Wednesday Morning Donuts: Mavs Beyond Caron

Wednesday Morning Mavs Donuts … and a programming reminder: I'm joining Ro Blackman tonight as the in-studio analyst for Mavs-at-Grizzlies pre- and postgame on FS Southwest! We start at 6:30 p.m.! Join us! … and in the meantime, read on to give yourself Mavs stuff to chew on all day, including tonight's Caron Butler absence ...

DONUT 1: The statistical significance of Dallas' 89-87 win over Boston is tucked in here: Last season, when the Mavs failed to score 90 points, they were 3-9.

So to win a defensive grinder (while also shooting 50 percent)? That's significant.

Now you get the Grizzlies on the road. The team that stole one from you at the AAC in the first week of the season.

Yeah, the Mavs won a grinder in which they didn't score 90, and that's good.

Now do it again.

DONUT 2: Boston was impressed with Dallas.

Garnett was impressed with Dirk.

"The vet's crafty, man,'' KG said of Nowitzki. "He's played against everything - short guys, quicker guys, thicker guys, stronger guys, longer guys. Good offensive players, they have an arsenal of moves.''

And great offensive players – like The UberMan, who on Monday was suddenly an at-the-rim creator and finisher while being guarded by KG -- seem to have two arsenals.

DONUT 3: This is an arguably negative spin on coach Rick Carlisle's statement that Tyson Chandler is already a "heart-and-soul'' guy here:

That speaks to a certain level of toughness on the part of TC, and that wasn't necessarily his rep coming to town. Has there been a transformation? Did people who considered him a tad soft have it wrong? Is it quite an accomplishment to roll into Dallas and in just a couple of months and after just a few games already be "heart-and-soul''? Or does it speak of a Dallas void in that department that Tyson has filled out of necessity?

DONUT 4: A great note from our friend Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk, who points out that coming into the week, Dallas was averaging 24 "long 2-pointers'' per game … a heckuva lot of the least efficient shot in the game.

Something to look for tonight: Can Dallas get to the rim? Will Dirk try to do so again? Will DoJo (with a DNP against Boston) get a chance to prove that he can bring that trait to the offense?

DONUT 5: That Contract-Year Fever?

Tyson Chandler has a red-hot case of it.

Caron Butler has … back spasms.

Not something a guy can help, of course. Hey, it's not like Tuff Juice is hurting because he doesn't take care of himself, you know. But he didn't travel with the team to Memphis and he isn't off to a very good start and … none of this was part of the master plan.

DONUT 6: The entire website went down … during the same time period in which Wade Phillips got canned … all because somebody forgot to review ownership of the domain name?

I'd laugh … but given that I've just spent an almost sleepless month trying to get all reconfigured and whatnot … Jerry, I feel your technological pain.

DONUT 7: Want in on our MADDEN 11 Tournament at The Back 9 on Nov. 13? It's hosted by Game Havens and sponsored by and … there is no charge to play but there are cool prizes, including game tickets … go to the Game Havens Facebook Page and check ‘em out!

DONUT 8: I don't want to belabor the Shaq-Loves-Dallas point; I feel like it's been my part-time job for three years now. But the subject did come up again on Monday, with Mark Cuban addressing what so many writers keep labeling "rumors'' about O'Neal's desire to come here.

Brothers, it was no rumor.

But Shaq's interest in Dallas exceeded Dallas' interest in him … which was strong three and two years ago but not this summer.

Shaq wanted money. Lots of it. Had he approached Cuban with a willingness to sign with Dallas for the vet's minimum of $1.4 mil – and had he done so early in the process – the Mavs might've accepted and proceeded with Shaq backing up Brendan Haywood at center.

Instead, Shaq wanted somebody (Atlanta? Dallas? Anybody?) to at least give him the MLE. He had no suitors there. So he hitched on with Boston for … the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.

Had Shaq timed things right, he'd probably be a Mav. (Though TC then would not be a Mav.)

But really, had Shaq timed it right for all parties, he would've been a Mav three years ago.

DONUT 9: Maybe the only Mavs-at-Memphis preview you need comes from this Dirk quote (courtesy of EKS) in which he sounds a little vengeful regarding Dallas' recent home loss to the Grizz:

"YThe Memphis game I feel like we should have won. We were up all game. We basically did everything right to lose that game. It almost seems like we played to lose that game in the last couple of minutes...We needed to have that one. We just did everything wrong at the end."

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DONUT 11: One place Tyson Chandler fits right in to the Dallas culture:

At the line.

TC is shooting 81.3 percent from the field, but that's sort of expected around here. (OK, 81 percent isn't expected; but something in the 60 range is. Ol' Damp was always good at that.) Alley-oops and put-backs, the 7-foot leaper ought to shoot for a high percentage.

But from the line? TC is at 89.5 percent.

FT's are something the Mavs have always done at an all-time NBA clip under the tutelage of free-throw coach Gary Boren. But Chandler? His 89.5 percent fits in so well that he's leading the team in that department.

DONUT 12: See you on TV tonight! FS Southwest at 6:30 and again after the game with Ro Blackman and Dana Larson and me, sucking in my gut!

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