Dec 31, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT
Dallas has lost six in a row and nine of their last 10 now. It hasn’t been pretty, especially the two losses to the Spurs where Dallas was barely even a threat.
Coach Rick Carlisle is frustrated — frustrated with the effort level of his team. Frustrated with the professionalism. And he threatened his players with suspension after Sunday’s loss, reports the Dallas Morning News.
“The last week, I’ve had to literally scream in the face of two guys in practices and shootarounds to get the point across. And I will continue to do that. If I have to start suspending guys for not doing things they’re supposed to be doing on the court, I’ll do it. And Mark (Cuban) and I will get into it about that. But somehow, things have got to change and it can’t just be about that it’s a tough schedule. It just can’t.”
If Carlisle wants to get into it with Cuban, they should first acknowledge that Cuban ordered a roster built that allows him to go after free agents next summer but in getting guys willing to take one-year deals — Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Dahntay Jones — or with that much left on their contract (Darren Collison) that there was a drop in talent level.
The other part of this fall in Big D is O.J. Mayo could not sustain his hot start when he carried this team. For his first 20 games Mayo was scoring 20 points a game and shooting better than 45 percent from three and 47 percent overall. But in his last 10 games Mayo is scoring 13.2 points a game on 38.5 percent shooting and 24.4 percent from three.
Dirk Nowitzki isn’t in shape yet to carry the team coming off knee surgery.
But Carlisle is not wrong here, either — the effort from Dallas has been lacking, particularly on defense. They are playing some good teams lately but just rolling over for them, especially when they get behind.
Carlisle isn’t going to be suspending guys, but he can just take away minutes from guys who are not producing. The problem is he doesn’t have a lot of good players to give those minutes to.