Cuban unusually candid about his star player
The Dallas Mavericks showed some mettle in defeating the Boston Celtics last night and the unusual chatter from Dallas Team owner Mark Cuban may have something to do with it.
In most unusual character, Cuban called out Nowtiski’s defense calling the center out in a tweet:
“I think we’ve got to get a little bit more out of Dirk defensively,” Cuban said before Monday night’s game against the Boston Celtics, responding to a general question about the Mavs’ recent performance. “I think [the team needs] a little bit more energy out of Dirk, particularly when things don’t start well. Dirk always goes through a little slump during the year when he needs to re-motivate,” Cuban said. “I think we’ve seen that for a couple of games, and I think he’s going to come back stronger, particularly after three days [off] and those naps he’s gotten in the last couple of games other than Utah.”
Against the Celtics, Nowtiski led a balanced attack with 19 points while the Celtics were without Rajon Rondo who sat out the second night of a back to back.
“Playing without Rondo, I thought Jerryd (Bayless) played fantastic, especially in that fourth quarter,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “He gave us a chance to win.”
Bayless had 12 fourth quarter points as the Celtics battled back from a double digit deficit.
“I think we were fighting and battling well,” Bayless said. “I think everyone played well, but we weren’t able to pull it off tonight.”
The Celtics next face Miami Heat who recently won a hard fought game over the Houston Rockets. Great seats and tickets are still available.
The San Antonio Spurs, in the midst of their annual “Rodeo Road Trip,” walked into TD Bank Garden down three top players. All Star Point Guard Tony Parker was sent back home to rest up for the upcoming All Star Game while shooting guard Manu Ginobili was out with a sore hamstring while Kawhi Leonard was also withheld with a fractured hand.
Rajon Rondo helped to keep the match close as the Spurs held the Celtics to 19 points in the first quarter. The team rebounded in the second holding the Spurs to 23 points while scoring 25 in the frame.
Coach Brad Stevens was mostly pleased with his teams performance and gave a lot of credit to the Spurs players and their tenacious defense.
“I think part of it was they were active on [Rondo], they were aggressive on him, he shot the ball well again, which was really good,” Stevens said. “And the other thing is they converge quickly, so it’s usually the pass after the pass that ends up giving you a look, and that’s the thing that obviously we didn’t make enough of them. We didn’t shoot the ball very well, especially in the first quarter. I don’t know where we were, but it felt like we were under 30 percent.
The Celtics next welcome the 30-21 Phoenix Suns to the Garden. The Suns have produced a 6-4 record over their past 10 games. For Coach Stevens, finishing the game against the Suns will be as important as how you begin. The Spurs were a testament to that.
“I thought our starters played well out of the gate in the third quarter, and then did some really good things,” Stevens said. “But [the Spurs], you know no matter who they have, they put a lot of pressure on you. And the way they move the ball — I said this before the game, it’s basketball the way basketball should be played — and it’s really a pleasure to watch, unless you’re coaching against it.”
Get your tickets to the Suns/Celtics Matchup today! Great seats are still available!
The return of Rajon Rondo came at just at the right time to end a six game skid that went all the way back to January 24th. Rondo made 9 of 11 shots for 19 points to go along with 10 assists in his return.
“We didn’t stop pushing the pace even though we had the lead,” Rondo said. “We finally finished a game strong. They made a run at it, but at the end of the day we still got some stops when we needed and made the plays.”
The Celtics gear up to take on the evenly matched Philadelphia 76er’s. Plenty of great tickets are available.