If you tuned out last night with Dallas up 7 and one minute to go, you missed one epic collapse. Just the fact the Hornets got three offensive rebounds in the final minute — not to mention 8 straight points — to get the win should tell you how Dallas played. How they lost to a Hornets team without Chris Paul.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had a word for it, one he told ESPN Dallas:
“Soft,” Carlisle said of his team… “Yeah,” the coach reiterated, “soft.”
Carlisle clearly has taken the Phil Jackson class on sending your team a message through the media. He wanted to get a rise out of his team. It worked.
“Who said that?” Jason Terry said, scoffing at the accusation after he had an off night — rare for him of late — with 10 points. “I’m not soft, not me. I don’t know where that comes from, but we ain’t soft. We have to see how he meant soft in that aspect, but I know he wasn’t talking to me personally or any of my teammates because I don’t think none of these guys are soft.”
We’ll see if that translates into actions when the Mavericks take on the Knicks Thursday.
The Mavs are not soft, but the Hornets did outwork them. Carlisle also used the word “toughness,” as in the Mavericks lacked it. The Mavs are a good team but they are not good enough to coast. Not good enough to take their foot off of the gas.
Even for the final minute.