Wednesday Morning Donuts: Smokin' Newports?

It's Wednesday Morning Mavs Donuts … and why are you laughing at the Mavs defense? … Dallas at Denver tonight, where the Mavs hope to not be "smokin' Newports'' … The Plus/Minus Leader of The Free World will surprise you … The Cowboys now lag behind the Mavs and all the other DFW title contenders … Time to make the Donuts!

DONUT 1 Now, quit laughing at us (and the Mavericks) for being happy about their three-game defensive streak.

It's real … and it's spectacular.

That 37.4-percent shooting by opponents? Compare it to last year, when the Mavs' defensive FG percentage was 45.7 -- 15th in the league.

These 86.7 points per game allowed? Second in the NBA.

These Mavs allowing 92.8 points per 100 possessions? Second in the NBA as well.

Can the streak continue to a franchise-best four-games-worth of this sort of defense?

DONUT 2 The bad news in that department of trying to keep Opponent No. 4 under 40-percent shooting? Dallas is at Denver tonight, and we know the Nuggets can go off.

The Nuggets, Rick Carlisle says, are "a different-caliber opponent.''

The good news: Denver's shooting has been erratic enough that they made just 38 percent and 40 percent of their shots, respectively, in their two games over the weekend.

So yes. The opportunity is available.

DONUT 3 Big Wood tells Sefko that the altitude in Denver is no myth.

"My lungs were burning at practice,'' Brendan says, "like I just finished smoking a pack of Newports.''

DONUT 4 If all goes according to plan – that is, if I get the strings and tin cans hooked up – we've got Mavs Blog Radio today at noon with Mike Bacsik and some Fish For Lunch!

DONUT 5 Coaches love the security blanket that is the veteran player who knows where to stand, who knows the playbook, who won't screw up. (Think Avery Johnson + Devean George.) Having said that, here's hoping that Ian Mahinmi hurries up and becomes a viable alternative to Brian Cardinal as a backup big.

Cardinal is a security blanket.

There are those in the Mavs organization who feel like Mahinmi represents a free late-first-round draftee … and one they are in the process of hitting on.

DONUT 6 If Shawn Bradley can't have your vote, can he at least get you to check him out on Twitter?

Big Shawn, by the way, didn't get the political win.. How can Utahans (?) not vote for Shawn?

DONUT 7 If you are a golf kind of guy, check out another incredible deal at iDealGolfer.com I mean, five dollars?!

This is a "get in, get on, be good'' sort of deal! Join up!

DONUT 8 May I politely invite you to check out DB.com Boards (sign up! It's free!), to check us out and follow the Mavs and DB.com on Twitter and to Friend Fish on Facebook? Please and thank you!

DONUT 9 Steiny-Mo's ESPN Power Rankings are up and runnin' … and the Mavs are top 10.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the unveiling of DB.com's "Fair and Balanced'' AWP Rankings by Kammrath … coming soon!

DONUT 10 Yes, it was "just'' the Bobcats, Grizzlies and Clippers. And yes, it's early. And now it's the Nuggets tonight, which grand firepower starting with ‘Melodrama and more.

But the Mavs are playing top-o'-the-NBA defense. And if it was this early and the Mavs were lousy on defense, we'd be talking about that, too, right?

It's therefore nice and justified to be talking about Dallas' defensive excellence … while fans hope it can last one more game and more …

Besides, if the Bobcats, Grizzlies and Clippers all look like crummy offensive teams in this first week, couldn't that be due to the fact that Dallas caused them to look that way?

DONUT 11 Your NBA leader in plus/minus as the Mavs enter the week of play? A happily surprising Jason Terry at +52!

DONUT 12 Except for the Mavs, it's kinda doomy and gloomy for sports fans in DFW, eh? Maybe that applies especially to the Cowboys, who have a championship reputation but, in fact … since the Cowboys last qualified for their league championship game, the other local big-timers, the Rangers, Stars and Mavs have all qualified for theirs.

809am nov 3 2010

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