The fallout from the Rajon Rondo – Rick Carlisle incident? A one game suspension for the big-mouthed, big-ego point guard, and looking quite terrible in a road game against the Atlanta Hawks, losing 104-87.
It turns out that after Rondo and Carlisle exchanged words on the court and later on the bench, they also got into a heated argument in the locker room. Whatever it was that was said, it was enough to get Rondo suspended for one game. For those who think the Mavericks are actually better off without him at this point, the way their offense looked through the final three quarters of the loss in Atlanta prove otherwise.
Not having Tyson Chandler or Chandler Parsons hurt just as much, with Bernard James starting at center instead. Dirk Nowitzk was awful, scoring just four points, has had very few games in his career that have actually been worse. But while the other absences had to do with injuries, Rondo brought the suspension and aided his team’s loss simply by being pig headed and overall himself. While Carlisle took some of the blame on him regarding the incident, it’s quite clear who is the one that needs the attitude adjustment in this case.
The events of last night are now in the past, and we’ve got to move forward. I need to say this very clearly: He is an extremely important part of our team. Our efforts to get to the highest possible level largely hinge on him playing and playing well with him. He needs to play well with us, and we need to play well with him. It’s a two-way street. The incident last night was born in large part out of poor communication between him and I. That’s on both of us. We had a long talk about the situation today, and we both agreed that we need to communicate more frequently. We need to work on the solution for making his stint as a Dallas Maverick the most successful one possible. We’re looking at 23 games here. Right now, this is a critical time for us.
The Hawks simply made the most of the situation. It certainly helps that there are no “superstars” on this team, and less diva attitude to handle. It’s hard to say about very good NBA players that they have no egos, but the perception is that selfishness and clashing with the head coach isn’t going to be something the Hawks have to deal with this season and as long as they keep this core of players running together.
Six players scored in double figures, led by Dennis Schroder off the bench with 17 points. Kyle Korver hit four 3-pointers en route to 16 points and Paul Millsap scored 15. Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 19 points, but when a team that relies heavily on pick and roll and 3-point shooting hits just 5-of-31 attempts from beyond the arc, it’s going to be very easy to beat them, regardless of the missing players and behavioral problems they might be having outside the court.