The Dallas Mavericks star guard Kyrie Irving was asked about the team finding success on defense after going small and switching in the second half against the Charlotte Hornets:
“Yeah, I think that was probably the biggest adjustment coming here for me was going from a primarily switching team where we kept everything above the perimeter. We kicked each other out in the post up if anybody felt like there was a mismatch. And coming here, we’re a very rotation-based team, and that just takes some time to get used to, you know, the drives the closeouts, and just where everybody’s going to be on the extra plays that need to be made.
“I think we do an unbelievable job of making the extra plays for one another, but doing it over and over again is taxing mentally and physically. We just got to stay solid on that end, and I think the offense will take care of itself. We’re in these games. If we were out of these games completely and we were getting blown out, I’d definitely be up here saying some different words and be a little bit more worried. But we’re in every single game we play in, and offense is not our issue. It’s literally defensive mentality and getting stops.
“Gordon [Hayward] had 25 [points] tonight. Uh, you know, PJ [Washington] had 28. And we could look down, all starters have, you know, plus 10, or at least 10. And that’s where the starting five has to look at themselves in the mirror, including myself, and be better to start off the game because clearly, we didn’t do that. I take my responsibility for that and moving forward, we can’t have this start and expect to win ball games.”