DALLAS -- Christmas time is in the air, folks are moving about town buying gifts, and Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is worried.
Worried that the holiday season and its many trappings may make his team lose focus when they host Toronto tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center. And worried that the Raptors may be extra upset after they lost at home to Charlotte this past Wednesday, 104-102 in overtime.
"It's tough for a lot of reasons,'' Carlisle said of tonight's game. "It's tough because of the loss Toronto just had.
"It's tough because we’re home and it's Christmas time and there's a tendency for teams to let up. And we’ve got to fight through that.''
While the Mavs are 'fighting through that', they'll also be trying to protect their home court, where they're 11-2 this season. In what amounts to their last home game before Christmas, the Mavs hope to spread a little holiday cheer tonight before jetting off to play in Phoenix on Saturday.
"We just know that each game we step out here is an opportunity to get 19,200 people involved,'' Carlisle said. "And it's our job to do that.
"When we do it we have success. And tonight's a tough game.''
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter