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May 17, 2011

Rick Carlisle


Dallas Mavericks – 121
Oklahoma City Thunder - 112

Q. Can you start off by talking about the record-setting performance of Dirk Nowitzki and how effective he was at reading what the defense would give him?
RICK CARLISLE: Which records did he set? I don't know. Anyway, he played great, obviously. And we had a long layoff, but guys worked hard during that period. Dirk spends a lot of time working on his game, keeping himself ready, and you know, he got going early. I thought he did a good job of mixing in drives with the jump shots and getting to the bonus was big because that helped him get to the free-throw line when we had a match-up advantage there.

Q. A lot of the talk is going to be about Dirk getting to the free-throw line. However, Oklahoma City got to the line 43 times. What are you going to have to do in Game 2 to cut that down?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, I know. I mean, they got there a lot. We're going to have to quit fouling them as much, obviously, is part of it. And, you know, this series is in large part going to be about the free-throw line. When Durant and Westbrook get there a lot, they win. So we were fortunate tonight. We're going to have to play better. Westbrook had a very sub-par game for him. I thought we did some good things against him, but I thought he also just had an off game.
Look, we had a lot of loose possessions out there that we're going to have to clean up at both ends. I mean, I don't know how many times they drove and kicked it off and dunked the ball. You can't allow that to happen in a playoff series. I mean, it's just too easy.
I thought maybe the biggest key to the game was Marion coming back after he got his nose broken by Perkins because we need him out there to try to deal with Durant. I mean, he was bleeding. He had things stuck up his nose. It was a really difficult situation, but we desperately needed him out there, and you know, he got right back up, got those plugs or whatever he had in his nose and got back out there as soon as he could.
That was a big part of the game. And I thought Nowitzki was spectacular, and I thought the bench played well. We had a lot of guys do good things.

Q. Can you talk more importantly about the play you got out of J.J. and Jet tonight?
RICK CARLISLE: They both played well. They were both aggressive. You know, as the series goes on, we'll be seeing different coverages, different match-ups and so forth. Those guys have got to be ready for anything. You know, I mean, we rely on our bench a lot. We bring a lot of our better players off the bench, and so we need those guys to play well, and we count on them.

Q. On Barea, he played 16 minutes, he's 8 of 12. What makes him so tough to guard because he's running around and people can't stay in front of him?
RICK CARLISLE: He's an experienced player now. He's in his fourth year and he's aggressive and he's aggressive to attack the paint and score. If you take away the shot, we hopefully have other guys spotted up. We're going to have to have some more guys get involved in the scoring. You know, I don't think there's any question about that, and then I think Oklahoma City is going to feel the same way about their team.

Q. How did you think Tyson and Brendan controlled the middle for you in the paint defensively?
RICK CARLISLE: I thought they did a solid job. You know, one thing that is disappointing, we got out-rebounded, and that was a target stat for us, by two. Those guys did a good job. Tyson's fouls were a problem, again, and so -- and this is going to be one of the challenges in the series is that our big guys are having to step out and help 22, 24 feet from the basket, and you've got guys like Durant and Westbrook attacking, and those guys are going to have to move their feet, contain and stay out of foul trouble, and then they've got to be able to rush back to the basket and help us rebound. That's where the series is a lot different than the two previous ones we've played.

Q. Talk about your transition defense.
RICK CARLISLE: I know it can be better, but we had some really good runbacks. A couple times we ran back and were able to prevent them from scoring, and we had another couple situations where we got back and took a play off foul and made them run it to the free-throw line. That's another big part of the series, being able to get back because I know they pushed the heck out of it.

Q. I know you spent a lot of games watching from the bench, watching Dirk Nowitzki do similar things as he did tonight. When you look at that sheet and see that he had 48 points on only 15 shot attempts, can you put that into some kind of perspective?
RICK CARLISLE: No, I can't, really, because, I mean -- that's part of his greatness is that he's so good that in efforts to prevent him from getting the ball, he draws a lot of fouls. When you get to the bonus, he's going to make 24 out of 24. And so that kind of number is possible.
But there are very few guys in this league that can do that. Unfortunately for us, one of the few others that can is Durant. And so we've got to keep our guard up on both him and Westbrook.

Q. It didn't look like the layoff bothered you. What did you do to stay so sharp?
RICK CARLISLE: Mixture of rest and competitive play, you know, and just -- we just kept talking about how it was going to be good for us. You know, I wasn't worried about the rest. When you go nine days without playing a game, I worry about concentration slippage in some areas. We had a little bit of that, and we're going to have to get that cleaned up for Game 2.

Q. This morning Scott Brooks alluded to the fact that doubling Dirk at the top might be too risky. Did you guys come in believing that he would see single coverage or did you think that he'd get the double coverage treatment?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, look, they played Zach Randolph straight up the entire series, and they came on him a few times. But they have a lot of pride in their ability to guard people, as do we. You know, there will be adjustment. I don't know exactly what, but look, they had a small lineup out there at one point with four guards, four perimeter guys and a center, and then one time I think they had four little guys and Durant out there, and all those guys had problems guarding Dirk when he had the ball and then he kicked it out and we hit some shots. Look, they're going to do what they have to do. They'll adjust. What exactly they'll do, I don't know.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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