DONUT 1: Can 'innocuous' be 'newsworthy'? ...
Mark Cuban made headlines on his recent swing through LA when he announced to the collected media his feelings about the Lakers:
“I just hope they suck!'' is the money quote from Cuban.
It's loud but empty. Big but meaningless. Newsworthy but innocuous.
Cuban went on to explain his respect for what LA has built, and his hope for how it comes undone.
“They’re like any other team,” Cuban said. “Obviously Nash is great. Kobe’s phenomenal. But it takes a team. They have to come together and play as a team. Hopefully they don’t figure it out.”
So far, so good. LA is 0-2. If you squint, you can maybe visualize the Dynasty crumbling.
But our wishing desperately that the Lakers somehow suck is actually a compliment to their usual excellence and their potential excellence.
Fact is, Cuban's greatest fear is to be stuck on the "treadmill of mediocrity,'' to be stuck in the grand, bland middle muddle where you're never a top-three team and you never get a top-three pick.
And, relative to the Lakers again, his even greater wish is that the rest of the league would make an emotional investment in wishing that Dallas would suck.
Because that would mean Mark Cuban's Mavs are a true threat to do otherwise.
DONUT 2: Roddy B up and down ...
What’s compelling about Roddy B's good work at point guard for the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at LA is that on Monday, the Mavs weren’t especially in love with the idea.
And then on Wednesday, Beaubois - a truly wonderful fella, for what that's worth -- was loved by Rick enough to get eight first-half points at Utah ... and then shrink into a non-factor in the second half.
Here's the truth, and it's why Dallas is so shaky behind DC: Roddy B is still sometimes lacking in the "want-to'' department. … still “too cool for school,’ as Carlisle used to say.
What he did at LA was be one of Rick’s ’10 go-to guys,’ another Carlisle chestnut that seemed like a preposterous request. No Dirk, so 10 other guys ALL be go-to guys. But it worked. Once.
And then 24 later, he wasn't a go-to guy anymore. For Roddy B and the rest, we would love to see the "10 go-to'' idea work twice in a row.
We look forward to seeing Roddy B have two good games in a row as well.
DONUT 3: Troy Murphy to the rescue? ...
The only thing Dallas needs as much as back-court help is, well, front-court help. So in comes the idea of Troy Murphy, and maybe the best thing we can say about him: Murphy carries with him The Rick Carlisle Seal of Approval ...
Your sarcasm regarding Murphy is understandable. Don't think we're not piling on, too, noting that the last time Murphy was almost good (2009) is also the last time Eddy Curry was almost good.
Murphy is 32, a 6-11, 240-pound power forward with a smooth jump shot and a knack for rebounding the basketball. Five times in his career Murphy has averaged a double-double. He remains a 39-percent marksman from the arc. Murphy is a 12-year vet with career averages of 10.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, and is a former pupil of Rick Carlisle's in Indy. So he's got The Carlisle Seal of Approval.
But he's a stopgap answer if he's an answer at all. We go to our NBA scout for thoughts on Murphy, who Dallas was interested in acquiring as recently as January 2011. The inside story here.
DONUT 4: Spirit and towel-waving ...
Spirit and towel-waving can be exhausting … which brings us to Game 2, second night of the back-to-back, at Utah, which is a Bad City … and the towel-waving wasn't enough.
Can't help but notice Dahntay, though, who is slightly nutty in the positive way he drives emotion from the perch on the bench. And can't help but continue to solidify the whispers that the reason Delonte isn't sitting there alongside him (and playing in place of Roddy B) is that West was in the process not of towel-waving but instead of paycheck-waving ... Unhappy paycheck waving, and doing so in the faces of young teammates.
Still working to verify and solidy. And am soliciting guidance on the story from Delonte himself. But know this, speaking generally: There is a rule in professional sports about bitching about money in the locker room. It's bad form. It's done -- but only on bad teams.
It's a cancerous act and it's not allowed. Or, maybe in the case of a person who got suspended twice in eight days ... it's not allowed twice.
DONUT 5: The little things ...
Want us to believe in Plan Powder? Want us to believe in these players? Want us to believe in Carlisle’s ability to microwave chemistry? Want us to believe the win over the Lakers is something more than a mirage?
Prove that the Utah loss was a blip. Go beat the heck outta Charlotte, Portland and Toronto, the trio of have-nots traveling into the AAC in the coming week.
A fine-print reason Dallas beat LA: Free throws. The Lakers were 12 of 31. That’s the worst anybody’s been in a 30-free-throw game in almost 20 years. The Mavs made two more FTs than LA that night while attempting 13 fewer.
The easiest way to beat Charlotte, Portland and Toronto, is, I suppose, riding the coattails of a "big thing.'' You know, OJ scores 37 or something.
But the more likely way is a "little thing path.'' Like shot selection, defensive rebounding and free throws.
Dallas is about to mount a winning streak if it’s about little things – and then in the end, OJ Mayo can say again what he said in the wee hours of Tuesday:
“There’s some new sheriffs in town.’’
DONUT 6: The Great White Rebounding Hope ...
Chris Kaman will attempt to practice today, testing that strained right calf muscle is, "to see if I can play Saturday,'' he said.
Kaman's presence ought to single-handedly repair some of Dallas' rebounding-deficit woes.
"The Great White Rebounding Hope''?
Maybe. But "The Good White Rebounding Hope'' would probably suffice.
DONUT 7: DoJo's deal ...
The Mavericks didn’t pick up Dominique Jones’ fourth-year on his rookie scale contract. This is a smart thing and a rare thing for an organization that has habitually "protected its own'' in this regard ... often foolishly.
So DoJo -- who is clearly on the outs with the coaching staff, which simply does not trust him to play much PG (despite his earnest efforts there) -- will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
He's not done, of course. Necessity could give him another chance somewhere (it seems he's going to live another day in Dallas as Curry will be the odd-man out to make room for Murphy). And fate could even give him another contract. But DoJo's professionalism is about to be tested as he's added to the long list of Contractual Lame Ducks.
DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter ...
Here are your key Twitter follows at Mavs HQ:
Stick with this bunch, and check for updates on DB.com Boards . You'll know everything as it's happening with The 75-Member Staff!
DONUT 9: Nash concession speech ...
Mark Cuban makes a Steve Nash concession speech. But the best thing about it isn't Cuban. It's Mavs fans on DB.com smartly debating the issue, whether a concession is needed, when a similar concession will be issued regarding TY, and best of all, why the Mavs should have to apologize for a transaction that was immediately followed up by a Western Conference title and an NBA Finals appearance.
DONUT 10: The best way to catch up on the week in Mavs news ...
Did you miss something? Click into DB.com Mavs Archives and get caught up!
DONUT 11: Two more things about Utah ...
How much you wanna bet that as we approach next July 1, the Mavs find themselves as serious suitors for one of the Jazz bigs, Paul Milsap or Al Jefferson?
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Today's my birthday. Your presence is my present. Thank you so much for your friendship and loyalty to DallasBasketball.com, which is also celebrating its 14th birthday. I'm very proud of what we do here and very flattered to have you aboard!