Their effort drew the ire of coach Gregg Popovich, who called out some of his underperforming players, saying “guys get a lot of money to be ready to play.” Asked whether it was his job to make sure the Spurs were ready to play, Popovich said, “I don’t remember playing tonight. No Knute Rockne speeches. It’s your job. If you’re a plumber and you don’t do your job, you don’t get any work. I don’t think a plumber needs a pep talk. A doctor botches operations, and he’s not a doctor anymore. If you’re a basketball player, you come ready. It’s called maturity. It’s your job.”
Who was your favorite non-superstar player to play with? Horace Grant: I would have to say Luke Walton. He had that ultra hippie attitude. It was all about peace and love, don’t worry about the world, don’t sweat the small stuff. He drove a ’65 Cadillac convertible. He just had this fun aura about him, didn’t take anything too seriously. He’s gonna make a hell of a coach.
McMillan wants his team, which is full of veterans, to sleep. Unlike former coach Frank Vogel, McMillan has concentrated on the Pacers’ flights and hour-to-hour schedule as much as the five opponents they will face on their West Coast trip. McMillan wants the Pacers to get as much uninterrupted sleep as possible when away from Indianapolis. After their win Wednesday over the Phoenix Suns, the Pacers showered, changed into street clothes and got on team buses. But the buses did not head to the airport for Dallas, site of Friday’s game. The Pacers instead went back to their hotel. They spent half of Thursday in Phoenix and practiced at the Suns’ Talking Stick Resort Arena before flying to Dallas. “When you’re going West Coast to East Coast and vice versa, you have to look at that because it does have an effect on performance,” McMillan said Thursday. “You’ve got to find time to get your rest,” he said. “There are distractions on the road, whether its family or friends or treatment. This is a part of how we train and condition ourselves, both mentally and physically.”
Rick Carlisle was displeased with the Mavs’ effort after reviewing film of the Mavs’ loss to the Hornets: “Why we fell into that, I’m not sure. Maybe we were resting on the laurels of our one-game winning streak.”