DONUT 1: Pelicans double-header ...
The Dallas Mavericks (20-16) play at 15-19 New Orleans tonight ... and you might as well get used to it.
The Pelicans were to be led by point guard Jrue Holiday at 14 points and eight assists per game. But he was at shootaround this morning wearing a protective boot; he's out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right tibia. Ryan Anderson (back) is also out. So power forward Anthony Davis at 19/10.1 carries a heavy load as New Orleans prepares to engage with Dallas in a rare back-to-back, city-to-city double-header, as the same two clubs will do it again Saturday at the AAC.
But for now? Dallas needs to rebound from that blowout at San Antonio to take advantage of a Pelicans club that can't beat good teams; they are 2-14 against opponents with winning records.
Now, does Dallas just have a winning record or is Dallas a "good team''?
The Pelicans have lost three straight games. But the Mavs have struggled similarly. And for all of the positive things Dallas has done (by shooting 47 percent as a team, the Mavs rank fifth in the NBA), those things too often get undone by the flaws (Dallas is the third-poorest rebounding team in the league).
I'll be part of the telecast tonight on FOX Sports Southwest with the pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m.
Oh, and as you await the TV ...
The Dallas Mavericks? That is what life is all about for DB.com Podcasters Mike Marshall,
Mike Fisher and Kevin Turner
It's also apparently what a ton of you focus on, and we appreciate those five-star reviews rolling in even as Our Three Boys occasionally exhibit some NSFW pottie-mouthedness.
Here's how we roll on the DB.com Mavs Podcast here on iTunes and up and running below as well ...
Pull up a chair to the hoops roundtable and let's kick it around ... as we drop the names of:
*Danny Granger and Lance Stephenson (acquired in trade for Marion, Calderon and Larkin).
*Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner (acquired in trade for Monta, Vince and Ledo).
*Plus stuff on Z-Bo, Chris Bosh, Andrew Bynum, Luol Deng, Omer Asik and more and "The 12 Free Agents We Really Like''!
The DallasBasketball.com Mavs Podcast, y'all!
DONUT 2: What an 8 seed looks like ...
Carlisle's review of the 112-90 rout on Wednesday:
"San Antonio makes you pay,'' he said. "The third quarter was a demolition. We got out-competed.''
All those things are true of the night. All those things are now commonplace in this so-called rivalry. And, let's face it: All those things are part of what makes up an 8-seed, as I detail somberly here.
DONUT 3: And a P.S. ...
P.S.: Mavs fans can argue retroactively that an 8-seed can also look like the 2006-07 Warriors -- the team that upset 67-win Dallas. Those fans will be forgetting, however ...
*That year's Warriors went 42-20 that season, meaning there were plenty of lumps taken by them over the course of an 82-game campaign ... and that overall, they weren't very good.
*Those Warriors endured a streak from the end of December to the start of March during when they posted a 10-20 record. Nothing was rosy about that.
*Ultimately, following that brief success, Golden State dipped back into mediocrity. So "We Believe'' didn't last more than one year. In fact, it really only lasted for a couple of springtime weeks.
DONUT 4: The Saddest Sound ...
The saddest sound coming out of Mavs HQ seems like a whimper: Knowing the details of Dallas' July meeting with Andrew Bynum as I do, I am absolutely stunned that somebody in this organization is allowing his name to ooze from their lips. The Mavs are sniffing around the "silly'' Bynum?
It's a red-hot discussion item here on DB.com Boards.
DONUT 5: 'The Sleepy & Silly Show' ...
Hey, hey, Andrew Bynum and Sam Dalembert sharing time at center? Maybe the Mavs should make them roommates. "Silly'' can be in charge of waking up "Sleepy.'' And "Sleepy'' can remind "Silly'' to maybe mix in a salad.
DONUT 6: Missing Marion ...
Shawn Marion will miss tonight's game with a bruised right shoulder and bruised upper ribs.
Marion, of course, injured himself on Tuesday against the Lakers when he took a dangerously hard fall.
"I don't know what his status is going to be for Saturday, but he's banged up and he's in an uncomfortable state right now,'' Carlisle said when asked about Shawn possibly returning for the second night of the Pelicans' "double-header.'' "He's hurting, but to my knowledge there was no serious things from the diagnostic test.
"He's got some bad bruises from hitting the floor hard. We're very lucky. I mean, he could have landed on his neck or something. It was just a very awkward fall.''
A shoulder contusion can require two weeks of recovery, making it unlikely that Marion is back quite this quickly. We will continue to monitor ...
DONUT 7: The Mavs and Luol Deng ...
The agent for Luol Deng says now that he's been traded from the Bulls to the Cavs, Deng will discuss a contract extension to keep him in Cleveland long-term.
That's terribly polite of the agent to say ... and it's terribly wrong.
As our David Lord explains in this exclusive look at the Mavs' interest in Deng, the way the rules and the money work, there is almost zero chance of Deng extending in Cleveland - and a fine chance for the Mavs to bid in free agency this summer.
DONUT 8: Shut up, 'Purists' ...
The NFL is considering expanding the playoff field. More berths. More contenders. More meaningful games. More excitement.
The purists are against it. Of course, today's purists are the sons of the purists who in 1969 were outraged that for the first time ever, that most traditional of sports called Major League Baseball was introducing the idea of "playoffs.''
That's right; before 1969, baseball has no such thing. The American League champ took its pennant straight to the World Series to oppose the National League team flying its pennant.
That was it.
Then money nudged tradition. And a few years later, nobody remembered why anybody ever protested.
Indeed, it's funny to watch NFL "purists'' now oppose the move even as they were the same guys who, as Red Sox fans in 2004 or Cardinals fans in 2011, celebrated their "traditional'' clubs winning the World Series ... as wild-card entrants.
It's happened in baseball and in the NBA and by 2015, it'll happen again in the NFL. Everybody is always against expanding playoff fields. Then every sport does it. Then everyone is fine with it. No biggie.
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 week!
DONUT 10: "Out-personneled'' ...
I obviously respect very much the view of Carlisle -- the "out-worked'' view. And on Wednesday in the FOX Sports Southwest studios, colleague Bob Ortegel shared that same view with me.
I'm not disagreeing, exactly. Rather, I'm adding to it: Against the Spurs, Dallas also got "out-personneled.''
One if the reasons you've lost to the Spurs straight straight times is that you are getting out-personneled. They are better than you are, seven straight times. They have the same people over the course of seven games; you do not. They have a talent constant that you do not possess.
Over the course of the last couple of years, Dallas gets "out-worked'' every time, every play? Nah.
Dallas gets "out-personneled.''
DONUT 10: Exhibit A: Vince ...
There's no Marion at San Antonio. So everyone climbs the totem pole. And Vince Carter -- already positioned too high on it on team that is a true contender -- is asked to scale even higher heights.
Sometimes he's grandly successful; Tuesday night he single-handedly outscored the Lakers bench 19-16.
In San Antonio? He tried to do a lot singlehandedly. And I did not see a lack of effort.
I saw Vince taking on the challenge -- a good thing.
But ... When Carter shoots 50-percent-plus, the Mavs are 7-1. When he shoots 30 percent or under, the Mavs are 4-7. In San Antonio, he was actually above that measure with a 6-of-14. But it was a high-effort/low-efficiency piece of work, his 14-point total bolstered by a Hail Mary 3 just before the halftime buzzer.
None of these numbers make Dallas' high-usage-of-Vince losses his "fault,'' exactly. It all just adds up to what they ask him to do, the burden of his responsibilities, the realities of being "out-personneled.''
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
The Knicks are trying to deal J.R. Smith. Maybe a trade can be arranged for him to land at Foot Locker.
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