Mavs/Cavs PREGAME: Rick Carlisle


Dallas Mavericks vs Cleveland Cavaliers—-

Anything definitive on Devin tonight: “I think he’s going to play. Hope he is but I wouldn’t say he’s definite.”

What’s it like to see the Kevin Love and Dirk match ups over the years: “There’s a lot of similarities between the two. You see a young Kevin Love that a few years ago was in the developmental stages. You wonder, if there hadn’t been a Nowitzki, would there be a guy like that that’s out shooting threes and doing things on the perimeter. I do believe Dirk has had that impact on the way he is framed on. Love is a great player and the match ups have been difficult for us because of his rebounding and his scoring and ability to get fouled. We have tons of respect for him and that’s one of the many difficult match ups they present you with.”

Pairing of Tyson and Amar’e: “It wasn’t for that long but there were some positive things. It’s a situation where we had to get started with it and we had to get those guys out there together because there are going to be big lineups and big teams that we play. It’s something we needed to go to back when we had Brandan Wright here and we developed it to where it’s a pretty solid combination with the right guys in there. It was in the beginning, I don’t think we did it in the second half with only three or four minutes but there were positives so I was pleased with it.”

The LeBron during your playing days: “Michael Jordan was one of the guys that played like that. There were some others too. Dominique Wilkins, great, great player. Both of those guys played above the rim all the time. I played a little bit against Julius Erving, his last three years of his career were my first three and he was always one of my favorite players so I always watched him very closely. LeBron has the same ability and skills as all those guys, just total domination. He can play the point, play the 2, 3, the 4 and can certainly play the 5 if you put four more smaller guys out there. I should mention Magic Johnson too. Skill set wise, mind for the game, understanding for the point guard position, ability to score and pass the ball, so there’s four guys.”

2011 finals haunt LeBron, his play vs Dallas since then: “It’s always been difficult so I view it more as the guy is a great competitor more than a personal vendetta against us. Going through stuff like that, is something great players go through. Michael Jordan went through a lot of disappointment before he got his first championship. Dirk had the same thing here in 2006 when they had a bitter defeat against Miami. There’s probably some motivation there, I can’t read his mind. I have unbelievable respect for him as a player and I’ve got to know him a little bit, his family and they’re great people. Whatever the case is, the case is with that but great players are going to be great and going to get greater and greater as their careers go on.”

See tyson struggling at the moment: “Little bit, little bit. I mean he’s playing hurt. He’s playing hurt to some degree and so I have to be mindful of that. He understands how important this period is for us. He can play, he wouldn’t be out there if he couldn’t and we wouldn’t have him out there if he couldn’t but this is the time of year where a lot of guys are just nicked up. I mean if Devin Harris plays tonight, his right hand is going to be painful, there’s just no two ways about it. Monta Ellis has got nicks and pains, I just know that. We don’t advertise it because our guys aren’t looking for that but it’s a fact of life of this season. Cleveland’s guys are dealing with the same thing.”

Something that is going to nag Tyson: “We certainly hope not and there’s no concern at the moment but I do know that he’s not 100 percent perfect out there.”

Shawn Marion with Dallas, defensive versatility: “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen, in terms of defensive versatility. We use to put him on guys like Rubio and Tony Parker and there were other times he would be guarding guys like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and every size in between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and all those great players that had the skill set and speed and dynamic athleticism. He’ very much underrated in the scope of the history of the game, just how good of an all around player he is.”

Surprising he never made all-defense: “It is. I could never quite figure it out.”

Aminu vs Marion, defensive versatility: “Yeah I do. I do think there are some similarities with Marion. Al-Farouq doesn’t have the experience Marion has. Body types are different. It’s a little bit of apples and oranges that way but the similarities that are there, they can guard smaller guys and he played some center for us this year during some stretches when we were a little bit up against it at that position so he’s taken the challenge and there were periods where he wasn’t playing very much, if at all, and he stayed with it and kept working, waited for his next opportunity. He’s done a real good job – I mean we don’t win that game the other night if he doesn’t have the defensive game he had.”