Posted by: Earl K. Skeed

PORTLAND, Ore. — Although a daunting task was awaiting his team coming into Thursday night’s Game 3 matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle remained levelheaded, knowing that if his players remained focused then they could come out of the ruckus Rose Garden with a controlling edge in the first-round series.

Carlisle, whose team came into the night with a 2-0 series lead, expressed to his players before the game the importance of staying on task in a hostile environment, while also not concentrating on splitting either Games 3 or 4. And with the Mavericks trying to do what they failed to do during the regular season, after falling in both trips to Portland, the coach admitted that Thursday night was less about taking at least one out of two — or even sweeping — and more so about sticking to the process of playing winning basketball.

“We’ve got to work the game,” Carlisle said. “And the second you start thinking ahead to something in the future you take your mind off what’s important right now. And a 48-minute NBA game is an eternity, there’s so much that could happen. There’s over 200 plays offensively and defensively. So, you’ve got to work the game possession by possession and try to win segments from timeout to timeout, and then go from there.”

Courtesy of: Dallas Mavericks Inside Report