DONUT 1: How many times did the Mavs commit 20 turnovers in a game last season? Just twice. How many times had they coughed it up 20 times in a game coming into Monday's visit from the Celtics? Also twice … in 10 days!
That needed to be cleaned up ... but with 2:13 remaining and Dallas down three, here it came: Turnover No. 19, Kidd injecting himself into the lane but leaving himself with no one to pass to.
You want the good news? Dallas never got to the un-magical No. 20. For the final two minutes, it was all about ball protection in the 89-87 win over Boston.
You want the bad news? Dallas ALMOST committed 20 turnovers in a game THREE TIMES IN A WEEK after doing do just twice all last year!
DONUT 2: Boston managed just seven free throws. Or Dallas "allowed'' just seven free throws. I'm not sure which, because I've never seen anything quite like this.
It's not because the Celtics were launching 3's; the Mavs really did focus on taking that aspect away and so Boston only attempted eight of them.
It's not because the officials were noticeably horrific (though that's easy to say while typing this from behind the Mavs' bench).
Is it because Dallas played such gracefully clean defense that it was able to limit Boston to 41.8-percent shooting while almost never nudging a Celtic illegally?
I'm going to chalk it up to an anomaly. Because I've never seen anything quite like this.
DONUT 3: This is not for show.
This is how Tyson Chandler acts when he's healthy.
Tyson Chandler wants it.
That last loss (against Denver) hurt, and I was up until four in the morning or something like that just staring at the ceiling, just recapping the entire game," he said. "I was frustrated. It's one thing to talk about what you want to do and this and that, but I wanted to come out and lift my team with my play and try to energize them."
Oh, Chandler "talks about it,'' alright. He talks all game – not KG-style trash talk, but rather, as we've pointed out since Fan Jam, communication in the form of everything from pep talks to barking out defensive traffic-cop instructions.
This is a fairly mellow team, and by and large, that is a good thing. When the Mavs have employed someone who is a little more, say, "edgy,'' like Josh Howard, we've always hoped that edginess could be funneled and harnessed.
Tyson Chandler is being emotional … but it is funneled and harnessed.
DONUT 4: Rick Carlisle made the switch of Jet to the bench. Terry was replaced vs. Boston by DeShawn Stevenson, a move, by the way, that is far from permanent; other guys can be the starting 2-guard … and might be by Wednesday in Memphis … but the Jason Terry part of this flip should remain unchanged.
And if anybody wishes to applaud Jet for his unselfishness here, fine. But Jet as the sixth man is better for Jet.
He'd averaged 19 points per as a full-time starter and he scored 17 last night, so it's not about that. It's about fortifying the second-team explosiveness, it's about balancing out the totem pole and it's about not ripping a Band-Aid off one wound to slap it on top of another.
But, again, if somebody wants to applaud Jet for his unselfishness …
Go ahead, Jet!
"It's something that's tough, especially when you've had success," Terry said. "I had a good run here the first five games and then being thrust back off the bench is an adjustment. You change your routine up a little bit, but hey, for the betterment of this team I'm here to do it."
Yes. It's for the betterment of the team. Do it. And let's keep it that way.
DONUT 5: That really is Dirk Nowitzki running his own Twitter, with the Mavs staffers who helped him set the thing up getting an inside-DB.com-joke from the fact that the platform the guy we call "The UberMan'' uses is …UberTwitter.
Here's Dirk's own sense of humor coming out via tweeting before meeting Boston:
swish41: It was time for my annual BUZZ CUT. Hair was really annoying me and I needed a change after that brutal last game. Sorry ladies
DONUT 6: May I politely invite you to check out DB.com Boards? Sign up! It's free! And for 11 years now, it's been THE place for Mavs fans to talk about your favorite team!
DONUT 7: Paul Pierce made quite a big deal of Boston not being an excuse-making team. Coach Doc Rivers did it, too, being unwilling to use the b2b deal (the Celtics played and won the night before in OKC) as an alibi for the loss.
Did you experience physical fatigue, Coach?
"I thought we had mental fatigue,'' said Doc, who'd driven his team to a 6-1 record coming in. "I talked to them at halftime and said, ‘We're making zero adjustments. We're not going to make one adjustment. Even we're going to be mentally ready to play the second half or we're not.' And we were."
He's right. Which is why no attempt at taking away credit from Dallas' defense is going to fly here. Seven straight possessions to end the game, Boston didn't score. That wasn't due to them being "tired.'' It was due to Kidd capping Pierce, it was due to Chandler contesting more than half of those shots, it was due to Jet smartly committing a non-shooting foul on Allen with 1.5 seconds left, and it was due to a stifling inbounds defense that forces KG into a desperation air-ball with Dirk and Chandler both rising in his face.
No. They weren't tired. They were out-executed.
DONUT 8: I got a chance to spend some one-on-one time with DeShawn Stevenson yesterday, talking about how "crazy'' he is. (He was crazy-happy after getting the start last night -- and Rick said "I'm happy for him'' – and crazy-happy to have gotten the chance to take and make two early 3's along with helping to limit Ray Allen to 11 points.
I also have in my back pocket a lengthy one-on-one visit with Dominique Jones. It's good stuff. I'll get to work on it.
DONUT 9: This is the first home win in four tries against Boston's "Big Three.'' And that is significant how?
Chandler talked about how it establishes a "mindset'' to be able to accomplish this against such a mentally-tough Celtics team.
Me? I'm just glad the Mavs aren't on an 0-3 home streak this year.
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DONUT 11: This game was to feature the top three active NBA athletes in terms of games played in Kidd (1,192), Shaq (1,173) and KG (1,131) … but that's only if you were foolish enough to think Shaq was actually going to play.
Before the game, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was asked about his offseason interest in acquiring O'Neal. Cuban noted that Shaq ended up signing for "six times what I would've offered him.'' … and Mark is being polite, because after Dallas sealed deals for Haywood and Chandler, Dallas wasn't going to offer Shaq anything.
And last night … about people who were foolish enough to think Shaq was actually going to play? He's got a bothersome knee … but I told you he'd be in Dallas no matter what because he digs the scene … and besides, these regular-season games are now time-wasting distractions to him as he waits for the Celtics to be in the playoffs, where he will be truly needed.
That's the theory, anyway … though it didn't look too hot last night when Kendrick Perkins was also unavailable and then Jermaine O'Neal got hurt and couldn't return in the second half.
It's one of the reasons Tyson Chandler experienced his best game as a Mav (12 points, 13 rebounds, 5-of-5 shooting, and the stat sheet selling him short with two blocks): With so many of Boston's bigs either hurt or clowin', TC largely had his way.
DONUT 12: It's possible that JJB had his most effective game of the season because of the time he spent on the floor with Terry.
That's how it's worked before around here, though this season Dallas is trying to stay away from that Natives-of-Hobbiton backcourt. Can't argue with success, though, as this bench – brutalized in scoring matchups too often before -- outscored the Celtics' reserves, 35-21.
Of course, it's also possible that JJB experienced his best game of the year (11 impactful points) because he was due to do something, anything, positive.
Either way … Coqui!
DONUT 13: We close with a basketball-meets-football crossover: LeBron James, a self-proclaimed fan of the Cowboys, reacted via Twitter to Dallas' 45-7 blowout loss at Green Bay.
"Something has to change around Cowboy land. Some furniture moving asap. This is just ridiculous man!!!!!! C'Mon Son" James tweeted.
And then: "Never thought I'd say this about my Cowboys but they are officially the worst team in the NFL right now even though the Bills are winless!"
The Cowboys are 1-7 (one of the reasons the AAC was packed and rockin', as DFW fans have turned their full attention to the NBA?). They've allowed 121 points in their last three games, a give-up that's led to the coach's firing and to America's Fans' giggles at the idea that the Cowboys had a chance to play this year in a home-game Super Bowl.
We all like to poke fun at LeBron's remarks, but this time … who can argue with him?