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Game Quotes From Mavs Win Over The Bucks

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(On tonight’s game…)

“I thought this was a game where the team showed great resiliency. A lot of the demons of our past bubble games were staring us right in the face. Luka hits two big free throws to send it into overtime. He made big plays in overtime. Tim Hardaway [Jr.] made a huge shot. [Dorian Finney-Smith] makes the big free throw and we get the key stops when we needed them. I really proud of the guys tonight. These last two games, the Clippers and Milwaukee, you’ve got two of the best teams on the planet. This is great experience for us in preparation for whoever we are going to play [in the playoffs].”

(On the play of Luka Dončić…)

“The guy is a phenomenal player, and he’s getting better by the hour, by the day. The efficiency numbers against these two past teams are really remarkable. Both teams will turn you over. Both teams have guys that will deflect and get their hands on a lot of balls. I was most impressed with his leadership throughout the game. He kept a really calm demeanor. He kept guys playing during some tough stretches. His conversations with the officials were short and to the point. The officials listened and we moved on. The  leadership aspect of it, really in the big picture, is just as big as these ridiculous statistics that he’s putting up.”

(On Luka Dončić’s vision on the court…)

“He knows where everybody is, not only on offense, but defense. That’s the sign of a savant-type guy. I played with Larry Bird, he could see everything like that. I had the privilege of coaching Jason Kidd, he could see everything like that. Luka is in that same mold. He’s got a different body type, he’s got a different kind of game. When he draws the attention, somebody is going to get a wide-open shot. There were a lot of instances tonight where we had great shots that didn’t quite go in. Otherwise, these numbers could have been even more ridiculous.”

(On the increased scoring numbers of teams across the league during bubble play…)

“It’s an interesting question. I think you could theorize it a few different ways. The level of excitement players have to get back on the court as a team — maybe you’ve been here for a week and a half, but we’ve been here for a month – we came from a situation at home where players could only do individual workouts with a coach with a mask on and rubber gloves. When you walked in the practice facility, you had to clean your shoes, you had to fill out a form, you had to take a temperature, you had to do a lot of things — and that was before serial testing began. A lot has gone into this. I don’t know what the fouls are now. I know early in these Orlando games there were an average of 12-13 more fouls called per game. To me, it’s just the level of aggression of the players. The skillsets of NBA players are increasing exponentially by the month. It’s just getting harder and harder to guard these guys. There is a high level of enthusiasm. The closeness of the games has been crazy to watch. It’s been a very special time here, even though it’s been quite unusual.”

(On Luka Dončić’s pass through his legs in overtime…)

“I clapped. I applauded. I thought it was phenomenal. The sign of a great player — a truly great player — is the ability to pull off something like that against a team like Milwaukee that gives up virtually zero in the paint, and that leads to an and-one. That was a huge play in the game too. We’re seeing more things all the time. Luka is not only a great basketball player, he’s a great performer. I’d pay money to watch him play. I don’t say that about a lot of players, but he’s really special.”


(On tonight’s pressure situations…)

“We’ve got it in us. We have young guys, so we’re not going to learn this in one night. You learn through

your career. We showed today we can do it.”

(On his pass through his legs in overtime…)

“I don’t know what I did. I just did it. I didn’t think about it before, just in the moment.”

(On what he’s learned about the Mavs since getting to the bubble…)

“One thing I’ve learned a lot about off court, we don’t just stay in our rooms and play video games. We hang out with each other. We have a great, great group of guys. When I work, it’s been mostly on my conditioning and I work on making shots, working my free throws.”

(On resting and recovering the past few months…)

“It helped me for sure. I had my wrist problems, I had my finger problems. Everything was flaring up and then this happened. It was kind of good for me.”


(On Luka Dončić’s passes late in the game…)

“Unbelievable. Not only the way the pass was but also the moment in the game. To make that pass, to have the, what is a good word, the courage to do it, that’s just who he is. He can make those incredible plays, also down the stretch, and we want him to keep making those kinds of plays for us.”

(On how good he is feeling now in the offensive end…)

“A lot better. I still feel that I am not 100 percent there offensively. Still the mistakes I am making, and the decisions, I know with just a little more time with the guys, it is going to get easier and quicker and sharper, but I am getting better. I am more comfortable within our offense and I enjoy playing with these guys, which is important. In the end, I just want to win and when we are winning it is a step forward in what we want to achieve.”

(On if he is happy with the looks he is getting in the offense…)


“Today, in the second quarter, I smoked three or four layups and easy shots. In the fourth, I missed turn-

around jumpers that are so comfortable for me. I don’t know, a little bit of legs, a little bit of off balance, just little adjustments I have to make. Not really adjustments, just sharpen all of those things. Even when I am off balance, I can make those shots. Those are comfortable shots for me. Obviously frustrating at times  when you don’t get those turnaround jumpers that I am so used to. But I have to keep playing and I have to keep giving everything on the defensive end. I can’t let that affect the rest of my game. There are a lot more things I can do out there, and besides me missing a lot of those good looks we still were able to get the win, so I am happy about that.”



(On the between-the-legs pass from Luka Dončić late in the game…)

“With Luka [Dončić] you’ve always got to expect to get a pass. He’s a really great passer; great vision. And that was the best angle for him, so you’ve got to be ready for those passes between the legs. He played those passes with Dwight [Powell] a lot, so you’ve always got to be ready. Execution-wise, I think everybody did a great job on staying in the game, locking in [and] everybody had big plays—Dodo [Finney-Smith] made big shots, Tim [Hardaway Jr.] made a big shot, KP [Kristaps Porzingis] came down, Luka made great plays. So everybody was just locked in and willing to win in overtime and just clutch plays from everybody.”

(On using momentum in the third quarter…)

“We’ve struggled a lot with the third quarter where they ran at us and we weren’t physical enough, so we talked about this, addressed this, so we wanted to change it today. And I think overall it was a very physical game and we didn’t back down at all, which is very important for the games coming on now.”

(On practicing Luka Dončić’s ability to find him in traffic…) “Most of the times he’s really hitting you in a per-

fect spot, so you don’t really have to practice other than catching a ball I guess. But he’s really a great passer. [He] always gets it into your hands, and you’ve just got to be sure to grab it when you’re on your way to the basket. Now there might be a strip on the ball every now and then, but when you roll with him he draws so much attention that you usually have an open lane to roll down there.”

(On the three-point shooting…)

“We struggled making shots today for some reason. We haven’t really had a hot game yet. But we stayed with it. We practice a lot of shooting. Everybody on this team can shoot, so we just step into our shots with confidence and keep shooting them. I feel great myself shooting and so does everybody else. When you have an open look you’ve got to let it fly, because it helps us—it helps our crash scheme and everything else, so everybody’s confident about it and keeps shooting.”


(On the late-game execution tonight…)

“That we’re learning. We’re learning from the last couple of games. Coach asked us to be relentless for the whole game and I think we did a great job of that.”

(On the gaining the momentum in the third quarter…)

“Defensively, we only gave up 20 points. That’s probably the best quarter, the best third quarter we had since we’ve been in the bubble. We just have to learn from that and carry that over to the next game.”

(On solving the problem with spacing and attack patterns against the league’s best defensive team…)

“They’re a great defensive team; but we’re a great offensive team. We knew we had to move their defense, move the ball just because they sit on plays. They’re great defensively, but Luka [Doncic] did a great job of penetrating, and the guards did a good job of penetrating. Luka was able to find guys and score. You know KP [Kristaps Porzingis] played great and this was just a great team win. We did a great job moving the ball. You know with this team they collapse on drives and made shots.”

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