Ah, that's better. Behind a career night for 'The Ianimal' (19 points, 6-of-6 shooting, five boards, a steal and two blocks) the champs get the 99-86 win over visiting Toronto. It's a lot easier to accept the Work-In-Progress idea after a win, huh? It soothes the MavVirus-scarred parts of our psyche that still thinks last year was all a dream. It's OK to hope again. ... and to read Donuts!
DONUT 1: Whew! The Dallas Mavericks ... Back on track ...
First, the video recap from NBA.com ...
"We're playing better basketball. The first couple games were horrible -- and I'm trying to forget about them, so I'd appreciate you wouldn't ask about it anymore. The last couple games are games we can build on. Look, tonight wasn’t perfect. We gave up two significant leads. But I thought the key part of the game was the end of the third when we were on a 16-2 run with Dirk on the bench. That gives us a huge lift." -Coach Rick Carlisle
“We knew it would happen, it was just a matter of time. We thought it would happen last night, but unfortunately we had to take a bump along the way. But the way we played last night gave us some confidence. Now that we know how we have to play, we’re a confident team.” -Jason Terry
DONUT 2: Ian Mahimni -- cue the deep-chested manly scream ...
"He’s improved a lot. He gained a lot of confidence with what he did in the last three games of the Finals. I know this was a career high in points for him, but the last two nights he's given us a really high level of energy, a physical presence, he's a combative guy, and he was really big tonight. It wasn’t just the points, it was defensively he's in the right place." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Ian’s a nice player but we can’t let him come in and affect the game. We’ve got to respect him and get our rotations crisp on him. We had some breakdowns defensively on people other than a guy named Dirk Nowitzki. We expect that form him, but not from somebody else." -Coach Dwayne Casey
"Tonight, I was just trying to make plays. Obviously, we were on a losing streak, and I did everything I could out there to get that win. Tonight, I did a pretty good job at that. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do on the pick-and-roll -- that’s really one of the things I like to do is play pick-and roll defense, so I just want to do it and execute it exactly the way they had it on the plan." -Ian Mahimni
"He had an amazing game. He was making himself very active in there." -Shawn Marion
"We've seen him do that in stretches. The question for him is, can he do it on a consistent basis?" -Jason Terry
DONUT 3: If you are a Mavs follower, get
wisely addicted enough to sign up for our 7-day free trial and Premium Mavs Fandom! Nobody does it like The 75-Member Staff of DB.com … insight and intensity and inside your Dallas Mavericks!
DONUT 4: But who's counting? ...
"That's one!'' -- Jet, woofing and waving to the AAC crowd to celebrate this initial victory
DONUT 5: On the Mavs' pedigree ...
“We’ve got to understand how to win to beat a championship team.” - Coach Casey
DONUT 6: On the Center-By-Committee approach ...
"It puts a lot of pressure on us, but it's good. I think it's good pressure. Me and Brendan and Sean, we want that type of pressure, we want more minutes, so now we have the opportunity, so now we just have to go out there and take it." -Ian Mahimni
"We’ve got good options. We need everybody. It’s not a glamorous position on this team and never has been. It’s a dirty work job." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DONUT 7: Still room for improvement, and his name is Lamar Odom (12 minutes, three points and shooting 13 percent for the year)...
“There’s an action plan that’s in place and he’s working his ass off. He came in this morning and worked for an hour and a half. He’s got a ways to go, but he’s a willing worker. He was behind when he got here, conditioning-wise, and we’ll get him caught up. He’s got to find his way within our team and within our offense, because we’re a free-flowing team. We don’t do much play calling, so there’s going to be a curve there. “But look, that doesn’t affect how you run back and whether you can get in a stance or whether you block somebody out or get a rebound or any of that kind of stuff. So let’s get to that and then some of the other stuff can fall into place." -Coach Rick Carlisle
“Some things happen that took me away from the game, took some time off. You’ve got to be right mentally as a person first before you do any of this." -Lamar Odom
"Lamar Odom is a big key to the success of this team this season. I believe once he gets right, we’re going to be tough to beat." -Jason Terry
DONUT 8: Come follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter!
DONUT 9: A little respect for former Mavs assistant coach Dwayne Casey and his Toronto Raptors ...
"I give Dwane a lot of credit for the approach that he’s taken with that team. It’s the right approach for a young team that’s in a position to make some quantum leaps. For my money, I think they’ll be in the hunt for the playoffs in the East." -Rick Carlisle
DONUT 10: The kids will save us; they'll have to ...
"[Ian's] aggressive, he’s talking, he’s making great strides and I thought really he and Beaubois were really key guys on the second night of a back-to-back being able to finish the game. We didn’t have to finish those last three minutes with Dirk out there or Jason Kidd. It really helps as we go forward." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DONUT 11: Next up, Sunday at Minnesota (with Fish and Bob Ortegel both in action on the FSSW pe- and postgame shows!) ...
"A young, exciting team.We’ve got to put our track shoes on and be ready for another race." -Shawn Marion
"That’s going to be a fight. It’s good to see an old friend in JJ Barea." -Jason Terry
DONUT 12: The Dallas Mavericks Mission Statement, as applied to the regular season ...
"I say the same thing every year. As long we're healthy and playing good basketball going into the playoffs, and we extend the playoffs, then anything can happen." -Mark Cuban