DONUT 1: Have this year's Lakers lost some of that ol' pizzazz? ...
I dunno. Jack, what do you think?
DONUT 2: Lakers distractions ...
They have won four of five though, and are doing that despite the distractions of Pau Gasol trade talk (and Kobe's profane objection to it) and despite revelations about disarray in the post-Phil JackZen front office).
The "Chaz'' thing has taken on a life of its own. I'm interested. Angles for tonight that bore me? LO misses LA, Kobe is like a brother to LO, LO is working through his issues regarding leaving the Lakers, Ice T and Coco might be preggers, all that reality-TV hoohah.
DONUT 3: More true insight on the Roddy B trade front ...
If you are seeking true insight into the Mavs thinking on Roddy Beaubois' trade availability, I urge you to read this Premium piece on Roddy B being "shopped.'' It's worth your dime-a-day.
Our David Lord has some follow-up information to that piece. Dig in:
Among the reasons Chris Broussard's ESPN story and the ensuing "quietly shopping'' tales don't ring true: There is no Asset Management advantage to swapping Roddy B now. None.
And the Mavs know that.
But what about that Mavs "3D Blueprint'' for the summer? Doesn't that plan demand that the Mavs hurry up and clear Roddy's contract off the 2012-13 payroll?
Absolutely not. In fact, it would be a DISADVANTAGE to the Mavs to do so now.
Here's why: 3D is the plan, but because it is centered around the future wishes of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, the Mavs have no guarantee that it will happen exactly like they hope.
As a result, they are staying "flexible," and part of that flexibility is positioning themselves to be able to wait until the summer to clear out the final needed cap space to be able to sign both of those players. Once (if!) they get both commitments, then they have to make a move or two to get rid of the contracts of Shawn Marion and/or Brendan Haywood, one of whom can be removed from the cap rolls by the amnesty option if needed, and thereby create the final bit of needed salary room.
When that time comes, being able to package those players with the younger developing talent of Roddy B or DoJo is likely to make it easier to find a willing partner who will do the deal and might even send back a future draft pick or two for all the talent.
But couldn't they clear out even more cap space by trading Roddy now, you ask? Nope. Whether they trade him now or later, if they take back no players for 2012-13, the payroll savings will be identical. And should they have to make such a trade, finding a team who would take Roddy B should be no challenge at all, no matter when they chose to do so.
Most importantly, the biggest reason that there is no advantage to trading Roddy now in a giveaway, is that once we get to the summer, they may find there's no real reason to trade him at all. By waiting until then to pull the trigger, they know that they only have to give him away if they land both DWill and D12. Otherwise, trades don't get made, and they head forward toward Plan B (or C or D) with a cupboard full of talent.
What many fail to realize is that waiting until they know what DWill and D12 will do still affords the Mavs plenty of time to find and negotiate whatever trade is needed. The league's annual moratorium, during which no contracts or trades can be consummated, lasts at least through July 10 this year, but they can start recruiting DWill and D12 on July 1. And before we get to July, Donnie Nelson and staff will undoubtedly have already gauged interest from the other 29 teams and know the possibilities.
Just like at the trade deadline, when teams are ready to do a trade, it doesn't take long at all ... and having a week or two to get it done will be way more than is needed.
So ... there you go. And if I may plug DB.com: That's how we do what we do. ... that's the sort of information that brings you back to DB.com and that's the sort of insight that, if you want to be truly informed about the Dallas Mavericks, is available when you invest about a dime-a-day into the site. It's well worth it. Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 4: Let's get to tonight's late, late show -- an 8:30 p.m. tip at the AAC -- and some of the strategy...
The starting lineups, and NBA scouting info from Kyle Leath ...
|F- Metta World Peace
||F- Shawn Marion
|F- Pau Gasol
||F- Dirk Nowitzki
|C- Andrew Bynum
||C- Brendan Haywood
|G- Kobe Bryant
||G- Vince Carter
|G- Derek Fisher
||G- Jason Kidd
DONUT 5: A look at the Lakers Offense ...
• Using a 1-4(UCLA) set now as well which also gets them into side pick/roll looks as well as staggered pin down screens for Kobe to come off of.
• Gasol like the high post area. He also will trail and shoot jumper in transition as well as pick/pop on mid ball screens.
• Like to get Gasol isolated on block.
• Kobe dominates the ball and will back man down for post up
• With Bynum they have a potent post game both by sets and offensive rebounding.
• They do not shoot the 3-point shot for a high percentage but they do have a knack for making big ones (see Derek Fisher in the first Mavs-Lakers meeting, a Lakers' 73-70 win in LA on Jan. 16).
DONUT 6: A look at the Lakers Defense ...
• Very long team that will squeeze the paint and make it tough to get shots inside in the halfcourt.
• Will gamble (Kobe, Barnes) at times on ball reversals and get out of position.
• This is a team that relies on solid halfcourt defense and the stats bear out that they do a good job defending.
• Will show/recover on ball screens and post will let you catch it then defend with their size as an advantage.
DONUT 7: Stat Check ...
• Lakers are first in Team Rebounding at 45.7 rpg. Dirk Nowitzki will need to keep up the good bord work to keep Dallas afloat here.
• LA's road record is 5-11.
• The Mavericks swept LA in the playoffs last year but have lost the last three regular-season meetings against the Lakers and 11 of the last 14 meetings overall.
DONUT 8: In addition to watching the Mavs and Lakers at 8:30 ...
Follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... The 75-Member Staff!
DONUT 9: Is Kobe Sexier Than Dirk? ...
The Los Angeles Lakers think they are sexy.
Or, more specifically, Kobe Bryant thinks he's sexier than Dirk.
The Drama Queen used The One-Legged Euro LeanBack during the Lakers’ Monday night drubbing of the Trail Blazers and then playfully told TNT, “Dirk does it well, but I do it better. Mine’s a little sexier.”
Oh, Kobe is adorable! Coming over to the TNT booth in the middle of a game to do an interview! Careful, though, son. The last time you opted to express your "sexiness'' in an unusual way, you were telling it to a judge in the Colorado mountains.
DONUT 10: If you like this level of insight into the World Champion Dallas Mavericks ...
Try our Premium Mavs coverage! This is what we do, every day, with 28 years of experience on the beat! It’s pennies a day to get All-Access to what the Mavs are doing upstairs, down in the basement, in the locker room and on the court – and it’s free to come inside for
a 7-day tryout. Now more than ever, there’s no reason not to give it a go! Thanks for your support of the site at less than a dime-a-day! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 11: Scout Kyle Leath on How to Beat the Lakers:
• PUT THE CLAMPS ON - Dallas' focus must be on solid TEAM defense. It starts with what Marion can do on Bryant, yes. But do not get totally caught up on stopping Kobe. When you do they have others that will hurt you.
• PROBE - Be patient and find mismatches offensively. This is a night for Kidd to be effective at that in order to key a win.
• WINDEX - Most importantly, REBOUND with them. LA's averaging more than four more boards per game than their opponent. Dallas must stick closer than that.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Brandan Wright talks with me in this DB.com Video Visit about going long against the Lakers and going home during the All-Star Break:
By the way: When Rick Carlisle praises Lamar Odom for essentially being a body who allows Dirk a rest at the 4 ... meaning just being a "body who can play the 4'' is enough ... isn't Brandan Wright a body who can play the 4?