Thursday Mavs Donuts: Grizzlies & Miley Cyrus
DONUT 1: Mavs 95, Grizzlies 90 ...
The cynic in me says: Maybe we should get used to this from Samuel Dalembert.
On Monday, coach Rick Carlisle called out the Mavs' new starting center for his lack of conditioning. In that preseason-opening loss to New Orleans, Dalembert recorded fouls more quickly than anything else, later explaining that his back was sore.
In Wednesday's 95-90 win at Memphis, Dalembert totaled 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He was 4-of 6-from the floor in 20 minutes.
When I say "get used to this,'' I mean the total outcome from both games.
Dalembert's reputation is well-known: His engine doesn't always fire on all cylinders. Less of Monday and more on Wednesday would be a formula to solve that problem as he starts in a lineup that includes Dirk (20 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 23 minutes in Memphis) and Monta Ellis (9-of-17 shooting and 3-of-5 from 3 in two games, with a 15-3 assist-to-turnover ratio
As we move through camp and the preseason, Monta is closing in on being a "known factor'' to join Dirk -- a Dallas dream. Knowing which Dalembert will show up nightly would be a big help.
"He did a terrific job,'' Carlisle said. "The biggest thing is he was in position all night, his length was a major factor, he rebounded, and he's getting more in-tune to what we're doing."
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Mavs front court may be taking a hit. We've got the details on the breaking news involving Brandan Wright's MRI here. , Your hope, and his? That's it's not labrum-related.
DONUT 2: Tongue-lashings ...
Not that I'm trying to distract you from the final score or anything, but ...
This is disgusting and clever: Basically, what happens when Dirk Nowitzki's tongue meets Miley Cyrus' tongue.
OK. Back to our regularly-scheduled Donuts.
DONUT 3: Lost Wages ...
Las Vegas has placed the Dallas Mavericks at 50-to-1 odds to win the NBA title. Is that worth investing a few bucks on?
The Miami Heat are the favorites with 2-to-1 odds Is that worth investing a few bucks on?
DONUT 4: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...
Follow the Mavs on Twitter: Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!
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: Updated preseason TV slate ...
The Mavs have added Monday's home game against Orlando 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 7: Grgurich on the couch...
Old friend Tim Grgurich marches to the beat of a different drummer. And he sleeps through the drum beat, too. Right now he's with Cleveland, spending his nights on a couch in the Cavs players lounge.
DONUT 8: 'The NBA is getting smaller' ...
Shane Larkin believes he has a debt to pay to the Dallas Mavericks.
Carlisle "told me himself that he had a big part in them drafting me,'' says the rookie, selected No. 18 out of the University of Miami. "He thought I was the best point guard in the draft and that's why he took me. That's why they brought me here. And now, it's just that weight on my shoulders of now I've got to show them why he thinks that of me and now I've got to go prove that when I get on the court."
Before Larkin handles the weight on his shoulders, he's got to handle the problem with his ankle. He broke it during a summer League practice back in July and isn't yet participating in Dallas' training camp. But he's learning via observation as the Mavs continue to believe that his skills as a perimeter player dovetail nicely with the direction of the NBA.
"Shane is as fast and quick as they come,'' Mavs president Donnie Nelson says. "And ‘fast-and-quick' is more and more the way to win in the NBA. We think Shane can help us do that.''
Adds Larkin: "Nowadays in the NBA everybody is going small. If you look at the Finals, the Heat were going small with LeBron playing the 4, and the Spurs were going small. You see (Golden State's) Stephen Curry, he's only like 6-1… (Denver's) Ty Lawson, (the Clippers') Chris Paul. "The game is big, but it's getting smaller.''
Larkin, the son of baseball Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin, will have to overcome the fact he stands just 5-11. Once healthy – "I should be good to go for the first (regular-season) game,'' he says – he'll also have to overcome the Mavs' depth at the position.
DONUT 9: The depth isn't deep yet ...
Eventually, Dallas will start Jose Calderon (who has a hamstring problem and has been sitting out this week). Devin Harris (recovering from toe surgery) will eventually be in the mix. Monta Ellis will start at the 2 but can play some 1. Fellow rookie Gal Mekel -- presently the starter -- is also available, with credentials that include two MVP trophies from the Israeli league.
"I'm a team guy,'' Larkin says. "We have Gal Mekel who's a veteran from overseas. We have Jose, who's a veteran. Devin's a veteran. Those are all point guards. When I look at what I've got to do, we just have to win. It's a team game and there's no "I" in team. I don't have to get 20 points or 10 assists. We just have to win. …Whatever Coach Carlisle tells me to do to win, that's what I'm going to do.''
Larkin's relationship with the coach may already be special. Carlisle's endorsement of him as being in the same class with the other point guards taken high in the draft comes from some inside knowledge: Larkin's coach at Miami, Jim Larranaga, was on the University of Virginia staff when Carlisle played college basketball there.
DONUT 10: The commitment ...
"I think it's been very beneficial that my coach actually coached him,'' Larkin says. "It's a great relationship there. Me and him are in constant contact, and I can tell that he really has a vested interest in me.''
Carlisle is invested in Shane Larkin. The rookie is planning on helping that investment pay dividends.
Larkin continues to rehab from a broken ankle (we've got those "on-schedule'' details here) and above, talks to DallasBasketball.com about a variety of things as he adjusts to life in the NBA.
DONUT 11: The Ledo Shuffle ...
I'm not ready to say he isn't Frisco-bound and I'm not ready to predict that Carlisle is falling in love with the idea of actually playing a kid so raw that his commitment to college didn't work out, leaving him floating about as a post-high-school second-round draftee of Dallas.
But I am damn sure the relatively loose structure of the recent Mavs scrimmage allows for the perfect playground for the raw-athlete strengths of Ricky Ledo. I believe Carlisle's summary of Ledo's first week in camp verifies that.
And I believe that Ledo is showing enough -- certainly in Monday's opener when he seemed to ooze with confidence -- to obviously justify Dallas' second-round investment (there's that word again) and unusual contract with him.
He fired up seven shots in 10 minutes in Memphis, making two of them. That doesn't look good in the boxscore. But for the second straight game, Ledo was on the floor to close for the Mavs. And in Memphis, after the Mavs starters constructed a 23-point third-quarter lead that the regular bench guys let shrink, Ledo joined non-guaranteed vets Renaldo Balkman and Devin Ebanks on the floor to fuel a 13-7 run to seal the win.
We're going 1-on-1 with Ricky Ledo later today. Stay tuned!
DONUT 12: 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 13: The Final Word ...
SI asked Kevin Durant who he studies in the off-season.
"I steal a lot from Dirk," said KD, clearly no dummy.