mavericks for 28 points, going 8-of-15 from 3-point range.
Consider that a passive-aggressive way for a coach to call out his team for playing such passive defense. The problem is the Mavs weren’t even close enough to touch Foye, much less knock him down, on most of his buckets.

Foye, who entered the night averaging 9.8 points per game, tied a Clippers record by hitting eight 3-pointers on 15 attempts behind the arc. He was 6-of-12 from long range while scoring 22 points in the second half.

The Mavs made a futile attempt to try to defend the much more athletic Clippers man-to-man in the first half, when Los Angeles shot 52.5 percent from the floor en route to a 14-point halftime lead. Dallas adjusted to a zone defense in the second half, which Foye exploited over and over again.

“Eventually if you play zone for 24 minutes straight, the other team is going to find some openings,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “That’s what the zone is going to give up, some shots here or there. Give them credit. They found them.”

You couldn’t find a Dallas defender in the picture on a few of Foye’s 3-pointers.

Foye lit the Mavs up from the left side of the floor. He hit four 3s from virtually the same spot near the corner in the third quarter and a couple more from the left wing in the fourth.

“When a guy gets three or four consecutive shots in the same spot, something’s wrong,” Shawn Marion said. “When you don’t pick up on that after the first, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt after the second one. But when you get to the third and the fourth and he’s getting the same shot, damn, something’s [expletive] wrong.”

The Mavs kept giving each other confused looks after Foye made uncontested shots. The Mavs weren’t even on the same page after the game on the subject of how they could have disrupted Foye’s rhythm.

Jason Terry scoffed at Carlisle’s suggestion that Mavs should have tried to put Foye on his butt a time or two.

“I don’t know what that was going to do,” Terry said. “You do that and he’s going to get two free throws. If that’s me and you do that to me, I’m just going to shoot some more. So I don’t know if that works.”

Maybe it wouldn’t have worked, but the results couldn’t have been any worse.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
20.6 4.7 1.5 33.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.5
AssistsM. Ellis 4.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.5
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4