LOS ANGELES -- Asked before Wednesday's game if he hoped the matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers would turn into a high-paced affair, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle cracked a smile and paused.
"We hope so, yeah. We would like to be fast-paced without turning the ball over," Carlisle said. "These guys (the Clippers) are among the very best in the league at not only turning you over, but taking the ball and scoring at the other end."
Carlisle stressed the importance of playing cohesive team basketball, especially against a Clippers squad with a lot of talented individual pieces.
"We're the epitome of a true team. We've got to be really persistent and really efficient with the ball," Carlisle said. "That's our avenue to winning games. Each minute, each second of each game is important to us."
The key to defending Los Angeles, Carlisle said, is to try to take away "paint points," more specifically "lob dunks" and "Chris Paul drives."
Which means, according to Carlisle, turning up the pace and getting out in transition. The Mavericks currently rank second in fastbreak points per game (16.8) and are third in pace factor, which estimates the number of possessions a team has per game.
"We're not set up to play a grinding, half-court game with the way our team is structured right now," Carlisle said. "We want to play aggressively and we want to be in attack mode."
As has been the trend this season, Carlisle wouldn't release his starting lineup, alluding to his "starting eight" as the more important theme for the Mavs. He did say, however, that O.J. Mayo and Shawn Marion are the only two locks to close a game at this point in this season.