Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Time to get angry and hit back

Avery Johnson addressed the media not long ago after the team met at American Airlines Center. The General sensed anger from his squad when they walked through the door. The question now is can they transform that anger into something useful for Friday’s Game 3 at American Airlines Center?

“The guys are not happy with the way they’ve played,” Johnson said. “They came in this morning and I saw some angry looks, but I hope we take that disappointment and controlled anger into practice tomorrow and iron out a couple of things and then take it out on our opponents.

“Where we are right now, it’s nobody’s fault but ours. Not the referees. Nothing like that. We have to play better. We can’t complain when we don’t get calls. We just have to be tough-minded and physical and we’ll try to do everything to encourage and challenge them to get to that point.”

Johnson also took the blame for the 0-2 hole.

“I take full responsibility about everything and that’s my job,” he said. “But at the same time, if we have a gameplan, we have to have a high level of concentration and we have to have a high of physicality, which I haven’t seen yet. We’ll get there and we’ll keep prodding them and cheering them on and challenging and doing all that we do to try to get the team ready to play. I’m excited about this game on Friday. I wish Friday was tomorrow.”

Johnson said he saw that level of physicality in late season wins over Golden State and Utah. The Mavs also roughed up New Orleans in that last game of the season. He hasn’t seen it since.

“All they’ve really done is protected their homecourt,” Johnson said. “The series doesn’t really get good until somebody wins on the other’s homecourt. If you look at our last couple of games here at home against the Utahs and the Golden States and some of the better teams in the league, we’ve fared pretty good.

“We weren’t so good for a while, but we fared pretty good and that’s what we’ve got to do. Now we can’t bank on that. It’s not going to happen unless we come out here and hit somebody.”

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