- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS – The buzz from the Mavericks’ banner-raising ceremony quickly turned into a headache when the Miami Heat rolled to a season-opening rout.
The Mavs are determined to make sure that the warm, fuzzy feeling from their ring ceremony before tonight’s game against the Timberwolves won’t affect their intensity after tip-off.
“These kind of ceremonies can get you a little emotional and feeling good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And when that happens, if you sense any sort of competitiveness leaving you, you gotta check yourself and get back in the flow of what’s really going on. I’m not that worried about it because this is the third thing we’ve been through [including the banner-raising ceremony and trip to the White House]. It’s a game we got to have. I think our guys realize that.”
If anything, the pregame festivities will inspire the Timberwolves. Star power forward Kevin Love said the Wolves want to “spoil their ring night, their special night.”
As far as the Mavs are concerned, this night is as much about revenge as it is about the ring ceremony.
The Timberwolves embarrassed the Mavs on New Year’s Day in Minnesota, scoring the final 15 points to hand Dallas a 99-82 loss keyed by Love’s 25 points and 17 rebounds. The Mavs are using that night as motivation for their third consecutive game without Dirk Nowitzki.
“I’m anxious to play these boys tonight,” Jason Terry said. “A lot of emphasis on getting some revenge, the way they beat us up there. We definitely didn’t like that feeling. The ceremony’s going to be fun, but getting a win is definitely more important.”
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