DONUT 1: "There's not enough time to bellyache,'' says coach Rick Carlisle, and now the Dallas Mavericks are talking my language.
Let's not worry about whether you can compete with the Spurs, Thunder and Lakers. Not yet. Let's prove you are superior to the Jazz, the Nuggets, the Suns and tonight's foe, the Rockets.
You look at the 116 minutes of basketball just played -- with all they've got to show as two losses and a slip to in the standings -- and you choose to focus on what you wish.
I choose to focus on not bellyaching.
DONUT 2: But while I'm focusing, I'm also glancing at the tele. Have you seen D-Will's spot? Deron Williams' new TV commercial demonstates that he can do his thing "from anywhere.''
Is this a subliminal free-agency message of some sort?
DONUT 3: I'm hearing a lot of my brothers reflect on the weekend past and saying, "The Mavs are going through the motions'' or "They're dead in the water.''
Did you boys not actually watch the Lakers OT game or the Utah 3OT game? Dallas flooded effort into those things ... dumped minutes into them ... sacrificed in dual efforts to win.
This team is flawed (aren't they all?) and there have been some slow starts and crummy finishes (and some gunk in between, too). But I'm not going accuse these boys of not having professional pride. I saw what I saw ... and I hear what I hear:
Dirk Nowitzki on the b2b: "Being in two overtime games back-to-back, four in five nights, I still love how the guys kept coming and wanted to win.''
Rick on the Utah loss: "We weren’t playing particularly well, but guys hung in. We looked dead in the water at the end of regulation, and at the end of the first overtime, and hung in and were able to put ourselves in a position to keep playing, and that was big.''
And how about 'Trix? Given that he wasn't allowed a role in Utah, maybe he's got a quote that indicates a crack in the foundation?
"That's a lot of basketball,'' Marion said. "We battled until the end but couldn't pull it out."
Nope. No cracks in the effort or attitude foundation.
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Oh, one more thing: The audio/visual set up in my house is incredible and it's all due to the techno-ninja word of David Teel and the gang at AV Spots and GameHavens! I won't mention any names, but there is a certain member of a certain team that you are fond of who just had David and AV Spots/GameHavens remake his system ... so yeah, what David does for the superstars he can also do for schlubs like you and me!
DONUT 5: Are you caught up on your recent flurry of Mavs news?
* The in-depth Donuts from the Mavs' 3OT loss at Utah.
* The brilliantly argued case for Shawn Marion as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. And if you think Trollinger understands Advanced Stats, wait 'til you read Michael Dugat do his thing.
* What's Wrong With Dallas? A 10-Step Study.
* Rick Carlisle on "Making work out of sex.''
DONUT 6: ... Coming up in a special edition of "Coach Em Up,'' we're doing a film study of Brandan Wright while making a case for him being a member of the rotation no matter how "light in the pants'' (says Dirk) he may be. In doing so, we bump into this stat:
Taking the way the "minimum-to-qualify'' thinking, because this trio has played together for just 82 minutes all season ... but the best +/- per-minute trio on Mavs is Kidd/Carter/Wright.
Interpret that as you will. That Kidd's got to be in the middle of most combos in order to be successful? That we underrate slightly how Vince helps the Mavs win? Or most interestingly to me, that if you put BWright in position to succeed ... he does so.
Among trios more commonly used, by the way, the Mavs raw best +/- trio is Dirk/Marion/Haywood at +132. Makes sense.
Ah, but among trios to have played 100+ minutes, the best +/- per minute is Dirk and Kidd and (guess who?) Wright at +.53.
More coming on B-Wright later today.
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DONUT 8: In addition to watching the Mavs and Rockets at 7:30 ... Listen to me on with Gavin on The Unofficial Mavs Pregame Show on 105.3 The Fan ... And follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... The 75-Member Staff!
Follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... The 75-Member Staff!
DONUT 9: The NBA hasn't yet, but still can, hand down a judgment on Delonte's West Willie'' administered to the ear of Gordon Hayward in the Jazz game. There are some funny things about this, and some embarrassing things about it, too. It will only be the latter if the NBA punishes West by suspending him for a game.,
Well, OK, there's one more funny thing about it.
"I wanted to fight right there, but you can’t do that,” Hayward said before Tuesday’s practice. “It wouldn’t have been the smart idea. I’d risk getting a technical foul, getting suspended for the season, whatever.''
Well, yeah, and you'd also risk getting your ass kicked by Delonte West. So there's that.
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DONUT 11: Jet's right, right?
"I definitely feel like we’ve had some misfortune in situations where in the past we’ve been the team to come out victorious,'' Jason Terry said. "(Utah) hit tough shots all night long. That’s happen to us all season. It’s a broken record, but teams are hitting some shots that on a normal day I don’t think those go in."
Can we agree on that? KD and Derek Fisher got that ball rolling early. And the ball is now a boulder. Is that as big a reason for Dallas' 10-13 record in games decided by five points or fewer as anything? That Pau Gasol is throwing up 21-foot garbage, and it's going in ... or Barnes is illegally guiding it in ... and we're right back to "The Due Theory,'' aren't we?
DONUT 12: "It's just beyond me,'' Carlisle said, "the kind of shots that teams are hitting against us this year. We're playing our ass off, but I tell you what, night after night we just got to hang in, we just got to hang in and keep guarding. ... But it's something to see. It's something to see."
Something to see. But not something to bellyache about.