DONUT 1: No "Wounded Tiger'' ...
Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks got their rest.
And then they got another win.
There were a couple of moments when the Grizzlies, (playing without Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr., and Tayshaun Prince on the second night of a back-to-back) might've tried to subscribe to ol' coach Dick Motta's famed "Wounded Tiger" theory.
But Dallas stomped that out, finished Wednesday night with a 105-91 victory, pushed the Grizzlies losing streak to five … and, more importantly, moved five games over .500 themselves at 15-10.
DONUT 2: Your All-Access Pass ...
Inside Your All-Access Pass we've got one-of-a-kind game analysis and stats, scoop from behind the scenes you can get nowhere else, and Video Visits with all the key guys.
That includes, of course, Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and two turnovers in 27 minutes. He did all that despite being in recovery from an illness that caused him to miss the Saturday blowout of the Bucks.
"I felt fine out there,'' Nowitzki said. "It's obviously not what I planned on Saturday, but the good thing was I didn't feel great Monday in practice, I was still weak. ... By Tuesday I was a lot better and today I felt fine like nothing happened. I used the break, I guess, to get healthy.''
And by Wednesday? Simply … he was Dirk.
Here's Dirk's Video Visit in the locker room:
DONUT 3: B-Wright + Vince ...
Why does Vince Carter suddenly look almost infinitely better the last two games?
The DB.com theory? It happens to line up with Brandan Wright's return.
In a vacuum, the sample size is miniscule, just two games and 28 minutes of court time together, yet there is a history to suggest it is not meaningless (even if currently exaggerated).
Our Michael Dugat breaks down Carter's numbers this season playing with or without Wright (per 36 minutes):
(Net Rating: Offensive Rating minus Defensive Rating)
Hmmm. Now look back to last season and let's see if perhaps this isn't an aberration, only an exaggerated version of a truth: Vince Carter plays better with Wright sharing the court.
Those same numbers over the 2012-13 season:
The gaps aren't as drastic, but they are still significant enough to warrant notice. Carter has a certain level of comfort with Wright, and maybe that's enough to provide a spark to what has been a disappointing season.
Carter finished with 14 points, 4-of-6 field goals, 1-of-2 3-pointers, six assists, four rebounds, one block and two turnovers … following up what may have been his best all-around game of the season vs. Milwaukee with a comparable effort here.
Again, this is the sort of coverage we've provided for 14 years, every day, 24 hours a day ... and we invite you to take our free 7-day trial to Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 4: The smartest money guys in DFW ...
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DONUT 5: Playoff talk ...
The Mavs are 15-10 overall. And they are 11-2 at home. And they have a pair of wins against the 10-15 Grizzlies, a West foe expected to turn things around.
Therefore, some Straight Talk from coach Rick Carlisle, with a glance at a big picture.
"We're in a situation where we're one of six or seven teams fighting for two or three playoff spots,'' said Rick. "That's what it's going to come down to. Concentration and focus and attention to detail are going to carry the day as to who gets in and who has a chance to advance."
DONUT 6: Nellie on Monta ...
Why is Nellie calling Monta Ellis a "little selfish bastard''? Some context is probably due here. Read about it on DB.com Boards!
DONUT 7: Who Deserves The 'Dirkie'? ...
Monta had a terrific second half, with 16 of his 18. Always nice to get Sam and Vince on the right track. Dirk is Dirk. So ... the trophy presentation requires your decision. It's the Player of the Game voting ... Who deserves "The Dirkie''?
DONUT 8: Mavs DB.com Podcast - Fresh! ...
The Dallas Mavericks are back home and are of course the centerpiece of the DB.com Mavs Podcast here on iTunes and up and running featuring Mike Fisher, Kevin Turner and Mike Marshall!
They are dealing with a setback involving Devin Harris' toe. That "Christmas present'' might no longer even be a "New Year's Resolution.'' Maybe Devin's return is an "Easter Egg''?
The Mavs are benefiting from the explosive return from the injury list of Brandan Wright ... and the boys make a case for him being vaulted into coach Carlisle's starting lineup.
And how about some Trade Machinin' from The Machine? If it's not going to be Asik ... how about a Luol Deng idea? Or an Arron Agustin Afflalo idea? Or an Anderson Varejao idea? Or a Kyle Lowry idea?
We break 'em down and invite you to pull up a chair to the hoops roundtable and let's pass it around the perimeter ...
The DallasBasketball.com Mavs Podcast, y'all!
DONUT 9: Oh, those steaks and burgers!
Thanks to Dee and the incredible staff at Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar for our incredible Mavs pregame dinners ... the legendary DFW restaurateur has done it again.
Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar is becoming THE "upscale casual'' place to dine before you attend events in Dallas ... And the gang from DB.com looks forward to seeing you there this weekend!
DONUT 10: Quoteboard ...
"I've got my mojo back. It feels good, man, to be out there in a crucial part of the game and testing yourself." - Sam Dalembert, back to being a contributor as of Wednesday night with eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 13 minutes.
DONUT 11: Dallas and Asik? ...
Omer Asik is on the trade block. The Mavs are weak at center. The expected trade date is no later than ... well, now.
Yet all the while the Mavs are getting little mention as a potential destination. A sign the Mavs are sitting it out, or a characteristic hush when talking trade?
David Lord with the smartest look around at how Asik fits (or doesn't) in Dallas.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
We're going to note it every time it happens as a way of trying to work up even more Dalembert-like "mojo'' ... in hopes that it can happen again: The win over the Grizz marks the fourth time this season the Mavs have held an opponent under 40-percent shooting.
The Mavs are 4-0 in those games.
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