As another loss Sunday against another inferior opponent put a serious hitch in the Dallas Mavericks’ playoff chances, shooting guard Wesley Matthews took a long pause before making some scathing remarks.
“We’ve got to decide if we want to go home after the last game or not,” Matthews said after the Mavs’ embarrassing 133-111 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. “Everybody’s got to look in the mirror and decide what the [heck] they want to do.
Do we want to waste six, seven months of our lives being NBA players?
Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews, after Dallas fell to ninth in the eight-team playoff race
“Do we want to play for something or do we not? Do we want to waste six, seven months of our lives being NBA players … and another season, blah, blah, blah, or do we won’t to do something that’s meaningful?”
Matthews went on to make reference to some early vacation plans for the Mavs.
“Do we want to take a run?” Matthews asked. “Anything can happen in the postseason.
“Do we want to lay everything out on the line every single night nine more times and let the chips fall? Or do we want to go to Travelocity and figure out what the [heck] we can do there and play next season for next season?”
Kings point guard Rajon Rondo, who had a troubled season with Dallas last year, added his two bits by taking a shot at the Mavs.
“I want them to get their plane ticket as soon as we get ours,” said Rondo, who had 11 points and 11 assists. “So anytime we can help, that’s what I try to get these guys to focus on.
“If we’re not going to make the playoffs, then let’s help some of these guys go home with us.”
The Mavs (35-38) look as though they’re headed to an early vacation for the second time in four years. Sunday’s loss was their 10th in the last 12 games as they moved to ninth place in the Western Conference standings — a half-game behind the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets.
And this was as thorough of a beat-down as the Mavs have taken all season.
They never led, giving up a season high in points to a Kings team that is 29-44 and holding an invitation to the NBA Draft Lottery. The Kings pushed the Mavs around, outscoring them 68-46 in the paint. Sacramento had a 74-54 bulge in bench scoring.
Sacramento enjoyed a 20-2 run, led 63-46 at intermission and 102-79 after the third quarter. In short, the Kings looked like a hungry team vying for a playoff spot, while the Mavs looked old and tired.
Our individual defense was very poor, and ... we’ve got to clean it up by tomorrow.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
“We got off to a decent start defensively and then the second quarter it went very bad,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our individual defense was very poor, and I know we can do a lot better and we’ve got to clean it up by tomorrow.”
The Mavs are 0-3 on this defining four-game road trip that ends with Monday’s 8 p.m. contest in Denver.
Sacramento led 25-20 after the first quarter, but scored 108 points in an offensive clinic over the final three periods.
“I don’t think we ever got enough stops to really make this a game,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. “We just never really made a stand, never really got them out of our paint.
“It just seemed like we were a step slow to almost everything.”