DONUT 1: Wright alternatives ...
The The Dallas Mavericks aren't saying this yet, but I'll take an educuated guess: Brandan Wright may be out four-to-six weeks with his shoulder injury (read all the details, including our exclusive interview with B-Wright, here).
How does Dallas fill in the gap?
“Now (DeJuan) Blair becomes more at the forefront,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "Sarge (Bernard James) has got to be ready. Sammy (Dalembert) has got to keep playing like he did the other night. And it gives guys like (Renaldo) Balkman and (Fab) Melo a chance to get some more minutes in preseason.”
DONUT 2: The line drawn ...
You will note the delineation made between the first cluster of candidates for more minutes and greater responsibility (starter Sammy, backup Blair, youngster James) and the next-level guys, Balkman and Melo. This is the stuff of guaranteed vs. non-guaranteed contracts.
My understanding is that Rick has spent more than a moment with all of his non-guaranteed campers, probably especially Fab Melo now, explaining to them his personal backstory. ... How he was relatively unheralded, not expected to make the NBA as a rookie, ended up on the Celtics bench and meshing with legends like Bird and McHale ... all of which helped him to the path he now travels.
It's a great backstory. It can be an inspiration to Fab Melo. But ... there is a delineation.
DONUT 3: Best Western ...
Sports Illustrated breaks down the best-case scenarios for every team in the West.
How do the Mavs fare?
"In the combination of Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon,'' writes Rob Mahoney, "Dallas may well have found offensive equilibrium. There’s enough shooting, driving and passing between them to build a flexible foundation — supported by skilled players serving complementary functions. Nowitzki can draw attention away from Ellis in the pick-and-roll when not pouring in points himself. Ellis’ drives will set up Nowitzki and Calderon for open jumpers. Calderon will alternate between spacing the floor and setting up his teammates for easy scores. Such chemistry will undoubtedly take time to ferment, but that trio — flanked by a deep cast of role players — should fairly easily forge a top-10 offense.
But, as you might imagine, there's a "but'' ...
DONUT 4: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...
Follow our Mavs coverage on Twitter, where our live coverage of preseason will unfold all day and every day! Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and
Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!
Also, be part of the Mavs conversation on the best discussion forum in the NBA, The DB.com Boards!
DONUT 5: The Finest Dentists in North Texas! ...
Our neighborhood dentists, even though we don't even live in the McKinney neighborhood? It's McKinneyDentist.com, and it's been the case for Nate, Tony and me for my kids' entire lifetime.
At McKinneyDentist.com, Dr. Berlin, Dr. Markham, Dr. Lynch and Dr. Wood have been providing the finest in everything from technology to chair-side manner for years, to my family and to so many of you. Their great work has part of us bringing our Mavs coverage to you since 1995 ... And we're proud to be associated with The Finest Dentists in North Texas ... McKinneyDentist.com!
DONUT 6: Mother Nature ...
Shane Larkin has already expressed to DB.com his belief that he is "on-schedule'' to be ready for the regular season and not before. Nevertheless, Rick Carlisle is asked about the first-round rookie's readiness virtually every day.
The coach has choices here. Be snide in his responses ... or be clever.
"Clever'' works for now, at least until his patience is further tried.
"Just purely on my gut opinion, my non-educated medical opinion, I would say (Larkin during preseason is) doubtful,'' Rick said. "But who knows? We’ll see how Mother Nature treats us. She’s not been returning my text messages.''
DONUT 7: Ricky at the point? ...
Can Ricky Ledo play point guard?
“I’m definitely a guard, not a forward,'' Ricky told our David Lord. "I’ll probably play shooting guard, but I could also play the point.’’
Is his ball-handling really up to that task?
“Yes, definitely,’’ said the 6-6 Ledo.
Obviously, we want to take one step at a time here. But it's an intriguing thought and just part of intriguing one-on-one visit with Ricky Ledo here.
DONUT 8: Not a MontaBall endorsement ...
Grantland has introduced something called "ShotScore.'' In short: It reinforces the idea of Monta Ellis as a high-volume shooter. But is also praises Jose Calderon and evaluates Dirk as a shooter, too.
An aside: The science of this article is next-level. However, the writing -- which ties Mark Cuban of Dallas with J.R. Ewing of "Dallas'' -- is something less than that.
Sometimes I feel like this is our fault, that we need to take it upon ourselves to add to list of Cliched Portrayals of DFW so writers from around the country can portray us using visuals and metaphors beyond J.R. Ewing, the Kennedy Assassination and tumbleweeds.
Let's get on this, shall we?
DONUT 9: Updated preseason TV slate ...
The Mavs have added tonight's home game against Orlando (7:30 tipoff on Channel 21) to the slate of preseason games that will be televised.
Here's the updated TV info ... with a reminder that yours truly will once again be part of the Fox Sports Southwest telecasts, serving as a studio analyst alongside Bob Ortegel and Dana Larson.
DONUT 10: Welcome, Social Club! ...
We welcome to the DB.com family Oak Cliff Social Club, voted Dallas' best "dive bar'' and located in the heart of the Bishop Arts District.
This "place for local people to come without paying tourist prices" is anchored by a 40-foot, oak-backed, Brazilian black granite bar, and a "garage" area featuring couches, TVs, and twin pool tables. Local beers and home-style pizza will do the trick before or after the Mavs game.
Thanks to Oak Cliff Social Club for supporting the Mavs, DB.com and so many positives things happening in the Bishop Arts District!
DONUT 11: Ruptured Raptor ...
The Toronto Raptors' mascot -- cleverly named "The Raptor'' -- made a school appearance on behalf of the franchise and tore his Achilles during a performance.
This just isn't the Raptors' week. Month. Year. Decade.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Last January, the Mavs played the Spurs. In a 113-107 loss to San Antonio, Dallas was witness to DeJuan Blair coming off the bench and scoring 22 points in 19 minutes.
Carlisle was asked what the Mavs "learned'' from the experience.
“He kicked our ass every time we played them,’’ Carlisle said. “That’s one reason we wanted to get him on our team. What did we learn? We wanted him on our team. That’s what we learned.’’