SAN ANTONIO -- Rick Carlisle said his Dallas Mavericks lacked competitiveness and were selfish during Sunday's 129-91 loss to the San Antonion Spurs.
But the Mavs' star player, Dirk Nowitzki, feels the team's basketball IQ needs to be enhanced.
"Maybe our basketball IQ went down a little bit, obviously, with (Jason) Kidd leaving. I think that's pretty obvious.''
Nowitzki played 20 minutes, scored eight points and grabbed six boards and was 3-of-4 from the field in his season debut against the Spurs. But it was yet another game when the Mavs fumbled and stumbled all over themselves that has to be a major concern to the team's coaching staff.
"We don’t make the right play on defense,'' Nowitzki said. "I don’t think it's from selfishness.
"Maybe we don’t react quick enough, maybe it's not natural enough to the guys to hear all the calls,
the switching of coverages. You’ve got to pay attention and you've got to be smart out there. We just didn’t show that tonight.''
The Mavs, who turned the ball over 20 times, also have to do a much better job of protecting the basketball.
"Like I said, offensively our decision-making has been brutal,'' Nowitzki said. "We’re averaging 20 turnovers a night.
"That’s impossible to win (with that many turnovers), especially on the road.’’
-- Dwain Price
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