Dallas Mavericks Carlisle, You can understand why Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle flipped his wig like Mould in ’85 after this highly questionable Kendrick Perkins tip-in of an errant James Harden runner – captured and discussed by our friends at the Yahoo! Sports Minute – gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a 20-11 lead with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter of Thursday night’s pivotal Game 3 in the teams’ first-round playoff series.
The Thunder had come out hot, opening a 9-2 lead behind a pair of Kevin Durant 3-pointers in the early going, and Dallas had just started to work its way back into a game that it simply had to win. If the officials correctly call Perkins for basket interference after making contact with the ball while it was still above the cylinder of the rim after Harden’s miss, it’s Dallas ball with a chance to further chop down Oklahoma City’s seven-point lead and get the ship righted after weathering the early storm. If they don’t, the lead goes to nine and whatever momentum the Mavs had built by forcing five straight Thunder misses and a turnover in the preceding minute goes by the wayside.
The latter came to pass, which led the normally even-keeled Carlisle to blow his stack … which only compounded the problem, since the technical foul he was awarded gave the Thunder a free throw, pushing the lead to 10 points.
Carlisle’s fit had been coming for two games, not only because of the “dirty [rhymes with 'full split']” the Dallas coach has accused the Thunder bigs (especially Perkins) of perpetrating, but also because Dallas headed into Thursday night down 0-2 after losing the series’ first two contests by a combined four points. In a series like this, a basket here and call there can make a huge difference, Carlisle seemed to be arguing with his explosion.
And he’s right, but he’s only right for Dallas, because these sorts of things – first-quarter injustices, foul differentials, whether a tangle-up should have resulted in no whistle or a T on the other guy, etc. – are what you worry about and obsess over when you have the worse team and you know everything needs to go your way to win. That’s what likely has Carlisle really frustrated: the realization that his team’s got no shot here. (Yahoo! Sports)