Never ask a "yes or no" question. That golden rule of interviewing was broken twice in a row on Wednesday night, allowing Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle the chance to offer up a little tribute to famously pithy Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Dallas entered the fourth quarter trailing Houston 101-87 and Carlisle was less than pleased with the fact that Rockets center Dwight Howard had 27 points (on 11-for-11 shooting) through three quarters. The veteran coach took out his frustration on ESPN sideline reporter Chris Broussard, who sought answers about the Mavericks' planned defensive adjustments on Howard.
Here's how the exchange went down.
Question: "Coach, Dwight Howard obviously has it going inside, will you consider double-teaming him in the fourth?"
Question: "Does it make it... The fact that they shoot so well from the three, does that make it tough to make that decision to go ahead and do that?"
Answer: "Yes. This is my Popovich impersonation. Thank you."
By the time Carlisle finished expressing his gratitude he was already walking back to the huddle. Broussard took his lumps in stride, tweeting: "I got Popovich'd by Rick Carlisle. Lol."
The terse approach paid huge dividends for Carlisle, who is regarded as one of the best quotes in the league. Dallas outscored Houston 36-19 and held Howard to just six points and one field goal in the final period. Somewhere, Popovich is raising a glass of wine to salute his colleague.
MavsOutsider.com reported that Carlisle was back to his usual, quippy self once Dallas had its 123-120 win was in hand. "It had to be a very entertaining game to watch," the coach said during his post-game comments. "This was a pillow fight defensively."