Dirk Returns, But Spurs, Then Carlisle Rip Mavericks

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST — The excitement of Dirk Nowitzki‘s surprise season debut Sunday night at San Antonio was quickly subdued by the sharpshooting Spurs’ 38-point thrashing that was followed by Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle ripping his team for a “lack of competitiveness, selfishness and a lack of commitment to one another.”

The Spurs set a franchise record with 20 3-pointers, the most made by any team this season, and embarrassed Dallas 129-91 just three nights after the Miami Heat led the Mavs by 36 points in the third quarter. Carlisle’s team lost for the fifth time in six games and has dropped three in a row against top teams. At 12-16, Dallas is rapidly sliding down the Western Conference standings.

“It’s all disappointing and it’s something we can’t accept,” Carlisle told reporters after the game. “I’ve got to work harder at turning these guys into a team. At this point, you know, we don’t look like we’re very close, but we’re going to keep at it.”

Dallas next plays at Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Mavs had no answers for the Spurs, who led 100-66 after three quarters and by as many as 46. At one point during a second-half timeout, an incredulous Carlisle barked at his team huddled around him, “What the (expletive) are you doing?”

Carlisle promised there will be little down time for his club over the Christmas break.

“If you look at the stat sheet I think you can find pretty much everything,” Carlisle said. “It was dribble penetration, it was giving up 3s, it was not getting loose balls, it was failure to make any hard, physical plays. So look, we’re going lace ‘em up early tomorrow morning and go back at it. I’d love to give everybody two days off, but it ain’t happening. It ain’t happening.”

As for Nowitzki’s return, the 15-year veteran came off the bench in the first quarter. He made his first three shots of the first half, a transition dunk, a 3-pointer and a patented turnaround baseline jumper. The only shot he missed was his famous one-legged fallaway. He finished with eight points, six rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes.

However, in the six-plus minutes he played in the third quarter, he did not get a shot attempt, a clear indication that it is going to take some time for this new cast of players to find the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.

Nowitzki informed the team’s medical staff not long before the game that he was prepared to give it a go Sunday night, surprising even some close to the team. Last Wednesday, Nowitzki said he was targeting his return for after Christmas.

Carlisle said Nowitzki “felt ready to go.” Asked how he felt Nowitzki played in his first game since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19, Carlisle said, “Good, all things considered.”

But then frustration boiled over when Carlisle was asked if he thinks it will take time for Nowitzki and his teammates to get reacquainted on the court. Nowitzki played in only the preseason opener with a team that is completely re-cast with the exception of Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and a few other low-minute players.

“What do you mean back used to each other?” Carlisle snipped. “Who’s back used to each other?”

The reporter clarified that Nowitzki participated at the start of training camp and played in the preseason opener in Berlin, the first stop of its two-game tour of Europe.

“Well, that was light years ago in NBA terms. I don’t think any of us remember that,” Carlisle said. “I barely remember being in Berlin or wherever we were.”

Dallas again was plagued by turnovers. O.J. Mayo led the way with six after committing five in Memphis on Friday night. He also continued his scoring struggles for a third game, all Dallas losses, with just seven points on 3-for-8 shooting. He has just 25 points on 9-for-33 shooting over the last three games.

The Mavs gave up at least 100 points for the fifth time in the last seven games, with the Spurs’ 129 points, fueled by lights-out 3-point shooting, being a season-high surrendered. Danny Green led San Antonio with seven 3s on eight attempts and was 9-for-10 overall.

“They’re a great shooting team,” Carlisle said. “A team like that is very capable of making 20 3s if they’re not contested.”


  1. DLS says:

    Rumors for DeMarcus Cousins trade is up. Carlisle could change DMC and make him mature since Mavs need rebounding.

  2. dattebayo says:

    “Sometimes the deals you don’t make are the best deals” – Mark Cuban

    And sometimes the deals you don’t make are deals you should have gotten done. I don’t see this roster making the playoffs in the West. They will fall to 12-19 within the next 3 games, which will put them out of playoff contention for good. In 2009-2010 it took 50 wins to make the playoffs and the West looks just as tough now as it did back then. I don’t see Dallas going 38-11 even with a healthy Dirk, so this was basically a wasted season.

  3. Lakers-R-Us says:

    OK look at the players the Mavericks lost! Tyson Chandler, J J Barea, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. Every one of these players were essential to the team, in my opinion. Dirk is great! But the chess pieces have gone away. Too many missing parts right now. It’s not good when you are suffering at the PG and center position both.We’ll see what happens as the season goes on. Still a little too early.

  4. dirk says:

    I honestly think that they should have kept Eddie Curry and not sign Troy Murphy…

  5. Dirk says:

    People need to understand that playing without your franchise player isn’t easy. Nash is not even the lakers franchise player but they still struggled. Now let the man slowly transition back and raise team moral. Plus they are 12th but only 4 wins shy of 8th place. So far they have had a tough season and have faced tough teams, and will continue to face tough teams until the end of january after which Dirk should be integrated back into the rotation and then they should be better. 12th place isnt bad, the west is really tight this year.

  6. MemphisMemphis says:

    In the words of Larry Bird, they played like “sissies.” The same can be said for all the bad teams. They all play like ‘sissies.”

  7. Unkle Daddy says:

    First off let’s get one thing straight, nobody wants to go to Dallas, do you see Deron Williams or Dwight Howard in a Mavs jersey… No you do not. Cuban shot the team in the foot by not re-signing his championship team. They are not a team anymore they are a bunch of pieces thrown together. Now, they are a solid set of pieces, but not a team. They need to trade Dirk, yes he is (was) the franchise, but that time is gone. It’s time to look to the future and build around Mayo.

  8. rockets fan says:

    very surprised and excited for Dirk Nowtizki on his speedy return to the court. cant wait to see him start to make it rain again from beyond the Arc. ball movement and defense are a two major problems that need to be fixed quickly before Dallas falls too far behind on the totem pole.

  9. Delonte says:

    How quickly they forget how important I was

  10. Rafael Enrique Merino Márquez says:

    I´m not a Mavericks fan, but I have to say their performance against the Spurs was a shame

  11. rondo says:

    Hey kobe (third comment) kobe is the biggest ballhog in the nba

  12. Damn….Rick is pissed!

    I would be too….but can you expect much more for players on one year deals playing for their next contract? It’s their livelihood, the 2011 team was just special…..can’t expect that to happen every year.

    Anyway….feel sorry for Rick, but he accepted the job under Cuban knowing full well what the Mav’s strategy was going forward.

  13. FR3d says:

    Got so sick at the score I didn’t even watch the highlights.

  14. Trevor Dylan says:

    I really did not expect the Mavericks to be the Spurs on their home floor. The Spurs almost always win all their home games. Also,, they are the top 3 point shooting team in the NBA League. they easily score over 100 points every time they play. So I did not expect Dallas to be able to compete with that.

  15. Trevor Dylan says:

    @ William Lee, Derek Fisher is not coming back. He was waived by the Mavericks per his request. I read the article and also saw it noted on television. Something about how he wants to spend more time with his family (according tro him)

  16. Strap C4 to this roster says:

    They need solid Big men.

    They have no play makers

    Too many SCORING GUARDS that rely on Volume shooting

    The system doesn’t compliment the talent

    I feel sorry for Dirk……….. It’s a bad roster with no chemsirty… but Carlisle hasn’t adjusted either…. Jae Crowder and Marion are Taking Corner threes. That’s not gonna get it done

  17. Go Mavs says:

    Yes, Dirk is back and he dunked it and drilled a deep three rite in front of the spurs. He was doing his signature fade that looked great. He will rock you soon… and watch out next time the Mavs and Spurs meet!

  18. Heatles says:

    its the mavericks fault for overhauling there championship caliber team last year.

  19. djb447 says:

    carlisle is stupid, he starts dojo over collison and roddy and wonders why they lost. the only reason collison might be selfish is because he feels cheated when DoJo is started over him. smh carlisle

  20. cp10 says:

    KABOOM! Even Parker sank a tr3y..

  21. mrcontrovercy says:

    I think kaman is a good off the bench addition not only to the mavs but every team. I think with brand and kaman and a combination of the second/bench unit and dirk at the 5, marion at the 4, carter/collison/mayo at the guards they could be scary. There will need to some confidence rebuilt with a few guys, but the mavs are straight. Adding quality depth never hurts either. Cuban is a fighter, he’ll figure this out and the mavs will make the playoff!

  22. MrNBA says:

    They need more beef in their frontcourt. Brand is ok but he can no longer knock down jumpshots. Kaman can hit jumpers but can’t rebound or block. Wright gets pushed around too easily. They need someone like Kenyon Martin. Or try to trade Kaman, Brand, and Wright for Varejao. Maybe they can even toss Roddy or Dojo in the mix.

  23. JenJen says:

    This team has put all of it’s eggs in one basket for too long. I thought it was a HUGE mistake to trade Tyson Chandler away last season, and then Jason Kidd this year. As good as Dirk is, he can’t do it all himself. The Mavs are just suffering now after having a one-track mind for too long. Even if Dirk were to get to 100% tomorrow, they would still be losing.

  24. jfack says:

    idk how in just two years they basically got rid of everyone from their championship team. usually when you win a championship i would think you would want to keep that team together, not go and trade everyone.

  25. JimD54 says:

    Dallas shouldn’t have traded their center to NY, that’s what happened to them, Cuban doesn’t care about winning championships…He just loves to save money…..

  26. random laker fan says:

    remember the jordan commercial where the mavs had 1 round pick and bobcats won championship it might be happening soon…

  27. Hunter says:

    MAVS turn this thing around! We got Dirk back at least, we have to trade Wright, DoJo, Roddy and someone else for a PG and a backup def. Center, if not then we will be bounced in the first round or may not make it all

  28. Toni says:

    They need calderon….


  30. Willy says:

    Why won’t you post my comment? SA is an awesome team with excellent shooters! Forget Dallas what do they expect they traded everybody!

  31. Michel says:

    Blame Fisher for the bad timing of his release. There’s no point guard to run the show. Cuban is going to have to see worse than this if it is nit rectified by the allstar break

  32. Patrickmarc says:

    I am glad Dirk is back,but Collison and Mayo where invisible.
    Spurs where perfect on three point line.

  33. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    Maybe Marc Cuban should acquire dominating BIG MEN like Glen Davis, together with young Andrew Nicholson, of the Magic in exchange for Chris Kaman

  34. Miami Heat BIG fan says:

    I think the Mavs should acquire Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith of the Knicks in exchange of Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo this coming trade deadline…

    Note: Felton is a better point guard than Collison! Felton could also make better plays and help Nowitzki get easy baskets.

  35. Willy says:

    All the talk about how bad the Mavs are? Did the Spurs do anything right? Na couldn’t be possible? I think they got a bit of rest. Go Spurs!

  36. jay says:

    g0 get calderonn!!!!! mavs nids help

  37. Bad Management says:

    It was started during the Odom trade. This team won’t do any better since the guy like Chandler and Kidd left. Demolishing the championship team is the worst thing a manager could do It takes years to build a chemistry and they trade that for Odom ??

  38. Spire says:

    whoever said carter was on championship team, no he wasnt. and goddammit carlisle, light years is a measurement of distance not time. go to school bro

    • DLS says:

      Spire, you may need to go back and learn more in school and read more on theory of relativity by Einstein. And also learn more of English Literature so that your broad-mindedness will be narrowed.

      As for the Mavs, i saw the game today and i can clearly see that Mavs lack ball movement like they used to back then. I would keep Mayo since he is a good SG for the team, i would like to get Kenyon Martin or any defensive center. Kaman doesnt rebound that much, and isnt that much of a defensive player like Chandler.

      and getting Ron Artest? NO. Mavs need a PG like Jkidd or even Nash 😦

      Mayo+Dirk will be lethal if they got it right.

    • Average Joe says:

      Maybe you should go back to school, man, so you’ll know how to read between the lines.

  39. William Lee says:

    I’m still waiting for further news on the Derek Fisher situation. Great that Dirk’s back though!

  40. Drew says:

    Dallas needs to take advantage of the fact that…the trade deadline is still about two months away. Trade Collison and O.J. Mayo for some defensive players–Why not try to grab Metta from the Lakers? The Mavs need defense. At this point, i’d be worried for them to even make it out of the first round. Things look shaky.

    • Jay says:

      make it out of the first round? LOL, they should worry about making the playoffs…12th in the west at this moment

    • Mino says:

      Not OJ Mayo, we still need scoring. We cant tell if Dirk is the same Dirk. Trade Kaman and Collison.

  41. vince says:

    get Calderon at PG. get a decent center. Vince Carter is the only good that we’re getting from bench. Get the bench more depth. This team is good, but they must be gell to each other until playoffs. And get hot at time when playoffs come, if they get it to it.

  42. manz says:

    Selfishness is the number one reason why they loss. You need to trade collison. PG is now a problem for the mavs. I love the rotation of players but being selfish of the ball makes it a big problem for them….

    • Kobe says:

      I agree. Collison and Mayo are ballhogs. And when ballhogs can’t score, theyre just taking up shot attempts.


      Vince Carter is not a winner… Never has been, never will be… Who is the self-righteous one barking at this year, now that Odom is gone?

      • Kamil says:

        You guys have no idea what you are talking about.

        That locker room lost Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler.

        Whats left of that championship team? Dirk, Matrix, Carter and Carlisle.

        They need to believe in eachother. There is no legitimate reason for their poor performance other than not trusting eachother and buying into the coaches philosophy.

        They have great talent. Mayo, Collison, Kaman, Brand <—All players that can seriously contribute to a championship experience.


      • ee says:

        cmon do your homework before you comment vince was not on the championship team

      • hoopfan says:

        hahahaha! for him VC won the championship.. maybe on the parallel universe. :))

        xfactor = FACT -_- lmao!

  43. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    the good thing is dirk is back! the bad thing is there is no help what so even…no commitment, no team play, no defense don’t expect a win..they need to move this coming trade deadline if they want to play in the playoffs…