DONUT 1: If you've followed the Mavs via DB.com over the years, this "new revelation'' about their familial atmosphere is not at all new.
Cuban's a high-fiver. Donnie is a hugger. Carlisle will fly to Germany to visit a certain player's parents (or to Africa or New York or wherever to do whatever).
Says Rick: "The thing I like about this team is this is the tightest-knit team that we've had since I've been here. These guys are really close. They never quit on a game, they never quit on a situation. They keep encouraging each other and, hey, we just look for good things to happen."
I get as sick of the "We Love Our Boys In Blue'' mindset as the next Mavs follower. (For the uninitiated, that's a Donnie quote that we've had some laughs with over the years.) That mindset leads to the overrating of some players, yes.
But it also leads to the acquisition of quality people. It also leads to a level of mutual respect and faith between members of the organization, from owner to coach to star player to equipment manager to secretary.
A team that treats itself like a "basketball family'' can – and in this team's case, does – win a lot of games.
DONUT 2: Here's what I think you need to know about J.J. Barea:
Suddenly, unless he's at the lip of the cup, he cannot shoot a lick.
DONUT 3: Here's what you need to know about J.J. Barea (and most every other Mav) in the eyes of the coach, who is a firm believer in letting all his players step into open 3's:
In the first half of Wednesday's visit to OKC, JJB took a 3 and missed badly. On the next possession, he passed up an open trey – at this point, opponents might not exactly be blanketing him at the arc -- and circled back around to eventually try a circus shot in the lane. It didn't go in (of course) … and he got an earful from the coach.
What did Rick say to JJB?
"Shoot that 3! Take the 3!''
So the green light remains green.
It can get ugly, though. In the final few seconds of the third, Dallas had two possessions. Jet shot a 3-pointer on one of them, and I swear it looked like the ball was off-angle by 10 feet, to the right. … like Buehler had kicked it.
And then on the next possession, it was all JJB, driving right baseline for a pull-up jumper than got swatted away.
Two possessions … a few seconds … two shots … and neither of them within eight feet of the rim.
I think if I'm coaching Babe Ruth and he's striking out, I tell him, "Keep swinging.''
Right now, JJB isn't Babe Ruth in a 1929 slump.
He's Babe Laufenberg in a 1990 game against the Falcons.
(Kidding! Hi, Babe!)
Honestly, though – and fully acknowledging that we're putting so much on Roddy B and his return (by Christmas, or New Year's or Take Your Secretary Out To Lunch Day or whenever) – JJB is playing his way right out of a rotation that has Beaubois available. Barea's one great feature is his drive-and-kick penetration … but when Roddy B is around, he can drive-and-finish. Which trumps what little JJB is bringing right now.
DONUT 4: Vince Young has a screw loose.
That's not the medical term for it, but the young man needs help.
And apologizing to Jeff Fisher via text is probably not going to help. Have you ever tried to apologize via text? How'd that work for you?
DONUT 5: I'm as friendly with the Jones family as about any media schlub around. But not even I kidd up to the first family of the Cowboys like ol' Joe Buck did on Thursday when he repeatedly proclaimed Charlotte Jones as if she was the Florence Nightengale of Salvation Army NFL halftime shows.
Joe, we get it. Charlotte does great work with the Salvation Army. A certain other member of the Jones family (who I know personally, who wants know credit here, and who Joe Buck likely knows nothing about) has Nashville music connections.
Next thing you know, Keith Urban is performing at halftime of the Cowboys game.
But I'm not sure any of that merits repeated camera shots of Charlotte in the luxury suite, and repeated mentions of her incredible deeds by Joe.
Play-by-play, Joe. Down and distance. And score and time remaining.
Do the play-by-play.
DONUT 6: No, you do not have to apologize for choosing to hate the Heat … and for reveling in their three-game losing streak, their 8-7 record and the fact that in order for them to win an NBA-record 73 games – because they were gonna be that good, right? – all they have to do starting tonight against Philly and then Saturday in Dallas is go 65-2 the rest of the way.
DONUT 7: So, your behavior as a Mavs fan who hates the Spurs, Lakers and now the Heat (as if 2006 wasn't motivating enough) is perfect!
And at least you don't need to be told how to do it.
In Miami, the Heat has launched a marketing campaign that – seriously -- begs fans to show up to the games on time and instructs them on how to cheer.
It's called and "Fan Up, Miami!'' and it is unintentionally riotous.
How can their fans be so lacking in sporting education? When did they get NBA basketball in Miami? Like, last month?
DONUT 8: Bobcats coach Larry Brown with a keen observation about b2b's – the NBA torture chamber that the Mavs are forced to endure twice this week.
'The Lakers only have 12,'' Brown notes, adding that most NBA teams have around 20. "Does anybody write that? Go figure that one out.''
By my count, LA actually has 13 back-to-backs.
Why? I do not want to risk sounding like a whiner who is not associated with the league's most regal franchise, so … Go figure that one out.
DONUT 9: Regarding KD: I feel I must clarify my remark Wednesday night about his "ineffective'' 32 points.
(I feel that way because I'm getting hate mail from north of the Red River.)
In the fourth quarter of OKC's loss to the Mavs, Kevin Durant scored two points … until in the final moments, after the game was decided and Dallas was making sure not to foul, Durant glided to the hole twice for uncontested – and yes, meaningless – dunks.
So it's 32. And 26 through three quarters. And 15 in the second half … all terrific … but only two "quality points'' (if I may make up a brand new fake advanced stat) in the fourth.
Additionally – and I mean this constructively! – KD shares a habit not with Dirk (who he is so often and so smartly compared to) but with another Mav, Jason Terry:
Durant and Jet both like to use the 3-pointer, it seems, as if it's a "five-run homer.''
DONUT 10: If you are a golfer you are no doubt already aware of The Old American, touted as one of the finest golf experiences in the country -- a brand new course, built in The Colony around Lake Lewisville, designed as a tribute to the "Golden Age'' of American golf. iDealGolfer
Well, now make yourself aware of iDealGolfer.com ... which is offering you a chance to play The Old American at half-price. No strings, no jokes, just golf. Check it.
DONUT 11: A sneak preview of the Mavs-produced big-screen video that will air at the AAC as part of Saturday's Heat-at-Dallas game:
DONUT 12: More on Mavs-at-Spurs throughout the day and night of course, but for now, a note: If you are looking for a place to watch the game, you can join the Mavs Dancers & ManiAACS at the Mavs Watch Party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Victory Park tonight ... Great food, great prizes and a chance to win tickets to the Miami Heat game on Saturday. Click into Mavs.com here for more information.
DONUT 13: I am 51 and my son Nate is about to turn 21 and I guess I've lost the boy.
He brought up the LeBron "Rise'' commercial and I thought for sure the wise cynicism in his DNA would come oozing out. But no.
"That commercial is getting everybody my age back on his side,'' Nate says.
But, I reply, "wouldn't a better way to accomplish that be to turn the cameras off and skip the make-up chair and just go win some basketball games? Nike is going to fix Tiger, too, but wouldn't it be of merit if Tiger fixed himself the old-fashioned way, by winning a tournament?''
Nate's reply: "Why can't they do both? Kobe did both, and now kids my age don't even know about that Colorado hotel room – and he wins titles. Why can't LeBron and Tiger follow the same Nike path and do both?''
Damn smart-ass kids.