Through the first 21 games, the Thunder has struggled most with a lack of consistent ball movement, failure to box out regularly on defense and an excess number of turnovers.
CUBAN COMPLAINS ABOUT OFFICIATING
Following the Thunder's win Wednesday night, Mavs owner Mark Cuban complained about the referees in not only that game but the officiating as a whole this season.
“Look, I haven't said a whole lot about the officiating in a long, long time. But I haven't seen it this bad in a long, long time,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com. “Guys miss calls; that's part of the game. You're not always going to have a great crew. Officials have got to learn that's part of the game.
“But these were officials that have been part of the league for years, and it was just off-the-charts bad. And, if no one ever says anything, nothing ever happens.”
Wednesday's game was officiated by Ron Garretson, Michael Smith and Mark Ayotte.
“It all comes down to this: I understand that it's tough for the officials now,” Cuban said. “They're going through the same travel stress as everybody else. But there's absolutely no transparency right now. I mean, you get games like tonight where it was just horrible. Who knows, I'm not saying it impacted the game, but you can just start naming the calls.”
Cuban later cited the lockout as a potential reason for what he considers poor officiated games.
“There's a lot of guys and teams that aren't having great starts to the season, and there's a lot of crews that aren't having great starts to the season. The league needs to make some adjustments, because you can't have it like this all the time.”
CARLISLE APOLOGIZES FOR KICKING BALL
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Thunder after receiving two separate technical fouls, apologized immediately after the game for kicking a ball into the stands and hitting fans seated courtside.
“I want to apologize to our franchise, Mark, our fans,” Carlisle said. “The incident where the ball got kicked into the stands, that can't happen. My intent was not to kick it into the stands. I was trying to kick it to the referee, but I'm not a very good kick. But that can't happen. The officials made the right call on that one. That's a regrettable decision.”
The incident happened early in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena for one night to face Memphis on Friday before embarking on a five-game road trip. Tip-off against the Grizzlies is scheduled for 7 p.m.