There are two things coach Rick Carlisle can agree on.
His Dallas Mavericks were absolutely wonderful on their recent three-game road trip when they won in Chicago, Minnesota and Washington. But since returning home, the Mavs have been mysteriously awful, losing Friday to the Los Angeles Clippers (119-112) and Sunday to the New York Knicks (92-80).
Now, Carlisle has a new mantra as the Mavs (19-15) host the Los Angeles Lakers (14-20) at 7:30 Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
“We’ve allowed ourselves to slip in two games coming home after a successful trip, but it’s time to quit talking about the trip,” Carlisle said after Monday’s practice. “The trip is light years ago.
“Now it’s time to really focus in on one game, which is [Tuesday], and we’ve got to get things right.”
Getting things right means the Mavs need to rebound, play better defense, and protect the ball.
“For some reason, we’re more focused on the road and play better,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “Maybe the mindset is not right at home.”
The Mavs have won four straight on the road, but have lost four straight at home. They also dispensed a season-low 13 assists, shot just 41 percent from the field and scored a season-low 80 points against the Knicks.
“Our defense wasn’t great there [Sunday] and I don’t think we were ready to play for the entire first half,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to set the tone early and get in the game, get everybody in the game on both ends of the floor. And if we defend and rebound, I like our chances.”
No talk of Dalembert
Carlisle didn’t want to answer any questions Monday regarding center Samuel Dalembert.
“I’m not talking about Dalembert today,” Carlisle said. “We addressed that [Sunday] and today is a new day.”
Carlisle did not play Dalembert against the Knicks because he was late for Saturday’s practice. It’s the second time this season Dalembert has been tardy.
“I just feel ashamed about it,” Dalembert said. “We’re taking steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and we’ll move on.”
Indeed, the Mavs are trying to move on. Especially since they could have used Dalembert’s length against the Knicks.
“It can happen once, we’ve all been late, we’ve all slept too long,” Nowitzki said. “But then you’ve got to learn from it and try to be a professional.”
Mavs recall Ledo
The Mavs recalled rookie shooting guard Ricky Ledo from the D-League Texas Legends on Monday.
In 14 games for the Legends, Ledo averaged 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.8 minutes.
“I’m just happy to be back with the team and back with the guys I started with,” Ledo said.
Ledo never played college basketball after the NCAA ruled him academically ineligible last year at Providence. At 6-foot-7, Ledo was the 43rd overall pick of the June draft.
Marion rides the bike
Forward Shawn Marion did not go through any contact drills after he sprained an ankle and injured his Achilles’ in Sunday’s loss.
“He rode the bike today,” Carlisle said, “and we’ll see how he’s doing [Tuesday].”