Physical play, or their inability to cope with it, cost the Mavericks on Monday night, which brings up one big question.
Is it time for more Elton Brand?
The 6-9 Brand has long established himself as a player who can handle tough, physical play and dish it out as much as he can take it. He played 20 minutes against Utah on Monday and had 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and five mostly hard fouls.
He said he's ready for whatever's needed going forward.
"No doubt," Brand said after the 100-94 loss to Utah. "Last game, I played 28. Whatever coach needs me to do. My legs are back and I feel great."
The physical play by Utah manifested itself in the form of some favorable whistles. Mark Cuban wasn't at the game, which probably was a good thing. He wouldn't have liked what he saw. There were a couple of drives to the rim, one by Vince Carter and another by Darren Collison, on which there was plenty of contact, but no foul called.
"We had a couple of turnovers that hurt us, there were a couple times when I thought there were fouls that were missed and I thought we should have been shooting free throws," coach Rick Carlisle said. "They went to basically thugging it up and that's when the game turned and that's when the officiating went their way. It was probably a function of their aggressiveness. The accumulation of those things turned into a big run for them. It's disappointing because we played a lot of very, very good basketball. A lot."
Physical play worked for Utah, may call for more Elton Brand in the future
Dallas Morning News | Jan 8