DALLAS – Denver coach George Karl’s quotes apparently haven’t been posted on any American Airlines Center bulletin boards yet.
The Mavericks claim that Karl’s stated preference to play them instead of the Thunder in the first round was news to them. They essentially responded with a shrug.
The Mavs have much more pressing concerns, such as trying to end a four-game losing streak Friday night against the Clippers.
“That’s cool, I guess, if that’s what they want,” said Jason Terry, usually the Mavs’ most prolific trash talker. “Don’t make me none at this point. Just bring somebody. We’re just trying to get a win and get to these playoffs. This is getting a little old right now. Get in a win, get back to feeling good about ourselves and get to these playoffs.”
Coach Rick Carlisle said, “Denver would be a terrific matchup,” if the Mavs drop to the fourth seed. The Mavs are trying to hold off Oklahoma City, which is one game behind the Mavs in the West standings and will own the tiebreaker due to being a division champion. New Orleans, Portland and Memphis are the possible first-round foes if the Mavs hold on to the third seed.
“All the speculation about who we’re going to play, who we want to play, to me is premature at this point,” Carlisle said. “What’s more important to us is to get a win, get out of this losing streak. That’s a priority to us.”
Declaring a preference didn’t work out so well a few years ago for the Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki made it clear the Mavs were glad to avoid the Lakers and get the Hornets before New Orleans dismissed Dallas in five games.
After thinking it over for a couple of minutes, Terry came up with this response: “Tell George Karl we want to play somebody, too – anybody.”