Rick Carlisle was valiant and bold and righteous on Sunday night ... on a subject that had nothing to do with his somnambulant Mavs. DB.com's Mavs Donuts has Video Visits with Dirk, Marion, Vince, B-Wright, Larkin and most of all, Carlisle, all of whom are people living in glass cesspools who shouldn't throw stones.
DONUT 1: Knicks 90, Mavs 82...
I made this point last night in our "First Impressions'' review of the Dallas Mavericks' fourth consecutive home loss:
Sometimes, when coaches say things like, "It was all my fault,'' they are:
a) Being sarcastic, and are truly blaming their charges.
b) Paying lip service to the idea as a way of deflecting the issue.
c) Taking the blame and therefore taking a bullet for the true culprits.
I don't sense that here.
"I didn’t have them ready,'' said Carlisle in trying to explain how Dallas could lose yet another home game, in yet another odd fashion, this one featuring lethargy against a 10-22 Knicks club that would see Tyson Chandler exit due to illness in the opening minutes. "I will take the blame for that. It’s pretty clear. It starts at the top.''
I think Rick means that. And I think he is right to mean that.
DONUT 2: The official highlight reel ...
Maybe you won't see all of the blemishes in the official highlight reel of this loss that pushes Dallas to 19-15.
But you will get the idea.
"We weren't very good,'' said Nowitzki, who had 18 points and nine rebounds and was about the only guy who seemed close to maybe good enough. "I mean, you can blame everybody all the way around."
DONUT 3: Dirk's Video Visit ...
Dirk's Video Visit, in which we begin on "Sleepy Sam'' and proceed on:
DONUT 4: Why not blame Rick? ...
But why not blame Rick, for starters? I think he's serious about being responsible for finding fixes up at the top before his Mavs find his way nearer the bottom ... just where Nowitzki fears they might belong, as The Uberman talked over the weekend about how Dallas isn't presently worthy of a playoff spot based on recent events.
The clarification from Dirk:
Truth is, the Mavs are in eighth in the West. So they ARE worthy of being where they are ... they just have such a troubling way of going about their business trying to prove it.
DONUT 5: Who is dysfunctional again? ...
You start this game by going down 29-17 after the first quarter to a dysfunctional Knicks club. ... that had lost in 12 of its last 13 trips to downtown Dallas. You continue by seemingly to be clueless as to how to defend New York's pick-and-rollers. You shoot 36 percent in the first half. You get only three assists in the first half. You score only 35 points in the first half.
But what the hell. You scored twice that many in the first half on Friday against the Clippers and that didn't work, either.
Let's keep going ...
Also at halftime, Dallas was 0-of-8 from the arc. Monta Ellis keeps wanting to launch and keeps ignoring Dallas' desperate need for him to get to the line.
No, Monta. Not the rounded line. The straight one.
In his last 13 games, Ellis is 5-of-31 from the three-point line (as Coop notes). He'd missed 10 straight before getting one to go down in the third quarter.
Ah, but it's not like Dallas didn't get to the free-throw line at all in the first half. As a matter of fact, the Mavs got there an astounding 17 times!
But they missed eight of those.
So ... never mind.
DONUT 6: Guarding 'Melo ...
Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter, and maybe that's because Shawn Marion came up a little lame very early in this game. He seemed to sustain an ankle injury that played a role here, though Marion did play through it.
"It was like there was no life,'' Marion said. "(But) hold a team to 92 points, usually that's a win.''
In fact, when the Mavs hold an opponent under 100 points, Dallas is 13-3 ... but that can't possibly work out right when there's "no life.''
DONUT 7: One more Marion factor ...
The ankle is not an excuse. Forward to the 43-second mark of this video and watch Marion struggle to get back to the losing locker room:
That's trainer Casey Smith joining Marion on the walk. The Mavs practice on Monday morning and we'll update you when we get more information.
It probably didn't help matters when J.R. Smith reached down to untie Marion's shoe ... the sort of action that leaves you not knowing if you should giggle or kick the perp in the face:
DONUT 8: Oh, those steaks and burgers! ...
Thanks to Dee and the incredible staff at Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar for our incredible Mavs pregame dinners ... the legendary DFW restaurateur has done it again.
Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar is becoming THE "upscale casual'' place to dine before you attend events in Dallas ... And the gang from DB.com looks forward to seeing you there this week!
DONUT 9: Sleeping on the job ...
For the second time in this young season, the veteran Sam Dalembert has been punished for showing up late to a workout. At a time when the Mavs really needed all hands on deck, Carlisle issued him a DNP.
Sam fairly mumbles through out postgame Video Visit, but he does say, "I can't sleep at night'' -- suggesting there is a disorder of some sort that precludes him from being awake enough during the day to attend practices.
And we loop back around to Coach, who probably needs to find a way to get his starting center to get his beauty sleep at some time during the day when Dallas hasn't scheduled a practice.
“He was late for practice (Saturday),'' Carlisle said of Dalembert, part of the Mavs Quoteboard you can find here. "It’s a one-game situation. But, we need everyone to be all in. Our margins are obviously thin. So, we are not going to reinforce behavior that is unacceptable and that is just the way we are going to do business with him. And we need him, and I like him, and I think we can correct this, and I believe that we will.”
But let's be frank: Dalembert isn't the only one around hear napping on company time. Big leads lost. Home games lost. A lack of "life,'' as Marion notes.
How many guys do we need to line up to say the same thing?
From a veteran, Vince Carter, who played his 1,100th NBA game and says the Mavs have "lost our way'':
How about from a kid?
“We came out too flat defensively early in the game,'' said Shane Larkin. "We weren’t into it and they got hot early. We really didn’t start fighting until the end of the game and it was just too late.”
Bleccch. It's so obvious a rookie feels qualified to identify it and empowered to say it?
DONUT 10: 'A lack of energy' ...
That's the take from B-Wright, who is an "energy guy'' ... and maybe instead of starting DeJuan Blair every time Sammy fails to roll out of the sack, Rick should start Wright at center?
DONUT 11: Unfriendly confines ...
At one point this year, Dallas was 11-2 at the AAC. The building, once criticized as being "too antiseptic,'' had a vibe. We talked of a "friendly-confines atmosphere,'' a place where 19,000 friends met to chase the realistic goals of a team that isn't a repeat of the 2011 titlists but that has some assets, some explosiveness, some youth, some "life'' ... and most of all, has Dirk and Rick.
There is no particular shame in being 19-15 and there is no particular shame in being in eighth place in the West ... no matter how you interpret (or misinterpret) Nowitzki's evaluation.
But this club has now created a crappy meme about itself even crappier than the previous crappy meme: A few days ago, it was just about the Mavs lacking the intensity to maintain leads of 17, 18, 19 and more points.
Suddenly, now it's about lacking the intensity to bother trying to get those leads, especially in their own building ... bothering to have "life'' and "energy'' ... bothering to persuade their starting center to come in from the cold and join the rest of the fellas at the AAC.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Rick Carlisle remains the best weapon to fix what ails his Mavs and their (relative) mess. There is no lack of effort, brainpower or respect, generally speaking.
His is among the most authoritative voices in the game. And today after practice, he will be the only Mavs voice who speaks. There will be no player availability to the media.
Also, regarding that authoritative voice: Even after a debacle like Sunday night, Rick felt obliged to say something about the Big Apple abuse handed out to fellow coach Mike Woodson of the Knicks.
"If I could make one statement about Mike Woodson,'' Rick said. "I just marvel at the job he's doing with this team right now, given the circumstances, given all the ridiculous rumors about his job security and all the nonsense that's being stirred up in that media cesspool in New York City.''
This is a stand that isn't sarcastic, either. Nor is it lip service as a way of deflecting a real issue. What it is, is ... valiant and bold. Carlisle is accurate in this criticism of the NYC media. He's also humorous in the way he frames it. And by God, as president of the NBA Coaches Association, he's standing up for a brother and that is truly righteous.
Now, how about Rick and the Mavs go about being valiant and bold and righteous inside of the AAC? Because people who live in glass cesspools really shouldn't throw stones.
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