The Dallas Mavericks were eviscerated 127-94 Tuesday night by the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, and afterwards, there was plenty of anger in the Dallas locker room.
Amar’e Stoudemire ripped into his new teammates for their horrid effort against the Cavs, saying he “came here to win.” (Nice jacket, STAT!)
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle took the blame for his team’s play — Dallas is now 11-12 since Jan. 29, and on the outside looking in when it comes to Playoff seeding.
Per the Dallas Morning News:
“We didn’t come out with the aggressiveness or the focus or the determination that we needed,” Amar’e Stoudemire said. “We didn’t compete. We’re not playing like champions. And they took advantage of that. We were making mistakes that second-year players, rookie players make in this league. We should know better than that. This is a team that’s competing for a championship that we played against. We should have accepted the challenge of competing against these guys. And we backed down.”
Was there a lack of effort? […] “I saw a lack of everything out there,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And I’m taking the blame. After the first quarter it was our worst performance of the year, just flat out. We just did a horrible job. I’m taking full responsibility for what happened the last three quarters. It’s a horrible job of coaching these guys and preparing them. Forty-one points in the second quarter, too many breakdowns, too many lack of concentration mistakes that are just normally beneath who we are. But it’s on me. I’m sick to my stomach about this.”
“I came here to win,” Stoudemire said. “We’re 3½ games (4 1/2 actually) out of being out of the playoffs, which is unacceptable. We got to find a way to refocus and key in to the details. We can’t cheat the game. We can’t screw around in shootarounds and practice and joke around all the time and figure we’re going to win games. It’s the highest level of basketball. We got to act that way.”