What Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson had to say after his team's 97-84 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night:
After the hot start, walk us through what happened in the second quarter: We just got kind of stuck in that second quarter. They went on a little run there, and then we kinda got back going a little bit and we were only down four or something like that at the half and came out and West just took over in that third quarter. He dominated us, he made shots, they were much more aggressive than we were. We went back to our old habits of really not trying to get the ball to the basket and being persistent penetrators and we paid the price.
What are your thoughts on the flagrant 2 foul on Jason Kidd? I saw a review of it. First of all, Kidd wasn't trying to hurt anybody. I just think he got caught in a bad position, and it was just a tough call. But, by no means was he trying to injure (Jannero) Pargo in that situation. I don't want to see any of our players ever get ejected from the game, and I thought he was going for the ball and he just happened to come down around that shoulder area, that neck area, which he was definitely not trying to do.
Were you surprised at your team and how this game turned out? Yes, absolutely. I thought we were primed for a really good win. I thought we were going to come out and just play aggressive from start to finish. I thought our third quarter would be one of our better third quarters and it wasn't. And then we just started pressing. We didn't make shots. We didn't drive enough. You could tell by the free throws, we go from shooting 38 to 16. You can't shoot 16 free throws in a playoff game and shoot 36 percent from the field. Again, we weren't as aggressive as we should have been and we are going to have to be aggressive from start to finish in New Orleans.
On the play of Brandon Bass: Bass, again, had a pretty good first half. He made some pretty good plays in there. And he is trying, he is trying to give us some energy off the bench. But again, we are going to need more than one player to contribute. Tonight, they had two guys that hurt us a little bit off the bench with Pargo and Wright. We are definitely going to need some more production off the bench from our guys.
On Devean George: He was trying to get after it, but more than anything, we just couldn't make a shot. Like I said, 36 percent from the field. We missed some wide open threes that normally go down for us. Jet was just spent energy-wise. He was laboring a little bit in the first half and we just weren't scoring the ball at all. We just got stuck there for a minute, but we tried to come back and we cut it to four at the end of the half.
On the play of Josh Howard: Again, shots just not going down right now. Obviously, we know it is not the best of timing, but again, it can turn around in our next game. It can turn around and you can forget about what happened in the first four games. But, it is not going to turn around with not persistent penetration. It's not going to turn around with bad decisions, we have to make better decisions, we got to penetrate, we got to move the ball. And then when we get down by 12 or 13 points, or whatever it was at that time, we can't have a home run play where we try to make a 13-point play and get back in the game. We have to do it possession by possession.
On the play of Jason Kidd: Just a tough night. You know, it has been a tough series and he is trying hard. A couple of his shots that he loves to take, he was in his spots, just didn't go down for us. He missed a couple of his shots that normally go in. When we did pass the ball, because we had other guys struggling from the field, he couldn't get many assists.
Is this the worst stretch you've ever seen Josh go through? He was in a tough stretch this year, I am not sure what month it was, but he was in a tough stretch. But, I think it is not a great stretch and it is not at the right time. You know, sometime, if you are in November and December, or early January and you hit a week or 10-day stretch where you are not playing good basketball, you have 40 more games to get it turned around. Now it is one game because it is single elimination right now.