The Dallas Mavericks need solutions, not excuses.
Talking about how tough this stretch of schedule is won’t do the Mavericks any good as they prepare to play the butt end of a back-to-back-to-back and their ninth game in 12 nights.
The Mavs have lost six of their first eight games since the All-Star break, getting embarrassed by the Kings on Friday night. They won’t get well Saturday against the Golden State Warriors by whining about how tired they are.
“I’m not going to give into that,” coach Rick Carlisle said after the 110-97 loss to the Kings that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. “I want to see us come out and play a more efficient game before I give in to that kind of excuse. I just don’t buy it. You know, there’s another opportunity tomorrow. We’ve got to get ourselves iced up, get to the bus, get on the plane, get to Oakland and that one’s going to be upon us quickly.
“But we’re going to stay upbeat. We’re going to keep fighting.”
If you want to point to the scheduling grind as a problem, you have to at least acknowledge the poor level of competition during the Mavs’ miserable stretch. They’ve lost to three of the West’s four worst teams (Suns, Kings and Hornets) and a Nets squad that is near the bottom of the East.
"I don’t know about the frustration level, but it’s time for change," Jason Terry said. "You can only look at something for so long and you’re getting the same result. So at what point are you going to change or are you going to ride it out?
"I’m here. I’m here to do my job. As far as somebody else, I can’t speak for them, I got to speak for myself. If it sounds selfish, it is what it is. We’re not a team out there right now. It shows, so until we become a team and play together on both ends of the court we’re not going to be very good.”
A few more notes from the Mavs’ sixth straight road loss:
1. Turnovers set tone: The Mavs took a lead -- their only one -- with a bucket on their first possession. Then they committed four turnovers in the next four minutes, resulting in seven Sacramento points. The Mavs never recovered from that sloppiness, finishing with 17 turnovers that the Kings converted into 28 points. “It’s the thing that’s been biting us lately, the turnovers, and we’ve got to do a better job with it,” Carlisle said.
2. Carter comes up empty: Vince Carter’s 18-point performance against the Suns appears to be an aberration. He was scoreless in 17 minutes in Sacramento, the second time he’s failed to produce point in the last four games. He has also had two-point and three-point outings since the All-Star break. If Carter can’t get it going again, Carlisle will have to seriously consider making a change at the starting shooting guard spot when Delonte West returns from a fractured right ring finger. West is expected to miss at least another week.
3. Jet puts up numbers: Jason Terry responded to his crunch-time benching in Phoenix by scoring 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. That’s the most points Terry, whose road splits have been awful, has scored away from the AAC this season. There was no indication of lingering hostility between Terry and Carlisle. However, Rodrigue Beaubois, who missed two shots while Terry watched with the game on the line in Phoenix, had a heated conversation with Carlisle while walking to the bench after being pulled from the game in the fourth quarter.