Dallas controlled the entire game for a much needed win to avoid a losing record. Throughout the night, the jumbotron played “thank you’s” from all the players and owner Mark Cuban. Cuban made sure to promise that he will work tirelessly this summer to return with a winning team next season. No doubt an early plea for season ticket holders to renew.
Rick Carlise echoed the same sentiments. “We got up against it in December, with the slow start and all that. Now its to work in the summer to get our younger guys better and to get the team better.”
Carlisle reflected on teams 41-41 record saying, “I expected us to battle back and I expected us to get back to and get above .500, [but] it didn’t happen…We never lost our spirit and our effort.”
” The burden of the season is on all of us. I take a lot of responsibility for what happens on the court, because that’s my job. Mark’s proactive to be accountable for things. He’s the ultimate owner because… when things go like they did this year, he steps up and says this is on me”
Coach specifically called out the effort of O.J. Mayo’s 2 point performance on Monday night against his former team the Memphis Grizzlies. He later added on before tonight’s game that Mayo would have a chance to make a better lasting impression.
Mayo answered the call with 5 points in 30 minutes tonight. You can draw your own conclusions.
Darren Collison, however, made his last impression going into the offseason a positive note by leading the team in scoring with 25 points off the bench. He was 10-15 from the field with 4 assists.
“He was terrific tonight…we had some guys play well, but he was our most consistent, dynamic guy out there”, said Carlisle on Collison’s night.
The Mavs had 17-8 run to take a nine point led in the second quarter. The Hornets never could catch up even with an advantage of 58-37 in rebounding. Al-Farouq Aminu tied an American Airlines Center record with 17 rebounds in the first half, 14 in the first quarter.
Tonight was the 472nd consecutive regular season game sellout for the franchise and most Mavericks fans left disappointed that this will be the first time since the arena opened July 27, 2001, there will be no post season. Not even a first round sweep.
“The fans have been great”, commented coach Carlisle. “It’s one of the most loyal [fans] I’ve seen in my years in the league. We got to repay the loyalty by getting the team better this summer. I know that. Mark and Donnie [Nelson] know that. There is a lot of work to be done. It’s going to take creativity, being opportunistic, and we’re going to have to do our homework on a lot of things.”
For the Dallas Mavericks, their offseason starts tomorrow immediately following the players exit interviews.