Carlisle on Crawford: 'He's a great official'

DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle sneered at any notion that NBA referee Danny Crawford holds some kind of hoodoo voodoo spell over his team as Dallas seeks a 2-0 lead tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Crawford will be the lead official of a crew that includes Pat Fraher and Ed Malloy, but it's Crawford who sticks in the craw of Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Dallas is 2-16 in playoff games officiated by Crawford.

Carlisle said he sometimes looks at the referee assignments when the NBA makes them public at 8 a.m. CT. He said he did not check this morning.

"Why, who is it?" Carlisle asked.

Danny Crawford.

"I don't consider that a factor," Carlisle said. "It would be pretty defeatist if we did. He's a great official and history shows that."

Carlisle is 0-2 with the Mavs in playoff games officiated by Crawford, who was assigned to one Dallas game the past two postseasons.

Asked if he'll talk to his team about Crawford and whistles heading into tonight's game, Carlisle said: "It should go without saying, but if needed I would address it. But, I don't think we need to."

Mavs center Tyson Chandler, the heart and soul of the Mavs' defense and an emotional leader who is new to the perceived Crawford jinx, said it's important the team doesn't play to the whistle.

"In playoff basketball, you got to keep a certain focus. You can't get carried away or worried about anything that's going on. I thought they [the Game 1 referee crew] did a good job of calling the game and we've got to do a good of playing and keeping our head."