Following Game 1 of the Mavericks-Jazz Series, both teams spoke directly to the media and here’s what they had to say:
(On Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie’s guard game…)
“They were great this afternoon. Offensively, they found guys [and] got shots, but our defense gave us the chance to win this game. Much good, not just from these two, but from the team.
(On the team’s ability to create looks without Luka Dončić in the mix…)
“I thought we could be better at it. It’s an area we’ll talk about tomorrow because there are a lot of eyes open for us. We just have to be a little patient. But the looks we’ve achieved over time, we normally would. It’s just the game of basketball; sometimes they come in, sometimes not. But I thought overall we slowed down the game and gave ourselves a chance to win without Luka [Dončić] and that really shows the sign of a good team.
“I think we talked about it before the game and throughout the week – we have to bounce the ball. We need to do a better job as little ones to come back and help. It’s something that, again, we knew would be a problem, especially when playing small. I thought the guys were fighting. It’s just something we need to improve. If we can do that, then hopefully that puts us in a better position to win.
(On Donovan Mitchell’s third quarter play…)
“Nope [I don’t think we lost control]. A lot of them were 2s. I think when you look at what they do well they shoot the 3. And the 2s in this league they can help you win but when you’re a team that shoots the 3 , it’s the No. 1 offensive team in the league. The things we did defensively without Luka [Dončić] being able to bounce back for us and come in defensively, I thought the game plan was great. They didn’t score 100 points and when you do that in today’s basketball it tends to give you a chance to win. We just didn’t have enough offensive power down the stretch.
(On set 38% from the field…)
“You have to give them credit, they followed the game plan and made it difficult. There were a lot of easy looks there, a lot of great looks, I just missed them.
(On cleaning up rebounds…)
“Just focus on getting Rudy off the glass, that’s the biggest part of the problem. Fifteen boards is a lot for defensive rebounds, so getting the rebound, I think, is our carry in the second. match.
(On the adaptation of Rudy Gobert…)
“I think we need to do a better job of making shots easier. We missed a lot of easy shots and made a lot of hard shots. We just have to keep our focus on it. He’s a great defensive player. He was named Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, so follow our game plan and stick together.
(On the quality of shots without Luka Dončić…)
“Probably a little worse than he is when he’s in it, but we’ve had some open looks around the corner for Maxi [Kleber]Josh [Green] and [Reggie] Bullock hit a couple threes. We had a chance, we had them under the hundred points, congratulations to them”
(On the rebounds in the next game…)
“Just bouncing back, everybody gotta come back, get in there and send five guys to the board opposing their two or three. We know Royce [O’Neale] going to crash in the turns, Bojan [Bogdanovic] can crash and obviously [Rudy] Gobert and [Hassan] Whiteside will be there. We just have to send the five and make sure we get the defensive rebound.
(By removing the offensive production of Luka Dončić…)
“I also personally think we lost by six, I missed six free throws, so we’re right there. If anything, that should be encouraging for the fanbase in my opinion. We are disappointed with the locker room. It’s not a game we felt – obviously give them credit – they went out there and won the game. [Bojan] Bogdanovic played well, [Donovan] Mitchell played well, but we had a chance to win and we just didn’t. Myself, obviously first and foremost, I feel like it’s inexcusable in playoff games to miss six free throws. Obviously, if you do the ones given in the time frame and they go down and hit within two minutes, there’s one minute left. They’re down four and down to two and now it’s us holding the ball and being fouled so it turns the game upside down. Overall looking at this like I said you knock down another corner three and things of that nature and with them having their top two scorers for 30 basically and still holding them below a hundred I think that overall there is a lot of room for optimism.
(On keeping Utah off the boards after being passed…)
“Bouncing back was one of the things the coach [Jason Kidd] Talk about. We really just need to keep them out of the attacking glass. These second chance points are important, especially the three.
(By forcing Utah to take mid-range shots…)
“I think our defense gave us a chance. Regardless of the rebound, I think we still gave ourselves a pretty good shot at winning the game. If we make a few more threes and free throws, that will be a different story. They were the better team tonight.
(On which games stood out to allow the team to win tonight…)
“I think, not to diminish the importance of plays and execution, I think our group kept attacking. Obviously Bojan [Bogdanovic] into the post, I don’t know how many times he pulled it, but I thought about his trick to pass out from the post. When they got small, you realize teams get small sometimes against us, we passed them by twenty rebounds.
“Part of that is when teams get small so we can use our strengths. It may seem like a very small thing, but Hassan Whiteside in a minute and a half had us making a few saves and an offensive rebound put back in place and that are the kind of games that actually have the exact opposite effect of, say, turning it over and giving up a three. There were times like that where I thought our mental toughness was being tested and we really reacted.
(On the defense of Rudy Gobert tonight…)
“Rudy is valued on a lot of different things, sometimes two of them at the same time. The fact that we’re even doing this analysis of a guy who can actually protect the rim and go out and challenge all three says a lot about what he’s capable of. His ability to do that is key to how we play defensively. It won’t always work because the other teams execute, they shoot, but I don’t know. For a guy who plays as hard as he did during a course of the game a few guys block him, to keep running and only get one shot he obviously got some free throws but to stay as locked up as he was. If we can get past teams by twenty rebounds at some point, people are going to have to think a little more before they go small.
(On what he did best in the second half offensively…)
“Just being in attack mode. I came out a little too passive. Along the same lines, Bojan [Bogdanović] was rolling so I kind of let it go and didn’t force the game. I didn’t feel like I was out of control or anything. Bojan had it all so I have to go out there and make the right plays. Shots weren’t coming in so it’s all good, so get out in the second half, be ready to go and be in attack mode.
(On how the Mavs managed to hold him off at a field goal attempt…)
“(laughs) It was good. I do not know. They weren’t really pulling on every one of my rolls. I hope I get more in the next game but, at the same time, for most of the game I thought we moved the ball. We talk about sacrifice: that’s what it’s all about. One night it will be me, one night it might be someone else, but in the end we kept moving the ball, and that’s what matters.
Here is our last episode of Mavs Moneyball after dark. If you are unable to see the embed below, click here to be redirected directly to the podcast. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search for Mavs Moneyball Podcast.