What's up, Del Harris? ... Odds and Ends ... Is a Mavs rebuild coming? ... Hey, what is 'Perimeter dynamism'? ... Does Dallas lack the ability to 'topple the powerhouses'? ... We've got one lingering question about Deron and his obsession with the absence of a certain owner (but not of a certain other owner) ... Donuts!
DONUT 1: Welcome home ...
Lotsa Donuts today and the Mavs back in action, with The 75-Member Staff crawling all over the AAC for info that we'll give you throughout the day. But of course, the top issue is Dirk's knee. Get started by understanding the inside stuff on Nowitzki's health history and the nature of the proposed procedure and then get comfortable -- if that's the right word -- with the idea of a Dirk-less Mavs unit, at least for a short period of time.
Do know this, though: Even in the case of arthroscopic surgery, the precedent has been set just this year alone: Jeremy Lin came back to basketball in a month from such a procedure. Trent Richardson came back to football in a similarly short period of time.
So wring your hands and grind your teeth if you must ... try to stay grounded as we bring you more info.
DONUT 2: Odds and Ends ...
The Miami Heat are the favorites. The Charlotte Bobcats are not. The Mavs are ... well, kind of in the mix.
Here are the NBA championship odds for all 30 teams. And remember, oddsmakers are never wrong ... because oddsmakers are the guys who get you to bet and get you to hand them your money. So they win, see?
Miami Heat 11/5
Los Angeles Lakers 5/2
Oklahoma City Thunder 9/2
Chicago Bulls 14/1
Boston Celtics 18/1
San Antonio Spurs 18/1
Los Angeles Clippers 25/1
Brooklyn Nets 30/1
Dallas Mavericks 33/1
Indiana Pacers 35/1
Memphis Grizzlies 35/1
New York Knicks 35/1
Philadelphia 76ers 50/1
Denver Nuggets 66/1
Houston Rockets 75/1
Atlanta Hawks 75/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 75/1
Portland Trailblazers 100/1
Utah Jazz 100/1
Golden State Warriors 125/1
Milwaukee Bucks 125/1
New Orleans Hornets 150/1
Orlando Magic 150/1
Phoenix Suns 150/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 200/1
Detroit Pistons 200/1
Sacramento Kings 200/1
Toronto Raptors 200/1
Washington Wizards 200/1
Charlotte Bobcats 500/1
DONUT 3: A rebuild coming? ...
Grantland's Zach Lowe previews this year's Mavs thusly:
An influx of off-the-dribble creativity and functional size should help Dallas bounce back from a miserable offensive season in which the Mavs ranked at or near the bottom of the league in shots at the rim and free throws. Rick Carlisle and his staff, especially defensive coordinator Monte Mathis, have proven they can break out all sorts of hybrid man-zone principles to build an above-average defense out of disparate parts. Still: Teams will test the Dirk Nowitzki/Chris Kaman front line when Elton Brand, the best defender of the three top bigs, is on the bench.
But Dallas hasn't added an obviously above-average offensive player among its pile of signings and trade acquisitions, and it's just hard to see this team toppling one of the powerhouses above it in the pecking order. There just still isn't quite enough perimeter dynamism. They will have cap room to sign one max player this summer, and the slate is basically clean after that. Is a true rebuild coming?
Any bones to pick in there? Only a few ...
DONUT 4: "Perimeter dynamism.'' ...
"Perimeter dynamism.'' Assuming that phrase means what I think it means ... I can argue otherwise. The backcourt of Mayo and Collison can be more "dynamic'' outside than Jet and Kidd were ... especially if you're counting doing more than launching 3's as "dynamic.''
DONUT 5: The inability to "topple the powerhouses.'' ...
Once the playoffs gets here, Dallas doesn't need to topple powerhouses, with an "s'' at the end. At this moment, with so many wondering of the Mavs have devolved into a non-playoff team, qualifying for the postseason counts as a success. And beating anyone after that -- just one "powerhouse'' -- should qualify as a warm-and-fuzzy tale.
DONUT 6: A Solid Playoff Team, But What's the Plan? ...
That, noted above, is the subhead on Zach's story. Ah, "The Plan.''
"Is a true rebuild coming?'' Zach is right (as he so often is) to wonder about that ... when the time is right. But "Plan Powder'' is ever-looming and we know that. A 2012-13 season preview should preview the 2012-13 season. I advise us to find a way to compartmentalize this year's team and it's successes and failures without knotting it to years ahead.
Unless you want to consider this all one big continuing thing, which is fine by me because then we get to chant, "Don't Care, Won Championship'' forever.
DONUT 7: Mavstoberfest! ...
The Mavs aren't staging a Fan Jam this year ... but it's a Mavstoberfest! And I've got the details on Saturday's event:
The party -- featuring live music, food and games -- will begin on the AT&T Plaza at 3, and then the AAC doors will open at 4 p.m. for fans to watch the Mavs practice/scrimmage, with play scheduled to start at 5:30.
DONUT 8: Because America Still Cares ...
Mark Cuban will have a drink. He will have a drink and dance. He will return to Indiana for a rugby reunion and he will have a drink and dance.
DONUT 9: Hey, wait a sec ...
Hey, Deron, if it's really about having the owner available to you in the pitch meeting and not about the 23 million other things, why aren't you upset that Nets owner Proky never attended the courtship sessions?
DONUT 10: Monitoring B-Wright ...
Brandan Wright missed the preseason opener with a quad strain, then played in the Barca game, but comes away not feeling fully healthy. Our first order of training-room business today is Dirk. But B-Wright, you are second up.
DONUT 11: Del speaks ...
When Del Harris speaks, DallasBasketball.com listens. Del’s alerted me to his book, “On Point,’’ which details his Four-Step System and “the ability to influence our teams for a positive outcome.’’ Check it out!
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Deron with giggly accusations. DeShawn with X-rated retaliations. And Avery in charge of keeping the Nets together. What could possibly go wrong?