DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks returned home Monday night after being blown out in Oklahoma City. The team committed 14 turnovers in a 21-point loss.
"When you get hit like we did last night, you’ve got to respond," said Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. "It’s got to be a motivator for us."
After a 1-3 road trip, the Mavericks find themselves closer to being the worst team in the Western Conference than reaching the post-season. They're just five games from the bottom, and five-and-a-half from the eighth and final playoff spot.
"Every game is the Super Bowl for us,” Carlisle said. “Really, they're all massively important."
It’s important because the Mavericks are down to their last 34 games of the season.
The only bright spot this team can find right now is that their next five games are at home, including four before the All-Star break.
"It's a great opportunity for us to grab some wins and just protect our home court," said Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo.
While Dallas just came back from a terrible road trip, center Chris Kaman has more important things on his mind. He suffered a concussion during practice seven days ago, and he still hasn't been cleared to play again.
"I’m still having a little bit of headaches, and I'm just trying to take it slow," Kaman said. "I've been riding the bike a little bit; some free throw shooting; some spot shooting... hopefully it has progressed further and further forward, take that test, pass it and be able to play sooner than later. I'm tired of sitting around."
"He's doing a little better, but that's really all I can tell you," Carlisle added.
Kaman is one of nine players who have suffered a concussion in the NBA this year. Meanwhile, the Mavericks could certainly use his size.