DONUT 1: Why the Lotto matters ...
Is there a reason for Dallas Mavericks fans to pay attention to tonight's NBA game of Lotto?
You bet, and to me, it's infinitely more compelling than having to choose whether I'm rooting for the hated Spurs or the hated Thunder, or hoping for the Celtics to do any sort of damage to the villains from Miami.
The Nets traded their No. 1 pick this year to Portland for Gerald Wallace -- but they top-three protected it, meaning that if in tonight's Lotto, if Brooklyn's ping-pong ball comes up right and they win the first, second or third pick in the draft, they retain the pick. (Otherwise, they lose it to the Blazers.)
The Nets have a 7.5 percent chance to earn the No. 1 overall draft pick. Five teams have a better crack at it:
*Charlotte, 7-59, 25.0 percent
*Washington, 20-46, 19.9 percent
*Cleveland, 21-45, 13.8 percent
*New Orleans, 21-45, 13.7 percent
*Sacramento, 22-44, 7.6 percent
*New Jersey, 22-44, 7.5 percent
*Golden State, 23-43, 3.6 percent
*Toronto, 23-43, 3.5 percent
*Detroit, 25-41, 1.7 percent
*New Orleans, 1.1 percent
*Portland, 28-38, 0.8 percent
*Milwaukee, 31-35, 0.7 percent
*Phoenix, 33-33, 0.6 percent
*Houston, 34-32, 0.5 percent
By all rights, in tonight's ESPN event (7 p.m.) Charlotte should get the No. 1 pick and find its way to Anthony Davis of Kenticky. By all rights, the Nets shouldn't be a player here.
But the Nets do have a 25.19-percent chance to be in the top three, and Mavs fans should be rooting against that, too.
If Brooklyn gets lucky tonight, it gives the Nets a valuable asset to use in an effort to convince Deron Williams to stay. Or, a valuable asset to offer to Orlando in an attempt to bring Dwight Howard to the Nets while also keeping Deron. (Woj is now writing what many of us have hoped/believed for awhile: That Deron’s most legit interest in remaining with the Nets comes only if Dwight comes, too.)
Tonight is one of the reasons Deron hasn't made his intentions clear. It's not available money, as that's locked in. It is, among other things, what his prospective team might look like.
The Mavs very much want Brooklyn to look like a team without a premier-level pick.
That's why we'll watch.
DONUT 2: And then comes the next chapter ...
How will the Mavs approach their own selection at 17? And 55?
Here, let's hand the ball to DB.com's David Lord, who throws the high, hard one at the Mavs' traditional approach:
DONUT 3: Mine that gold ...
Of particular concern will be the Mavs approach to the NBA Draft. They've chosen to treat draft picks as "junk,'' and the selection process itself as a "crapshoot'' to be avoided, and it's become a self-fulfilling negative as they've consistently been baffled by the market inefficiencies of the draft.
The draft is where you get guaranteed-to-be-underpaid players if you find the right ones, and you can tie them up at below market for four years. And if you hit a true homerun, you can tie up your prize for as long as nine years.
Dallas' approach to the draft has worked in the sense that the Mavs often use picks as "throw-ins'' ... and those throw-ins help deals get done ... and those deals have meant 12 years of success built around Dirk Nowitzki.
But it says here that rather than sucking at drafting low, the Mavs should better learn to mine that gold. That's the NBA's inefficient market ...and the idea that "it's just a crapshoot" is an acceptance of failure and a give up, rather than working to create an advantage.
DONUT 4: Fish on 105.3 The Fan's RAGE all week! ...
With Greggo taking a short leave from RAGE (2-to-7 daily on 105.3 The Fan), he and Richie Whitt and the gang have asked me to sit in for a week or so.
We'll do it again today, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., and I'd love to have you join us and to listen live here! ...
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Thanks to Game Havens for its DB.com sponsorship! Right now, Game Havens is discounting all Bay Audio speaker products 25 percent and also has the popular Hitachi 22-inch Ultra-Thin TV/Monitor at a crazy-low price.
So check out Game Haven’s show promotions and check out Game Havens, where they will design your own game room, media room, family room or even outdoor patio entertainment system! Call David Teel at (214) 636-1984 and get techno'd up!
DONUT 6: The exclusive Mavs Mailbag ...
Hungry for news on Deron Williams and more? Interested in understanding how the CBA is impacting the Mavs' thinking? Want us to name names? We do so in "Mavs Mailbag,'' where your Premium questions get answered by one of the NBA's preeminent experts!
DONUT 7: No offense to Woodson, but ...
The Knicks re-upped interim coach Mike Woodson and reportedly didn't even bother with a cursory call to Phil JackZen? Would it have upset Woodson for them to do so? Can Dolan not afford the long-distance call to Montana? Is the one-percent chance at such a get not worth the effort?
I know so many consider the Knicks "sexy'' and by gosh, all the way down to J.R. Smith now dating Rihanna, maybe "sexy'' is the right word.
But "sound'' would be a better thing to be.
DONUT 8: Catch the Mavs and the DB.com Staff on Twitter! ...
DONUT 9: More than "nasty'' ...
"Are we having fun yet?" Gregg Popovich asked the Spurs as they trailed by nine in Game 1. "I need a little bit more nasty.''
That became a "thing'' as soon as SA won Game 1. And now the Spurs are in control with a 2-0 lead over OKC, and here's the Pop quote that I frankly find more significant:
"I'm very fortunate in that I didn't have to deal with a star ego,'' Pop said of his run in San Antonio. "I dealt with grown-ups."
In that sense, the Spurs have long been the Mavs' model. It's a horrible drain on an organization and its resources to constantly deal with the system of jurisprudence, to deal with the separation of selfishness, to deal with the egos that are improperly funneled.
You avoid all that, maybe tank a season or two, and maybe you too can be blessed with an organization keyed by a David Robinson handing the baton to a Tim Duncan.
And you know what? Sometimes you build in just that way -- you're bad enough to get a Durant and you're lucky enough to get a Harden and you think you are going to be unstoppable -- and instead of a dynasty you are a bridesmaid.
DONUT 10: Best in the Business ...
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a 7-day tryout. Now more than ever, there’s every reason 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: The problem with T.O. ...
So Terrell Owens gets dumped by his minor-league team in Allen because, among other violations, he failed to show up for a charity event at a children's hospital?
Listen, after watching him absorb deadbeat-dad allegations on "Dr. Phil,'' I don't know why anyone would expect him to spend time with strange kids in a hospital when he spends so little time with his own.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Some Mavs fans think the departed Tyson Chandler is Wilt. Kevin Garnett says he "kind of giggled'' when he saw TY was named third-team All-NBA center over him.
Is there anyway to compromise on this and sorta meet in the middle?