This game probably looked exciting when it was scheduled for national broadcast. Instead, the Dallas Mavericks spent 48 minutes treating Boston like a set of green scratching posts and the analysts from ESPN spent a lot of time talking about the ways the Boston Celtics are bad (rebounding particularly) and how much the lockout bites (though to be fair they were generous in their praise of Nowitzki and Jason Kidd).
From Dallas's perspective, it's a win, and in the process our future Hall of Famers slipped higher on the Best Ever lists -- Dirk now 20th all-time in points scored and Kidd second all-time in steals. Dallas takes it 89-73, and halfway through the season the record stands at 21-12.
Dodging the trap ...
"I thought coming off of yesterday the guys were really up for this. Sometimes you can have a letdown when a team’s missing a couple of star players. I thought we did a good job not allowing that to happen and then just playing with consistency from start to finish." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I mean, they obviously had some guys out and that’s always dangerous. You always talk about those being the setup kind of games that’s easy to lose, when they’ve got a couple guys out and you don’t approach the game the right way mentally. But we talked about it before the game, especially after coming off a loss, and we definitely took this one the right way." -Dirk Nowitzki
The Gameplan -- hassle the hell out of Pierce and Allen ...
"Defensively we had to step up. You knew their key guys would be Ray Allen and Paul Pierce tonight. We pretty much did a solid job on them, containing them and not letting them go for big numbers. I think that would have been their only chance for victory here tonight." - Jason Terry
"Well you’ve got to understand that if I was on the other team I’d do that too. Especially when you don’t have guys like Kevin and Rondo and Brandon out there, guys who can space the floor. They have a good game plan and we’ve just got to figure out ways to get other guys the ball, and other guys need to step up and weather the storm." -Paul Pierce
It's not arrogance if it's true and you can prove it ...
"I’m just getting warmed up ... Once I got my game back, I can attack off the dribble, post, do all those things, I think there’s not a lot of power forwards in this league who are better than me." - Dirk Nowitzki
On passing His Airness The Jordan in career steals (Stockton's probably out of reach) ...
"Mike is everybody’s idol and he played both ends of the court. So, just being able to pass him in something is an honor in itself. When you talk about defense, he played both sides of the ball. So, Stockton and Jordan are the two best at what they do. When you talk about guards, those two are the best all time." -Jason Kidd
Injuries (and other circumstances) suck ...
"Its real tough when you’re put in this situation, but we have a lot of pride, and continue to go out there and compete and show improvement. It is what it is. It’s a difficult time of the season, where there’s a lot of injuries, and we’ve been on the bad luck end of it as of late, so we just got to keep grinding through and weather the storm." -Paul Pierce
"We've got to get our guys back. I'm scared to talk to the medical staff because they don't give me good news. We've got to hold the fort until we get bodies back." -Coach Doc Rivers
"We're improving, with a ways to go. Some of it, of course, has to do with our health issues. That's Mother Nature, and we've got to deal with that." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Status of the backup point guard -- how're you holding up DJ?
"My job is to be ready, but it's not as easy as it sounds to do it. When you know you're going to play, you have a different focus when you're looking at film." -Dominique Jones
An argument against raising the draft age?
"It's a good thing I came out when I was young. I'm only 24 and I feel like I have at least 10 years left in my career. As long as I can stay healthy, I think I'll continue to get better." -Brandan Wright
Another plea for perspective where Lamar is concerned ...
"I think it's important that everybody understand the situation he's in now is unlike any situation he's been in his entire career. He's not playing all power forward minutes and he's not playing with two 7-footers who are great scorers in the post as he did in LA with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. He's now splitting minutes between 3 and 4, which affects his rebounding. And his playmaking is of a different nature at the three position. That's been a constant adjustment and he's making it. I think that's where we are." -Coach Rick Carlisle
On the other hand ...
"Do I think he can play better? Yes." -Coach Rick Carlisle
Offense sells tickets but defense wins games ...
"Our identity this year is that we're a defensive team. You look at our stats and you look at our record. You look at when we've struggled and when we play well, our defense and rebounding is defining who we are." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"It's all about your foundation. When Rick Carlisle became coach he emphasized defense form Day One. He put up the numbers of the past teams that have won championships, and they were all in the top five in the defensive categories. We set that as a goal from Day One and I think we've been able to, for the most part, maintain it." -Jason Terry
Looking forward -- here comes Tinseltown ...
"We’ve got one more game against the Lakers, who are playing well. So, we’ve got to end the first half on the right note by getting the win." -Jason Kidd
"I think we’re good. We want to go into the break feeling good. For the most part, we’re in a good position." -Shawn Marion
About the ongoing record-smashing ...
"Listen, every week we're going to have records broken with the guys we have on this team. It's like a legends team." -Coach Rick Carlisle