DONUT 1: I've mentioned the word "accountability'' a few times in the last couple of days. Let's get specific as we check out that final true possession in New Orleans, when Dirk tried to shake free from the Hornets defense with an unfortunate behind-the-back dribble from 26 feet out.
DONUT 2: "The last play is on me,'' Rick said. "I'll take the blame for that. That put Dirk in a tough situation."
DONUT 3: May I politely invite you to check out DB.com Boards? Sign up or browse about … It's free! There's Mavs buzz and you can get in on it at DB.com Boards!
DONUT 4: Going into New Orleans, Dallas had gone an NBA-best 58 straight quarters without allowing a 30-point period. (Second-best active streak? Cleveland at 16 quarters.). The Mavs stretched the mark to 59, then 60 … and then, boy, when they want to end a streak, they really end it, huh, by collapsing in that 33-points-allowed third quarter against the Hornets.
DONUT 5: A line from Sefko this morning:
Asked to take his team's pulse at the 10-game mark, (Csrlisle's) assessment was frank:
"I think it sucks."
Our man Michael Dugat will perform a 10-game analysis in slightly greater depth coming up today.
DONUT 6: If you are an NFL betting guy, maybe you can fill me in: the Cowboys are favored by 6.5 over Detroit this week … why? I'd like to think that Jason Garrett is single-handedly worth two or three points, but … really?
DONUT 7: Here comes a Mavs challenge: Seven games in 11 days, and not a loser among 'em. (It starts tonight, late start at 8:30 with the Bulls in town ... no TV by me, by the way.) In fact, the eighth game in this stretch is against Houston, which has a losing record but will likely not prove to be a Mavs pushover. It'd be a good time for some people to establish that they are healthy physically (Caron?) and for others to establish that they are healthy mentally (Big Wood?)
DONUT 8: Steve Nash is sitting out for Phoenix with what they are calling "pelvic instability." Now, the Suns are in the middle of a grind, playing their fourth game in five days on a roadie. But this isn't a good sign, Nashie finally showing some signs of aging and wear-and-tear (about four seasons after the Mavs assumed he would.)
DONUT 9: Another note on JJB being asked to do too much (or on "not doing enough,'' if you prefer): Barea is 4-of-27 from the arc this year.
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DONUT 11: Mark Cuban answers the burning question: How the hell can Bristol Palin still be on Dancing With The Stars?
DONUT 12: I don't envy the guys who put together the All-Star ballot. And you can pick apart the list in a skillion different places. But ... to me, while Tyson Chandler's omission is understandable (because who predicted he'd be this impactful?), it's Jet's absence that mystifies me. On the ballot last year, perennial Sixth Man candidate, good NBA soldier and 19 ppg ... ought to qualify a guy.