DONUT 1: The Mavs' fourth straight win ... and how it breaks down by the numbers ...
• The Dallas Mavericks defense has held opponents to under 100 for 16 straight games.
• The Clips are 29th in FT percentage at 67.8 percent and by gosh, they shot 16-of-25 from the stripe, good for 64 percent. ...
• Trix on Paul means a big change. CP3 so often roasts the Mavs. But this time, LAC - fourth in the NBA assists per turnover at 1.63 -- had 22 assists and 21 turnovers, good for an ugly, 1.04 assist-to-turnover ratio. Dirk, Marion, and Carter each had two steals apiece to pace the Mavs to 11 steals.
• Dirk is averaging 26.4 points on 54.9 percent (50-of-91 FGs) shooting over his last five games. Here he would get near that point average, netting a team-high 22. But his shooting was an average 5-of-15. He was helped out by his aggression, going 11-15 at the charity stripe. And he was helped out by what he did to close, at which point he was again the King of the Power Forwards.
DONUT 2: Catching up unfinished business -- Caron Butler finally gets his championship ring ...
DB.com on the floor ...
"That night, laying on the ground, he took his kneecap and shoved it about three inches back into place, stood up, and walked off the court under his own power. At that moment, this guy was a legend for life for me." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I was very emotional. I didn’t think I was going to be as emotional. Having Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle, the whole standing ovation, it was just unbelievable. It was a great feeling. I almost cried. I had to put my head down a couple of times to try to gather myself ... It's the locker room, the camaraderie that we had, Dirk and all the veteran guys, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Coach coming in doing his thing -- kind of quirky at times, but funny." -Caron Butler
"If we have another ceremony game maybe we'll get to .500." -Jason Terry
DONUT 3: A thought on changing dynamics ...
"The game of basketball is sometimes based on relationships. I’m developing that. That will always be a work in progress. I understands that this is a different situation for me. One of the bigger difference is i'm not closing games out. I closed games out in LA. Here, I know that Dirk and Marion are the likely closers and I respect that." -Lamar Odom
DONUT 4: Shawn Marion guarding Chris Paul -- opposing viewpoints ...
"He’s our best defender. We stick him on 1, 2, 3, 4. He’s been phenomenal for us every since he got here. He’s still fast on his feet, he’s long, he’s strong, he’s got great, great hands on the ball. We stick him usually on the best player and he did a phenomenal job for us again tonight." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I didn't even notice a difference. I knew that he was on me but it wasn't nothing I haven't seen before." -Chris Paul
DONUT 5: While we're on the subject, shouldn't he be Defensive Player of the Year or what?
"I’m a competitor. I’m built a different way. I have this inner dog in me that I feel like a lot of people don’t have. I’m just going to bring it like that. That’s how I come. My mindset is geared toward stopping whoever I’m guarding. I believe in taking the challenge of shutting my guy down." -Shawn Marion
DONUT 6: Welcome to a new DB.com Mavs partner ...
RED ROCK Bar & Grill is working with us to host another of our famous DB.com Mavs Get-Togethers ... and in the meantime, we're all going to start hanging out there because of that 200-inch screen - the biggest TV in Texas! (great place to watch the Super Bowl) and because of the live music (Random Axis plays regularly).
Red Rock is at the corner of Frankford & Midway, Just off the Tollway, at 18110 Midway Rd Dallas, TX 75287 .. (972) 733-3683.
Go check 'em out and tell 'em The Fish sent you!
DONUT 7: The Terror In The Paint -- on Brendan Haywood and his 10 and 9 evening ...
"The plan was to get Brendan Haywood double-figure points in the first quarter." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"Brendan Haywood has done an outstanding job. He was an integral part of our success last year and I think that has gone overlooked. I think he’s stepped up and we’ve done it by committee after him with our bigs." -Jason Terry
"Early on my teammates were looking for me. I had a lot of rolls to the basket and they told me that would be available." -Brendan Haywood
DONUT 8: The game-stealer that wasn't -- Butler for three, no good ...
"It felt real good. I got my feet up under me, followed through, it was a routine shot, just fell a little short. It would have been a great ending to the game. They didn’t have any timeouts left, and it would have been the dagger that we needed, but it fell a little short." -Caron Butler
"Yeah, Caron was shooting the ball well. When you’re in that situation and not exactly sure how much time, sometimes you can call timeout, but when you have numbers on a break and Chris has the ball, usually good things happen. We got a good look so Caron pulled up, he had been shooting it pretty well for the night, and hit some big shots so I had no problem with that." -Coach Vinny del Negro
DONUT 9: There's more to basketball than scoring; there's not letting the other team score for instance ...
"Defensively, I give the guys a lot of credit. This is one of the tougher teams to guard with Chris Paul and all the pick and rolls, Griffin and the high flyers, Mo Williams and Foye can shoot the ball; they’ve got a lot of answers out there. They made the big run, they got us down 3 or 4 points. We held it together, we kept our poise, and the guys just kept working. It was defense that got us over the hump. We didn’t have the greatest shooting night, Dirk was missing some shots that we’re used to him normally making. Nights like that, we’ve got to hang in there with our defense." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DONUT 10: Blake Griffin, the Power Forward Of The Future -- 20 points, 7 boards, and 2-9 from the line ...
"It's on me. I missed shots. I missed free throws. I missed an easy layup. I missed a dunk." -Blake Griffin
"That's our horse and we going to ride him. You see how much he cares. And as he continues to get better, everybody better watch out." -Chris Paul
"He's been shooting it real well. I was surprised they went to foul him. It was just one of those nights." -Coach Vinny del Negro
DONUT 11: Dirk Nowitzki, the Power Forward Of Now And Always -- 22 points, 7 boards, and 11-15 from the line ...
"He’s the classic case of a great player, and you just stay the course. I played with Larry Bird for 3 years, and there were nights he’d go 2-13 and then hit the last 3 shots to win the game. Dirk’s the same kind of guy. One thing he’s done better and better as his career has gone on; he just keeps playing, he doesn’t get frustrated, lets the game come to him, and he attacks. The shot that he hit off the Haywood pass was an enormous shot ... Dirk’s one of the best ever, so he’s not going to miss shots forever." -Coach Rick Carlisle
And do we really need to bring up Barkley again? Yes, yes we do:
DONUT 12: Regular-Season Roll established?
"We're a deep team, we pride ourselves in our depth -- we've had our share of injuries early, and hopefully that'll be it. Again, the key to this season is maintaining your health and playing hot at the right time. I think right now we're just riding the consistent wave, giving consistent efforts on both ends of the floor right now." -Jason Terry
"We're very happy with the way that we're playing right now. People are coming to play defensively and guys are getting better every day. We're winning games against tough teams." -Brendan Haywood