Donuts: Mavs Accountability & Free Tickets!
DONUT 1: Two tickets, $200 value, on me! ...
In conjunction with our friends at RedRock Bar & Grill, DallasBasketball.com is giving away two Wednesday night lower-bowl tickets -- a $200 value! -- to a lucky DB.com reader!
Here's all you need to do to be eligible:
First, be a member of DB.com Boards. That's easy, free, an fun as you kick around ideas with the smartest Mavs fans in the world!
And second, be following Fish on Twitter ... just click this button ...
And then retweet, " Fish & #Mavs on DallasBasketball.com ''
That's it. Two steps! And on Wednesday morning, I'll randomly chose a winner and announce it on DB.com Boards! Enter and win!
DONUT 2: Divorcing Delonte...
I now have a pretty good grasp of what caused the Dallas Mavericks to eject Delonte West from its "family barbecue.'' I continue to hold out on revealing the full story for Premium Mavs Fans because I want Delonte to have the forum to tell his side of what I know.
But for now, let's lean on the wise instincts of DB.com columnist David West for his reading on a cause of the end of Delonte in Dallas:
DONUT 3: No Odomesque stink allowed ...
I have no inside info to say the following, only speculation on my part. ...
But I'm thinking perhaps there was a real metamorphosis in the dynamic of the front office (and team) based on the Odom situation.
Last year, let's surmise that RC saw Odom moping, being a jackass, and generally not working hard ... and based on his years of coaching teams, Rick privately suggested relatively early, "Odom simply has to go. He's a negative influence."
Meanwhile, Cuban (and/or Donnie) are countering by saying (again, paraphrasing and guessing): "He's too talented. We need him. He can make a difference. A Dirk/Kidd locker room can fix him. Eventually things will work out.''
Coaches always think they can "Coach 'em up.'' So Rick -- part of the Triangle of Trust -- dutifully keeps forcing this cancerous player back into the mix, holding his hand here, pushing his butt there ... Rick the loyal soldier doing everything he could to make it work.
It never worked, of course.
DONUT 4: Fast-forward to 2012 ...
This season, let's speculate that Carlisle sees problems brewing with West. Maybe it pops up in Europe. Certainly it pops enough to earn that brief first suspension. Ah, but one suspension doesn't fix Delonte's mindset.
So "Uncle Ricky'' goes upstairs and says: "This is not gonna work. Delonte's got the sense he's entitled to something. And it's dragging gown the chemistry. He's a negative and he's gotta go."
So ... Cuban resists and tries to find a way to keep West's talent; the owner even gives a few interviews in which he suggests that the relationship -- which is clearly over -- might not be over after all. While Fish is reporting that the Delonte divorce was decided upon at essentially the same time the second suspension was decided on, Cuban says no and keeps hope alive.
But in the end, this time the owner lets Coach have the deciding voice on the fit of the pieces on roster. And West is gone.
DONUT 5: The post-Delonte upshoot ...
Post-Delonte? Chemistry is better. The team is now a team that fights as one (instead of one with a player who seems to be fighting with others, fighting mad over money, and fighting himself, really). The bonded players left in Delonte's wake learn a lesson from his mistake and learn who is in charge due to West's dismissal.
The team doesn't have Dirk, and at different times doesn't have Marion or Brand or Kaman, either. And yet it gets off to a decent start because it doesn't allow even a hint of the Odom stink ... or any stink that smells even a little like it.
Just a working hypothesis.
And -- while we're careful to not insult Delonte by fully comparing him to Odom because at least we've seen West do SOMETHING positive in a Dallas uni -- it's a very sound working hypothesis, D-Lord. And one being discussed now by Premium Mavs Fans here on DB.com Boards.
DONUT 6: Accountability counts...
A lot of lip service is paid to this issue. How do you know that talk is just talk? If you don't like to hear your favorite team, after a loss, issue the same-ol' platitudes ... well, what are they supposed to say after another loss and then another one?
Issue more well-meaning platitudes? Invent a new song-and-dance for your amusement? Not talk to the media at all, thereby cutting you off to information via your conduit to your team?
DONUT 6: The ideal ...
The Mavs just had a chance to demonstrate how this can roll, if all the weekend pieces fall into place.
A season starting without Delonte (on purpose) and without Dirk suddenly became Mavs Training Camp II. Injuries and transactions made the circumstances less than ideal. Yet Dallas entered this weekend with a 4-1 record and facing a back-to-back East Coast roadie.
First came the Knicks. As you can read here, it didn't go well due to a turnover-plagued second half. And then, in the postgame locker room, it went something like this:
"I feel like I let my team down tonight,'' Collison said of his 1-of-8 shooting.
"No way,'' Mayo said, picking up DC's feelings. "I think it was on me, too. I can't have eight turnovers.''
Ah, blessed accountability.
But were the fellas just doing the Accountability Talk? Or would they take the Accountability Walk?
DONUT 7: A second straight loss ...
Michael Dugat's terrific account of what broke down in Charlotte is here. Did Dallas curtail turnover mistakes and other mental gaffes? Um, no.
So Deleting Delonte isn't deodorant enough. And talking about accountability isn't, either.
"This team has a lot to learn about winning,'' Rick Carlisle said. "That's where we're at. And this is a very painful lesson."
DONUT 8: We're sticking with the Robin thing, though ...
O.J Mayo finished the OT loss at Charlotte with 22 points. He has scored 22 or more in five straight games. The last Mavs player to do this not named Dirk Nowitzki was Josh Howard from March 25 through April 6, 2008.
This is what we call a "trend.''
This is the second time in Mayo's career he has scored at least 22 points in five consecutive games. The last coming between Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 2008, his rookie season with Memphis. He has never posted six consecutive games with 22-plus points.
Which brings us to tonight.
DONUT 9: The T-Wolves in town ...
It's a 7:30 tip tonight at the AAC, Dallas trying to stop some bleeding now as the Mavs have fallen to 4-3 on the season. The weekend of turnovers is troublesome. But what pops out at us in a pair of these Dallas losses are some rebounding numbers that are alarming … to say the least.
Against Utah and Charlotte, Dallas was out-rebounded by 31 overall (114-83). More painfully, they were dominated to a tune of 41-16 on the offensive glass, leading to a combined advantage of 35-14 in second-chance points for the Jazz and Bobcats.
Two losses by a total of 23 points … a 21-point deficit in second-chance points.
Are we about to have that old "jump-shooting team'' argument again?
DONUT 10: That Old Jump-Shooting Team Argument ...
When the Mavs won the championship in 2011, they were also a jump-shooting team.
Even still ... Over the two previous seasons, their opponents have outscored the Mavs by 25-or-more points in the paint five times. Their record was 1-4 in those games.
The point is, you can be a jump-shooting team, and still be a threat … but you can't allow your opponent to completely dominate you in the paint. Prior to Saturday night, the biggest deficit the Mavs had posted in that paint this season was 14 (against Utah).
Though the Bobcats "bigs" (Haywood, BJ Mullens, Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo, DeSagana Diop) only scored 19 points, Charlotte crushed the Mavs in the paint: 52-24. Looking worse, when we focus on the fourth and the OT, we see that number is 22-8.
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DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Mike D'Antoni is going to be the new Lakers guy. (We spoke to him in an exclusive visit on Friday in which he called the match "a perfect fit.'') But it was almost Phil ...
And so my man Fred McTweeter wants to know, "Why can't Phil Jackson just go out on top? And by "on top,'' I mean "a humiliating 40-point blowout sweep at the hand of the Mavericks''?