DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is earning his pay these days.
"TV is here; must be a losing streak, huh?" he said at the end of a Wednesday morning shootaround.
After being tossed against Minnesota Monday night, the losing streak hit three. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was at the American Airlines Center Wednesday, but it wasn't because the team isn't winning.
No, no, no, I won't even be there for the shootaround," Cuban said. "No, nothing has changed."
Cuban said if you would have asked him about a 4-4 record without Dirk Nowitzki and Sean Marion to start the season, he would have been happy with that — but that's not to say the players are happy eight games into the young NBA season.
"I was just talking to Dirk. If someone had said, 'Okay, 4-4, a couple of disappointing losses without Dirk (Nowitzki) and Sean Marion, would you take it?' Yeah, we'd take it," Cuban said.
With Nowitzki and Marion both out, Dallas has become one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Dallas had only seven offensive rebounds against Minnesota on Monday.
Dallas has given up the most offensive rebounds this season because opponents have grabbed the most offensive boards against Dallas. In fact, opponents are averaging 15.3 offensive rebounds per game against the Mavs.
As a result, Chris Kaman was moving into the starting rotation on Wednesday night. "Well, that's what I’ve been for most of my career," Kaman said. "I probably feel a little more comfortable starting the game, but I've got to bring the energy right away... I can't wait."
"I think all of our guys — including Chris — are trying to do too much," Cuban said. "We've got a long way to go, and there is only one direction we can go the way we've played the last two games."
"We've got to be process-oriented with this," Carlisle added. "We've got to make sure that our attitude on defense is our starting point."
That has not been the case lately.
"No we're not happy. We should be 7-1," Cuban said. "No one is satisfied. It would be one thing if the guys in the locker room said, 'Ah, you know we're okay. This is where we're at, we'll take it.' That is not the attitude in the locker room. That's just me talking to you guys. The attitude in the locker room is, 'We screwed up. We let a couple of opportunities slip by. We know we did, and we're going to have to make it up down the road.' This is where we're at. We've got to come back and get this one and hold our own on the road."
Dallas hosted Washington on Wednesday and the Wizards have yet to win a single game.