Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dirk: "We're not good enough to coast"

Dirk Nowitzki offered up a frank assessment of the team on its current three-game losing streak, which included last night’s 12-point home loss to Washington without Gilbert Arenas.

“We see we’re not good enough to coast,” he said today after practice. “That’s what we need to learn from this. We need to play hard on both ends of the floor for 48 minutes. If we don’t, we can lose to anybody, on the road or at home.

“They came in yesterday making shots from everywhere and really took it to us on our home court. Just because we’re at home, we can’t relax. No matter who we play. Tomorrow we play Minnesota. They just beat New Orleans at New Orleans. Every team in this league is dangerous and we’ve got to be ready to play.”

All three losses have come against teams not considered contenders in the Eastern Conference. Are the Mavs playing down to the competition?

“I don’t think we’re that good to play down,” Avery Johnson said.

It appears the Mavs do get up for the “big” games. Dallas has beat defending champ San Antonio, defending East champ Cleveland and Houston twice.

“There are a lot less big games than there are other games,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to find a way to get motivated and win those other games, too. There is only one big game every other week, so it’s those other games where you show that you’re a good team.

“The good teams or the great teams, they’ve got to establish themselves every night. They just can’t show up once every two weeks and win a big game.”

It gets back to finding ways to win on those other nights.

“Some nights you just don’t have it,” Nowitzki added. “You can’t seem to make a layup or your jump shot goes, you dribble the ball off your foot. Things like that happen. Good teams find a way to grind those games out and at the end when it comes down to it, they’re sharp enough to win.

“Last year we won 67 games. We came out with those kinds of games. It seemed like if we were close the last two minutes of the game, we just found a way to get one stop or two stops and get a big bucket and come away with a win. This losing stretch right here, we just couldn’t get over the hump. We couldn’t get the stops we needed to.

“We’ve got work to do at both ends of the floor. There’s no question, but it’s still November. We’ve got a lot of NBA season left, but going through losing stretches is never fun.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's the most I have ever seen talk that much. Quite insightful. At least it shows they are worried about losses as well.