Wednesday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: Mavs 103, Wiz 94 - A "beast''? ...
The Dallas Mavericks snapped a six-game streak with the New Year's Night win at Washington.
In doing so, did they "wake up the beast''? We'll get to that below. ...
It was certainly a wake-up of Vince Carter As (Kick-)Starter. Carter opened and closed his night with Vinsanity-era dunks, capping off a 23-point. Earning his second start of the season, he produced the type of explosive offense that was sought by Carlisle early in games.
As poorly as Carter's last start went for him, Tuesday night's effort was much better. However, he, like Mayo, needs to score the basketball to help this team. Despite his game-high 23 points, Carter finished with a net 0 in the plus/minus department. Nevertheless ... that was fun to watch.
"The first thing I want to say,'' said Carter after the game, "is 'finally'!''
With Shawn Marion scoring 11 and Kaman adding an efficient 12 points, every Dallas starter scored in double figures for the first time since February 2010, according to friend of DB.com Bryan Gutierrez. Fun. Right?
DONUT 2: Hot Shooting Covers the Cracks ...
The Mavericks finished the night in DC shooting 50%, hitting half of their 82 shots and going 10 of 22 beyond the arc (45.5%). Their hot shooting covered a multitude of sins, as Dallas was again outrebounded by an opponent (44-42) and gave up 18 second-chance points on 12 Wizards offensive boards.
Importantly, after surrendering 17 second-chance points on nine offensive boards, Dallas would limit those miscues the rest of the way. ... limit to one!
DONUT 3: Third quarter turns the game around ...
The story of this game, in which Dallas overcame a 14-point deficit, their largest comeback of the year, lies in the third quarter. Overall, Dallas would outscore Washington 35-19 in the frame, shooting 66.7% from the field and 80% (4 of 5) from the arc. Dallas would lock down the defensive glass, outrebound the Wiz 10-4 in the period and stepped up their defense, turning six Washington turnovers into nine points.
DONUT 4: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ... New to Twitter? Here's where to start!
DONUT 5: Inside the Cousins-to-Dallas rumors ...
The gossip is everywhere. The facts on the Cousins-to-Dallas rumors are here. If you want to know what the Trade Machine says, do it yourself.
If you want to know what the Mavs are saying about the trade front, you've come to the right place.
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DONUT 7: Mavs Defense vs Anemic Washington Offense ...
Speaking of defense, it helps when a struggling defense gets to face off against perhaps the worst offense in professional basketball. Indeed, the Wiz rank last in the NBA in points per game and shooting percentage. Against such competition, Dallas seemed to find the ability to "compete," and "get on the same page," that so many players and coaches have talked about recently.
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Oh, and today, Fish sits down at 4 p.m. with a live-and-exclusive interview with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett!
DONUT 9: DC and OJ ...
Collison's growth continues Darren Collison continues to take steps in the right direction and may finally be transforming into the player that Dallas envisioned when trading for the former Pacer in the offseason. Though he would need 13 shots to get his 15 points, his fingerprints were all over Tuesday night's win.
For the second-straight game, Collison would finish with eight assists and had only a single turnover in his 38 minutes. He was aggressive, attempting a game-high-tying seven free throws (making six), yet managed to play within himself without disrupting the offensive flow.
He would finish the night +19, behind only…
Mayo has been in a bit of a rut recently. Not surprisingly, so has Dallas. For both Dallas and Mayo, the Wizards proved to be just the needed tonic. Mayo helped Dallas earn its first road win since his 40-point outburst on Dec. 8 in Houston by hitting six of his 10 shots last night and hitting three of his four three-pointers.
Though we have shown that Mayo needs to be scoring the ball to help the Mavs, (Dallas was 1-13 when Mayo scored less than 18 points), Dallas did not need Mayo to score at an All-Star level to earn a win against the lowly Wizards.
Most importantly, Mayo did not commit a turnover all night, only the second time he has not coughed it up once this season. He would also finish with a game-high +21 on the evening.
DONUT 10: Battle of the Benches ...
Though neither the Mavericks nor the Wizards are having the type of season they had hoped, both boast strong scoring benches. Indeed, Washing brought the third-best bench in the NBA into last night's tilt, scoring 41.4 points per game with Dallas right behind, getting 41.3 points a night from their reserves.
Neither bench would score near their season averages, however, as Washington won the battle of the benches, 31-27 over their Dallas counterparts.
DONUT 11: Dirk Hits Double Digits ...
Little by little, Dirk Nowitkzi is beginning to look like The Uberman again. With his minutes limited and again coming off the bench, Nowitzki would finish the night with 11 points, his highest of the season, on five of seven shooting.
"We wake up the beast," Nene said of Nowitzki. "All these games, Nowitzki didn't score, why he going to score tonight? New year, probably."
The lift is returning on his jumpers and his turnarounds seem quicker as well. Though he looked like he could have played more minutes, perhaps he was intentionally limited with the defending-champion looming tonight.
"I feel like once I get my legs back and get into the groove, we could beat some people,'' said Dirk. "I don't think we're as talented as the top four or top five in the West, but I feel if we can compete and play together on both ends of the floor then we can definitely be a factor."
Beat some people? Defending champs? Speaking of which …
DONUT 12: The Final Word - The Continued Parallels between the Mavericks and Heat ...
So much was inversely symmetrical between the 2006 and 2011 Finals.
In both series, the team with home-court advantage controlled the early part of the series and threatened to run away with a championship. Then, the team with the upper hand forgot just how hard it is to win a championship, celebrated prematurely, and lost their grip on a series that seemed to be theirs. In both series, the team that won Game 1 would return to their home court to lose the series in Game 6. Further, the star of the losing team in Game 1 would be awarded MVP and be universally lauded for putting his team on his back and carrying them to basketball immortality.
Then, after capturing their respective franchise's first championship, both Miami and Dallas would be swept out of the playoffs the following season in the first round.
There the parallels end, as Miami seems in the midst of building their own dynasty while Dallas languishes, failing to emulate the same instant SuperTeam model.
Though these two franchises seem to be heading in opposite directions, as the Heat demonstrated in the summer of 2010, fortunes can change as fast as it takes one Superstar decide where to take his talents. We'll see this first-hand tonight with Fish and Ortegel on the pre- and postgame shows starting at 6 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest, Mavs at Miami.
But let's don't get ahead of ourselves. For one night in Washington, the Mavericks began to show some of the talents those of us had hoped to see coming into this season. Perhaps this win over an admittedly lowly opponent can serve as the building block upon which future successes can be built.