<
>

Rick Carlisle: 'We all have to be perfect'

MEMPHIS – Coach Rick Carlisle’s reaction to Dirk Nowitzki's declaration that he has to be “perfect” down the stretch for the Mavericks to win: The face of the franchise is right.

Carlisle, however, doesn’t think Nowitzki is alone.

“I feel the same. I feel we all have to be perfect,” Carlisle said before the Mavs’ road game against the Memphis Grizzlies, when Dallas will try to snap a two-game losing streak. “That’s just where we are. The margins for error are extremely thin with our team and they’ve gotten thinner throughout the league. Rosters are more even, talent is more even, so your level of concentration, focus and then being able to make the plays is extremely important.”

Nowitzki made a comment about needing to be perfect after the last two games, close losses at home to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks when he had spectacular stat lines.

He nitpicked his 33-point, 13-rebound performance against the Lakers by pointing out that he missed a critical free throw in the final minute and was disappointed after his 21-point, 20-rebound outing against the Bucks because he missed two shots and committed two turnovers while the Mavs blew a five-point lead in the final few minutes.

“I like the fact that a guy like Dirk steps up and says, you know, look, I got to be better,” Carlisle said. “We all got to be better. That’s the nature of the beast we’re dealing with. And we’re going to work toward that end.”