DONUT 1: It's so cliché. "Halftime adjustments.'' And I don't much buy the chestnut. (I know for a fact that "halftime adjustments'' in the NFL mostly means changing out of sweaty undershirts and not listening to the linebackers coach yell at people.)
*Think of the changes Dallas made against the Spurs on Friday, when Manu scored about half his 31 points in the first quarter but was contained from there.
*Think of what Carlisle said on Saturday night about coming out of halftime against Miami: "We made a point to get out of the locker room and get loose, show (the Heat) that we would be warm and we wanted to pick up the pace. We felt that by pushing the ball, it wasn't necessarily their game. ...''
*And think of what a different game Monday night's was, from first half to second. Consider especially what Dallas did once it was determined that Houston was going to run things to and through Luis Scola …
And Dallas doubled-down on Scola when he received the ball inside.
I'm sure at halftime, sweaty shirts and angry words are exchanged. But I think Carlisle and staff are in there with a clipboard, too.
DONUT 2: The Texas Legends' roster is loaded.
He's disappointed, of course. (Think about it; as of the preseason trip to Palm Springs, he was being discussed openly by the club as a contender to start at the 2.) He was dragging a bit at Monday's shootaround, and he performed poorly once he did get into the Mavs-Rockets game, part of the Hamburger Helper portion of the contest.
But he'll be back. The Mavs' first-rounder (one of six first-round Legends!) is expected to spend the week in Frisco, maybe play three games there. And then he should boomerang back to the big club.
"It's a chance to play,'' Carlisle said. "It's a chance to work on his game. I'm sure (coach Nancy Lieberman) will kick his ass, which is great. It's an opportunity. Not many teams have a D-League team this close in proximity, so it's an opportunity for us and for him."
So it's a temporary thing. I know Nancy loves DoJo, so that will be good. But temporary love, OK? A short-term affair.
P.S.: I've got an NBA talent guy who says Joe Alexander isn't long for the D-League, either.
DONUT 3: Do I sense some reluctance from the Mavs fan base as it regards believing in Tuff Juice?
I get that. His success against Miami and Houston (23 and 19 points, respectively) was largely about effective jumpshooting. And you still want to see him go to the rim.
Maybe it's a process. Have a nice quarter against Detroit, OKC and San Antonio. Then have huge quarters against Miami (12 in the third) and against Houston (6-of-7 shooting for 13 points). And then, with the confidence flowing, all shots will flow.
DONUT 4: Speaking of confidence, here's the point when you knew Dallas knew that Dallas was going to win:
Mavs up nine, midway through the third. Other guys are clicking … hell, everybody is clicking. … but the fifth option on the floor – and traditionally for the Mavs during his life in Dallas, the 13th offensive option on the team – is DeShawn Stevenson.
Yet he receives the ball on the right baseline. And instead of immediately swinging it back outside, he backs in, spins, and launches an off-balance fade-away. It's Dirkesque (or, if you hated it, J-Hoish) … but it goes, and at 6:49 of the third, the Mavs are up 66-53.
DeShawn usually has permission to take his early-game 3's. But when he knows he has permission to take midway-through-the-third iso fadeaways?
You know Dallas is going to win.
DONUT 6: I had Dallas down for a 30-9 run that spilled into the third quarter.
Now let's check the archives.
Against OKC, it was a 24-3 run.
Against San Antonio, it was a 12-2 run.
And now this.
"That's what Dallas has been known for," Rockets center Brad Miller observed. "They have been able to go on big runs for many, many years."
DONUT 7: Oh, and make sure you note what's happening on both ends during these runs. That means a long stretch of Durant and Westbrook and Manu and Parker and Martin not scoring. And that's how you accumulate the NBA's fewest games allowing 100 points, which Dallas has done, with just three allowed.
DONUT 8: There are now Mavs upper-deck tickets to the post-Christmas game with the Raptors and for one ticket, the price is as high as $22.
And that's where I come in.
It's DB.com Night at the Mavs! We'll get together at the AAC on Tuesday, Dec. 28 … It's Raptors at Mavs, and when you visit The newly re-opened DB.com Store to order …
We'll get you:
*Your TWO upper-deck tickets
*Your special-edition DB.com Night at the Mavs t-shirt
*And your pre-game meet-and-greet with a special guest or two
For a grand total of 22 bucks! (Or just $29 if you want two shirts!)
Yes, this is a very affordable way for you to do this. ... a DB.com Get-Together at a very low price! ... It's time for us to get together, time for us to get in the game, time for us to get suited up!
The shirts (DB.com originals designed by the brilliant Beau Shoulders) are limited-edition, and there is a limit to the ticket availability, too, though Ryan at MavCowTickets is pulling all the strings he can. …
So let's get in the game! DB.com Night at the Mavs! And other DB.com Mavs gear from The DB.com Store! C'mon along!
DONUT 9: The cut-down NBA.com video feeds your eyes:
DONUT 10: I enjoyed Carlisle's pregame pep talk concerning pep talks.
"Those guys have heard every speech there is to hear about ‘focus' and ‘staying hungry,'" he said. "We've worked hard to get ourselves on a bit of a roll here, and we'll see how we respond.''
The roll continued. No pep talk needed.
And what is it Uncle Nellie used to say about explosive locker-room speeches? That a coach only has about six bullets a year?
You certainly didn't want to use one of the bullets at home, in November, against a Rockets team playing tired.
DONUT 11: I sat down for a lengthy and pretty-damn-cool one-on-one with Tyson Chandler this week … Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Tyson Chandler (Or, At Least The Stuff I Could Think Of) … coming up Wednesday morning.
DONUT 12: Perspective: This was the Mavericks' sixth consecutive victory. That is one more than the Rockets have all season.