DENVER -- When the Dallas Mavericks fell behind the Denver Nuggets 18-8 with 7:26 left into the first quarter Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center, Rick Carlisle thought about re-shuffling the deck and removing all five starters from the court.
But the Mavs' coach decided against it, and his team went on to suffer an embarrassing 115-110 loss to the down-and-out Nuggets.
Dirk Nowitzki said he isn't sure Carlisle's plan would have worked if Carlisle wouild have trusted his initial instincts and gone through with it.
"Anything wasn't working, so you might as well try whatever you want,'' Nowitzki said. "I have no
ideas if that would have worked.
"Maybe the bench would have given us some energy early.''
The Mavs (36-26) certainly looked totally uninspired for a team trying to hustle and grab one of few available playoff spots at the bottom of the Western Conference postseason ladder.
Nowitzki acknowlegded that Bernard James, who started the second half at center in place of the struggling Samuel Dalembert, did provide a spark in a third quarter which saw the Mavs hold Denver to just 11 points. James finished with four rebounds, a steal and five fouls in 11 minutes.
"I thought Sarge was great there in the third quarter,'' Nowitzki said. "He used all his fouls and played hard and got some rebounds and was active.
"So maybe that would have helped, but we don’t know. It's too late.''
-- Dwain Price
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