As painful as Saturday’s 38-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder was to swallow, the Dallas Mavericks know the best thing for them is to completely forget about Game 1.
Harping on the 108-70 loss to the Thunder would only exacerbate things when the best-of-seven NBA playoff series resumes at 7 p.m. Monday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“It’s one game, and it was ugly, I’ll admit that,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Sunday afternoon’s practice. “It was ugly.
“But it’s 1-0, and so we’re looking forward to Game 2.”
As the ugliness kept piling up, the Mavs set all sorts of team records for playoff futility in Game 1. Their point total (70) and field goal shooting (29.8 percent) were franchise playoff worsts.
And the 38-point margin of defeat was the second-worst all time in a Mavs’ playoff game, topped only by the 43-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of a 1984 second-round series.
While preparing for Game 2, however, and another full-blown attack from the Thunder, the Mavs chose to look at the glass as half full.
“We’re an experienced team and it’s a tough loss, it’s an embarrassing loss,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “But already today you’ve got to shift your mind forward to another game.
“We’ve got to be better on both ends, we’ve got to rebound better. So we’ve got to do a lot of things better and harder, and we’ve just got to take the challenge.”
That challenge for the Mavs got more difficult.
Point guards J.J. Barea and Deron Williams are injured. Barea aggravated his strained right groin in the series opener and will definitely miss Game 2. He is hopeful of returning for Game 3.
“I’m frustrated,” Barea said. “I was having so much fun playing with this team and playing basketball lately.
“The playoffs are always awesome, and it’s just bad timing. It could be worst. I’ve just got to take care of it and see what happens.”
Williams is doubtful for Game 2. He said that his level of pain is back to where it was when he first suffered a left abdominal strain that forced him to miss eight games from March 25 through April 8.
“It’s hard, hard to move, hard to run,” said Williams, who has a sports hernia. “Your groin, all those muscles are attached right there, and it’s not much you can do.’’
So what will the Mavs do to overcome the losses of Barea and Williams?
“We’ve still got [Raymond] Felton and [Devin] Harris available,” Carlisle said. “J.J.’s out and D-Will’s doubtful.
“It doesn’t mean D-Will can’t possibly play, it’s just doubtful that he’s going to play. We’re just going to have to alter the rotation and make it work.”
Carlisle used a starting lineup for Game 1 of Nowitzki, Salah Mejri, Williams, Barea and Wesley Matthews for the first time. But he hinted that rookie Justin Anderson could be back in the mix.
The Mavs’ late-season six-game winning streak came after Carlisle moved Anderson into the lineup.
In Game 1, Anderson played 3:52 in the first half and 14:35 in the second, finishing with five points, three rebounds and two assists.
“When he went in during the first half he was a bit wide-eyed, things were a bit of a struggle,” Carlisle said. “And then I thought when he got in during the second half he played his normal aggressive self.
“I think in Game 2, he’ll be much more prepared.”
Carlisle has his own personal experience to tell about how a series can change after a Game 1 blowout. In the 1985 NBA Finals when Carlisle played for Boston, the Celtics embarrassed the Los Angeles Lakers on Memorial Day 148-114. The game entered legend as the Memorial Day Massacre.
The Lakers rebounded and won the championship in six games.
“There are a lot of examples of this, that and the other in history,” Carlisle said. “But really, we’re in the fish bowl of being here, and we’ve got our situation relative to what has happened and what is happening, make the appropriate adjustments and do a hell of a lot better.”
And completely forget about Game 1 of this series.
Mavericks at Thunder
7 p.m. Monday, KTXA/21, TNT
OKC leads series 1-0