Daughter gave Carlisle new outlook on season

The low point during the Dallas Mavericks’ 2012-13 season probably came in January when the club fell 10 games under .500.

Dallas rang in the new year by losing four of its first five games in January. But during that month, an awakening occurred following a loss, according to Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. And the new outlook was sparked by his eight-year-old daughter Abby.

While Carlisle didn’t give the specific defeat, he did say that it was “a very, very difficult loss at home.” The Mavs lost three times at American Airlines Center in January: 99-96 to the New Orleans Hornets in overtime, 117-114 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime and 113-107 to the San Antonio Spurs. My best guess, it was after losing on January 5 to the lowly Hornets, who finished the season 27-55.

“It really upset me,” Carlisle said on Thursday. “I went home that night, and my daughter knew this was really upsetting to me. There’s a room downstairs where I keep all my suits. It’s one of the guest bedrooms. She came in and closed the door behind her. She sat on the bed. I turned around and I said, ‘Hey Abby, what’s up?’ She goes, ‘Dad, you know, in life there’s always going to be bumps along the road.’ That’s a true story. At that moment, it was clear to me that my focus had to shift to doing everything possible to engage our staff, to figure out exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of our players were and to move forward and find a way to make every day a little bit better, if we could.”

The Mavericks lost their next two road games after that adorable message but they then went on a four-game winning streak. Dallas finished the season 41-41 after defeating the Hornets at home on Wednesday, 99-87.

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