DALLAS _ As he relived the horror of Sunday’s bungled stretch run during a 98-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns, Rick Carlisle wanted to point out that not every play he called during that period of the game was scheduled for Monta Ellis to take the shot.
"We had 13 possessions down the stretch and we had four-play calls that were primary calls for (Chandler) Parsons,’’ Carlisle, the Dallas Mavericks’ coach, said after Tuesday’s shootaround. "Monta ended up with a couple of the shots off of it.
"There were four calls for Monta and there were four calls for Dirk (Nowitzki), and there was one where (Rajon) Rondo was the primary ball-handler.’’
Starting at the 5:28 mark of the fourth period while the Mavs were still nursing an 86-80 lead against Phoenix – not counting the two possessions were Tyson Chandler split four free throws – the Mavs attempted 13 shots and made two of them. Nowitzki made one and Rondo the other.
Of the other 11 possessions, Raymond Felton missed a 3-pointer, Al-Farouq Aminu missed a tip-in, Parsons missed a 5-footer and a 3-pointer, and Ellis went 0-of-7 while misfiring from 11, 14, 19 (twice), 18, a layup and from 3-point range.
Thus, while Carlisle said he designed plays for others, sometimes those plays never materialized for a number of reasons.
"A lot of times you don’t have complete control over who’s going to get the shot, and a lot of things we set up are actions to create the best shot for the group,’’ Carlisle said. "Monta’s had the ball most of the time in crunch time all year.
"I would like to get Parsons more involved, I would like to get Rondo and I would like to get other playmakers more involved to take some of the heat off of Monta. I think that that’s the right thing to do.’’
Parsons would appear to be a natural for the Mavs to exploit his point forward qualities. He has been successful in that role this season when given the opportunity.
Carlisle said following Monday’s practice that he may make some changes to his lineup/rotation if players don’t start carrying their weight. Whether those changes will occur when the Mavs host the world champion San Antonio Spurs tonight at 7 at American Airlines Center is anyone’s guess.
"We’re frustrated, we’re obviously feel like we could have had that one (in Phoenix),’’ Parsons said. "But we learned from it, I think we got better from it.
"With the experience we have, we know we can’t hang our heads too long with that. We’ve got to bounce back and we have another tough competitor tonight, so we can’t hang our heads too much on that Phoenix game.’’
After Tuesday’s shootaround, Carlisle and Parsons watched film of Sunday’s final frantic minutes in hopes of alleviating some of the issues going forward. That includes hoping to get Parsons some clean looks at the basket after Carlisle said Sunday that Ellis was his only player who could get clean looks at the basket during crunch time.
"Parsons is capable of getting clean looks too,’ Carlisle said Tuesday. "He’s just got to stay aggressive and we’ve got to just keep tweaking things to develop actions where we’ve got all of our guys involved more.
"That’s my job and I’m going to continue to work hard at it.’’
The Mavs’ usage of Parsons is clutch situation is the lowest in the league for players averaging at least 13 points per game. So why isn’t a player with such a high production rate used so frequently during times when the Mavs need a basket?
"He’s probably our third ball handler in a lot of those situations, but I do think we’ve got to get everybody more involved,’’ Carlisle said. "I don’t think it’s only a Parsons thing.
"I think when we’ve got (J. J.) Barea and (Devin) Harris available, those guys got to be options for us not only during the regular course of the game but in the clutch if they’re in the game.’’
"Hey, Parsons is having a heckuva year and we’ll put the ball in his hands when we think it’s the right thing to do,’’ Carlisle said. "We did it a lot in the games during the home stand.
"Again, balance is a really important thing for us.’’