Frustrated and disappointed with his team’s current state, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle took one for the team Thursday when he blamed himself for this season’s rash of poor performances.
The Mavs are 14-12 heading into Friday night’s 7:30 contest at American Airlines Center when they play the Memphis Grizzlies (14-13). That comes on the heels of Wednesday’s 107-81 rout by the Indiana Pacers.
The 26-point loss was the Mavs’ worst of the season and the seventh time this year they’ve lost by 11 or more points.
“I’m the problem,” Carlisle said after Thursday’s practice. “If they’re not playing hard all the time I’ve got to be the problem. So I’ve got to fix me, and then I’ve got to fix them.”
But Carlisle is not missing shots, failing to block out or turning the ball over.
“Coaches usually take responsibility,” said forward Dirk Nowitzki. “But we’ve just got to play a little better and a little harder there in the second half.”
The Mavs led the Pacers 47-45 at halftime but got smoked 62-34 in the second half.
“We’re not the most athletic team, we’re not the fastest team,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to use our smarts and share the ball and then try to play as much as we can mistake-free and give ourselves a chance.”
The Mavs shot 36.7 percent from the field against Indiana, and were 8-of-33 on 3-pointers.
“We just didn’t have it offensively, and that’s going to happen to a jump-shooting team,” Nowitzki said. “Obviously, we’ve got to get a little more [points] in the paint on nights like this when the outside shot is not going.”
And there’s one more item on the Mavs’ to-do list, which they covered in Thursday’s practice.
“We worked on playing harder,” Carlisle said. “Playing harder, disposition, stronger posture.
“We laid an egg [Wednesday] night.”
Guard John Jenkins suffered a concussion earlier this week during a game of two-on-two prior to practice at American Airlines Center.
However, he may get cleared by the Mavs’ medical staff in time to play against Memphis.
“I just got hit in the head and it started bleeding everywhere,’’ Jenkins said. “I think it was more of a gash than it was a concussion.”
Jenkins rode the bicycle and spent time on the treadmill Thursday as part of the NBA-mandated concussion protocol he must go through before he’s allowed to play again.
Guard Devin Harris will miss Friday’s game against Memphis with a strained right hamstring.
Harris suffered the injury Wednesday. Carlisle wouldn’t say how long the 12-year veteran would be sidelined.
“He’s going to be out [Friday],” Carlisle said, “and then I’ll update you the next time it’s appropriate to update you.”