Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle had earned his surly mood, the result of a short-handed-lineup 113-106 loss on Monday at Sacramento.
And so the media had to endure it.
“I don’t know who’s playing (Tuesday),'' Carlisle snapped. "Don’t ask. Don’t anybody ask. Don’t ask. I’m tired of all that stuff.''
On the one hand, it is the media's job to "ask.''
On the other hand, Carlisle - who as we've written often in this space, Rick runs his gym, his way, and always with a purpose.
The Mavs at the Kings were without Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, Josh Richardson and J.J. Redick, Luka Doncic played hurt, but couldn’t do quite enough against Sacramento.
Dallas often goes as far as Doncic can take them and when he has an under-par performance, it tends to result in a loss. He finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists but went 8-of-20 (40%) from the field, 4-of-12 (33.3%) from deep, and 4-of-6 (66.7%) on free throws.
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The Mavs (33-27) plow forward with a second night of a back-to-back visit to the Warriors. They will have to file away both the fact that they just swept the Lakers in back-to-back games (pushing Dallas to a tick behind L.A. as the fifth seed) and the fact that they just absorbed their second loss to the Kings in less than two weeks.
The Mavs are now 2.5 games away from the fifth spot with just 12 games left in the regular season.
"We've got a quick turnaround,'' Carlisle said, "and a tough game (Tuesday).''
And who will be playing for Dallas?