Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks: Why is Dirk scoring more? It’s all about making his assignments fair

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle recently joined “Cowlishaw and Dennis” on 103.3 FM ESPN for “The Rick Carlisle Show” to talk all things Mavericks basketball following the team’s trip to Charlotte. Here are some highlights:

20 points in 24 minutes against the Magic and 19 points in 23 minutes against Charlotte — what’s happening with Dirk?

Carlisle: “Mostly when we switch, we’re not sending him down there against like-sized guys or guys who are big… It’s just become too much of a grind and definitely not a very fair thing. A lot of his good shots have come off of… our playmakers have done a good job of using the threat of him scoring to get themselves free and the threat of their scoring to get him free. Barea is a master, Smith is getting better each game, Harrison, he knows how to play that game. Ferrell is a young guy who’s improving all the time too.”

Has the Mavericks depth and the amount of guys receiving minutes helped the team win back-to-backs?

RC: “Probably. And we’ve been playing better the past two or three weeks. That helps too. You get some peculiar things that happen in an NBA schedule. We had been playing every other day and then we had the game against Orlando and the minutes were crazy that night. We were going to Charlotte which is a really hard back-to-back because it’s a long flight and you lose an hour so we get in there at 3 a.m., and they had been off for five days. And had come off a west coast trip where they had won three-out-of-four. They were riding high coming off of that, and, you know, sometimes sitting around can be challenging too. We may have caught them a little bit and we didn’t get a great start, but after the first six or seven minutes we did rather well.”

How much stock do you put into guys being energized by going back home to play, in this case Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes?

RC: “I think so. There’s a comfort factor when you go home. That’s been my experience over the years. Look, when you’ve been with a team for a long time and then you get traded unexpectedly and then you go back for the first time, that’s a little different story because things get hyped up and stuff like that. But in this case, these guys are kind of going back to their “home-homes,” and in terms of their colleges,  Fayetteville isn’t too far from Charlotte and Barnes was a Carolina guy for three years or whatever it was. So it was interesting. There were 35 people there watching Dennis, including his dad. Many of his family. Barnes only had three or four people. 5-6 years into this. He’s learned how to cut the numbers down a bit.”

Click here to listen to the full interview.

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