LOS ANGELES -- DeShawn Stevenson promises that the Mavs won’t be punked when he’s on the floor.
Stevenson might not follow Matt Barnes on Twitter, but he’s well aware of the Lakers reserve’s tweet that declared the blueprint to beating the Mavs is to “PUNK ‘EM.” That, according to Barnes, is exactly what happened when his ’07 Warriors squad eliminated the 67-win Mavs in the first round.
Stevenson, the rugged shooting guard, wasn’t on that Mavericks team and neither was Tyson Chandler. Stevenson is quick to remind that those two, who can be considered the Dallas’ enforcers, weren’t on the floor when Barnes shoved Jason Terry during a brouhaha the last time the Mavs faced the Lakers.
The Mavs won’t do anything stupid, Stevenson said, but they’re not about to let the Lakers push them around, either.
“We want to win a championship,” Stevenson said. “We don’t want to fight and do all that. At the end of the day, we’re basketball players, but as long as me and Tyson are on that court, we ain’t gonna get punked.”
Chandler agrees that it’s up to him and Stevenson to set a physical, aggressive, energetic tone. The big man basically shrugs off all Barnes’ barking.
“There’s been so much talked about throughout our entire season about being punked and being soft, but to me, we’re basketball players so how much punking can you really do?” Chandler said. “It’s all about how hard you get out there and play. When the other team gets aggressive, do you back down or do you stand up and get more aggressive?”
Stevenson vows to stand up, and he expects the rest of the Mavs to be right there with him.