DALLAS _ For whatever reasons, NBA referees have a tendency to swallow their whistles once the playoffs starts.
Fouls that were called during the regular season suddenly don’t get called. And the team that’s the most aggressive is the team that gets the lion’s share of the calls.
It is what it is.
“And we have to want to be the aggressors,’’ Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. “The last couple of days of practice if we play anywhere near the way we competed against each other in the last couple of days of practices, we’ll be fine against anybody. I don’t care who it is.’’
In other words, Chandler insists the Mavs have turned up the defensive temperature lately. Even if it has only been against themselves – in practice – and not against anyone in a live NBA game.
But can a Mavs team who their own coach described as “soft’’ a few weeks ago hit a magic button and all of a sudden become a physical beast?
“It’s just the nature of the game,’’ Chandler said. “When teams try to turn it up you have to be smarter and you have to execute better, and you have to make harder cuts.
“You have to set good screens, you have to execute your offense, you have to run back on defense and you have to communicate. It’s more so when the games start to getting rough and the game starts to getting physical and it starts getting fast, you almost have to slow down and then continue to execute without getting all rattled.’’
And above anything else, the Mavs have to be the aggressors. They know this is not the time of year to be meek.
Chandler said of the Mavs: “If we can play through the way we’ve been playing the last couple of days in practice and execute our offense and get into teams defensively, I feel like there’s no reason why we can’t compete against other teams.’’
-- Dwain Price
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