The Mavs lost another lead and another game, this one by a final of 136-103 Sunday in Houston. But…
Friday Morning Donuts: Mavs At Nets
DONUT 1: The Mavs Barometer ...
The Dallas Mavericks win-or-lose barometer has become a simple one.
This season, Dallas is 17-8 when it commits 12 or fewer turnovers. And after what happened in Memphis the Mavs are 3-14 when they have 16 turnovers or more.
It's this easy to trace: On Tuesday against the Bucks, Dallas committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. That put Dallas over 16 turnovers.
Next night in Memphis, Dallas commits six turnovers in the final five minutes of the first half while trying to cling to a 25-point lead. The 16-turnover mark was coming. The game ended with 21 turnovers.
This is the barometer. I don't know how to fix it. But we now know how to measure it.
DONUT 2: Pick-and-pop ...
Over the 17-minute span that decided Wednesday's meltdown-loss at Memphis, Dirk Nowitzki took two shots.
There is a flow to a basketball game that can result in somebody like Mike James taking twice as many shots in that time. So James-bashing aside: James, DC, Mayo and others seem to fail when Dirk is open, following him setting a screen, for the pick-and-pop.
Go back and watch. Or watch tonite at Brooklyn. (I've got the telecast, along with Bob, Dana, Followill and more, starting at 6:30 on Fox Sports Southwest.) Three, four, five times a game, Dirk runs the pick-and-pop in a way that used to cause him to receive the ball from a Jet or a Kidd.
Now, he doesn't get it. Maybe because his ballhandling teammates don't get it.
DONUT 3: Mavs at Nets preview ...
Starting tonight, Dallas could use some more production from Juice. Mayo is averaging 12.3 points - 5.1 below his team-leading mark - on 38.9 percent shooting over the last three games. The Mavericks are 16-9 when he scores at least 19 points compared to 9-23 when he has 18 or fewer.
Meanwhile, the Nets (34-24) sit in fifth place and are trying to get Joe Johnson (foot) healthy and trying to get Deron Williams' numbers on track. Williams is averaging just 17.3 points - his lowest mark in six seasons. His 7.7 assists per game are his fewest since posting 4.5 as a rookie for Utah in 2005-06.
Maybe he's been something just shy of what Brooklyn hoped for when they maxed him out (on a five-year, $98 million deal in July) and kept him from the Mavericks. Either way, the Mavs won't escape Deron talk ... and the DFW native won't soon escape Mavs talk, either.
Williams comes into today telling the NY media he doesn't wish to discuss Mark Cuban-related things. Son, you play in New York. Your hometown Mavs are in town. You almost joined the Mavs. You make $98 million.
"I don't want to talk about it'' will not be an approach that serves you. "I don't want to talk about it'' means you chose the wrong city, the wrong contract, the wrong profession.
We'll discuss this and more tonight at 6:30 on Fox Sports Southwest.
DONUT 4: The Mavs DB.com Android App ...
We've just developed the DB.com Mavs app for Android. (With Apple on its way). It's FREE and ready for Dallas Mavericks fans just like you!
DONUT 5: Is the dream dead? ...
Our Jonathan Auping is at least as much a Mavs fan as he is a Mavs journalist. He writes:
I don't speak for Fish, for DB.com and certainly not for the Mavs. I don't speak as somebody blessed with the opportunity to cover the team from inside the AAC. No, here, I speak only as a Mavs fan who has held out hope longer than many: Today, I'm declaring the playoff dream dead.
It's a smart take without being smart-alecy ... Please read Jonathan's "It's Time To Dream Another Dream'' piece here at DallasBasketball.com.
DONUT 6: Standings update ...
Dallas is in 11th place in the West. The Mavs are five games back of the eighth and final playoff seed, presently owned by Houston. How to elevate? They don't just need to win ... they need to win AND play better basketball than the Rockets, Lakers and Blazers.
A stat expert will say Dallas has less than a six percent chance of making the playoffs this season – which would break a marvelous 12-year run of contention under owner Mark Cuban.
And, to review, here's why the chances are so slim:
Last season, Dallas and Utah tied for the final two playoff spots with identical 36-30 records. That's a .545 winning percentage, which would equate to 45 wins over an 82-game season, or just a tad better than Houston's (the current eighth seed's) current winning percentage. Over the course of the last 12 years in the competitive West, a winning percentage of .545 is what it's taken to qualify for the postseason.
For Dallas to get to 45 wins, it would have to go 20-5 over the remainder of the schedule.
That's how Jonathan can write his piece and how smart and passionate Mavs fans can accept it without talk of "homer'' vs. "hater.'' The odds against 20-5 are, simply, staggering.
DONUT 7: Five in the third ...
Against the Grizzlies, Dallas scored only five points in the third quarter. That ties for the least amount scored in a quarter this season by any team.
Said Shawn Marion: "That's crazy. I didn't realize until the quarter was over that we only scored five points after that happened.''
It was also a Memphis franchise record for least points allowed in a quarter … and here's what's weird: As Dallas was threatening the all-time record of just two points in a game, I was watching from Fox Sports Southwest as colleague Derek Harper did color from Memphis (Harp is the guy who scored the two points in 1997 against the Lakers) ... and I was sitting next to Del Harris, who also happened to be in studio.
The significance? "I was coaching the Lakers that night,'' Del proudly points out.
DONUT 8: Want more Mavs? ...
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DONUT 9: Quoteboard ...
"I feel like swearing a lot, but that ain't gonna do anything. That ain't gonna change anything." - Shawn Marion.
DONUT 10: Thanks to our sponsors! ...
A tip of the cap of appreciation to Frisco Party Station and Red Rock Bar & Grill! They help make DB.com what it is ... thanks, guys!
DONUT 11: Another way to shave ...
Dirk and most of the Mavericks continue to let it grow, beards becoming longer and more scraggly as part of the pledge not to shave until they reach .500.
"It obviously ain't going anywhere now for a while," The UberMan said.
Dallas is seven under .500. So a seven-game winning streak would bring out the razors. But the truth? It's more likely that the beards will be allowed to go away when a .500 record becomes impossible. With 32 losses at present, that is 10 more losses away.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Oscar Pistorius says he "wants to get on with his life.'' Ideally, so would his murdered girlfriend.