DALLAS – It’s not unusual for Shawn Marion to use colorful language in the locker room, even when he’s in a good mood.
But you know the Matrix is mad when he drops the dreaded E word. And Marion mentioned effort, or a lack thereof, repeatedly after the Mavs managed to let the Suns snap a 10-game losing streak with an 11-point win Wednesday night.
“You can’t control the ball going in the hoop, but you can control your effort,” Marion said. “I think when you’re not able to go out there and give it your all, give it 110 percent, then something’s wrong. Maybe you need to sit down, you know?
“At the same time, there’s no reason we should have lost this game tonight. Being a professional athlete, dealing with the ups and downs we’ve had this season, you’ve got to look at yourself and ask, ‘Are you giving it your all? Are you doing what’s in your control to go out there and compete and leave it on the floor?’ …
“Effort is the only thing you can control. You can’t control the ball going in or if you can a turnover here or there or whatever or vice versa, but you can control your effort. That didn’t happen tonight.”
Marion didn’t single out any particular Mavs, saying they were all at fault.
A few more notes from what might have been the Mavs’ most embarrassing loss of the season:
1. Dirk won’t sit: The Mavs are officially eliminated from playoff contention, but Dirk Nowitzki has no plans to call it a season.
Nowitzki said he has no intention to sit out any of the Mavs’ final four games.
“I’m going to finish the season like everybody else and try to win the next game,” Nowitzki said. “Try to get at least to .500. We’d love to finish with a positive record. That means something and we’re going to fight for it.”
Nowitzki, who sat out the fourth quarter Sunday after aggravating bone spurs in his ankle, said he felt “fine” after taking a little longer than usual to get loose early in the game.
2. Hairy situation: The Mavs grew tired of .500 beard talk two weeks ago, when they failed to reach the break-even point, getting blown out by the Indiana Pacers.
It’s a subject they certainly don’t want to discuss at this point. They’re now 0-for-3 when they have a chance to reach .500 since sprouting those beards.
“Everything is just being overblown,” said Vince Carter, one of six Mavs who are part of the pact. “All the beard, this, that – let’s just take care of business, just win the game. When that time comes, we’ll take care of it. If not, it is what it is. Right now, it’s just all about winning. That’s what it has to be.”
3. Death by Dragic: The Mavs didn’t make a serious attempt to sign Goran Dragic this summer before he agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the Suns. Whether he would have been a long-term solution in Dallas is debatable, but he definitely dominated the Mavs’ stopgap point guards Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Dragic had 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 13 assists.
“Dragic was the best player on the floor,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “He shredded us really from the start of the game to the end.”
Darren Collison, the 25-year-old the Mavs traded for this summer, had three points on 1-of-6 shooting and three assists in 19 minutes off the bench. Mike James, the 37-year-old D-League callup-turned-starter, had nine points and three assists in 27 minutes.