DALLAS -- Going into tonight''s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, coach Rick Carlisle is concerned. And he has every right to be concerned.
After all, Carlisle watched with utter dismay this past Monday night as the Boston Celtics totally embarrassed the Mavs on the board, winning that rebounding battle by a sizeable 57-36 margin. It was the third-worst rebounding differential of the season for the Mavs as they repeatedly got beat to the stray basketballs.
"It was our worst rebounding effort in probably two months,'' Carlisle said after Wednesday morning's shootaround at American Airlines Center. "We had five more no-blockouts than we did actually blockouts, and that just doesn't happen.''
The only two times the Mavs had a worst rebounding game this season than Monday night was on Jan. 18 when Portland outrebounded them 55-30, and on Jan. 8 when San Antonio got the best of them on the boards 55-32.
The Mavs (41-27) know they must hold their own on the boards tonight at 7:30 when they entertain the Timberwolves (33-32). Especially since Minnesota forward Kevin Love is second in the NBA with 12.9 rebounds per game.
"We made it an emphasis this morning -- we talked about it,'' Carlisle said of his team's rebounding issues. "We went through things that reminded us that we have to check out, particularly with Love.
"He goes after it like crazy. And they have other guys that pursue the ball, too.''
-- Dwain Price
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