Thursday Mavs Donuts: Dancin' In The Seats

Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts, as we analyze Dallas' pushing of its win streak to seven games at the expense of outmatched Minnesota, 100-86. There was rest to be found. There were records set. There was dancing on the bench (see the video!) There was Bob Ortegel giving heart-attack advice. There are Donuts:

DONUT 1: We'll begin with the record that was set, thanks to Tyson Chandler. After four rebounds in the first half, and limited minutes thanks to foul trouble, The Chandy Man (is that working for you – because he's like the candy man gobbling his treats from the boards … no?) grabbed 14 rebounds in the third quarter alone.

This set a Mavs team record, breaking the previous mark of 12 in a quarter held by Popeye Jones and Lorenzo Williams.

Chandler finished with nine points, 18 rebounds and one block in only 22 minutes of action.

He was so good we think he could've accomplished this even while wearing diapers and cowboy boots.

DONUT 2: Let's made a big deal of Dallas' 50-46 win on the glass. This is a zone team! This is not supposed to happen! And that was Kevin Love, the 30/30 guy!

Love, the man who ultimately ate into Chandler FIBA minutes this summer, came into the game leading the league with 14.9 boards-per-game, and though he did gather 15 (with 12 points), Chandler set the tone and controlled the paint … and ultimately outplayed Love.

"It was the point of emphasis for the game,'' coach Rick Carlisle said of rebounding. "Everybody was consciousness about keeping a body on their man, finding out where Love was on the floor. … I think the decisive point of the game was that we did outrebound them and we didn't give them a lot of extra possessions, which is key."

DONUT 3: We mentioned this on the DB.com Mavs Podcast, so it was nice of the Mavs to make us look smart in the steals department. Our theory: Chandler's presence as the last line of defense frees Jason Kidd and his mates to take some front-court defensive risks.

So …

Dallas also tied its season high for steals at 12 (including nine in the first half), matching the number from their opening night victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. And Kidd had four of them.

DONUT 4: As much as any other night, this was a team victory. Five players scored in double digits, no player was on the court for over 30 minutes (rest), every active player saw the court and all 12 were able to score at least two points … including Steve Novak getting his first basket as a Mav.

Oh, and "The Janitor'' made a couple of 3's ... causing Dirk to celebrate with what is internationally known as the "Choo-Choo Arm Pull Gesture.'' (Like the one kids who are passengers in cars make at oncoming truckers, hoping they will honk their horns. Americans. We're easily amused. ... and you will be, too, when you scroll down and see the video.)

DONUT 5: It's DB.com Night at the Mavs! We'll get together at the AAC on Tuesday, Dec. 28 … It's Raptors at Mavs, and when you visit The newly re-opened DB.com Store to order

We'll get you:

*Your TWO upper-deck tickets

*Your special-edition DB.com Night at the Mavs t-shirt

*And your pre-game meet-and-greet with a special guest or two

For a grand total of 22 bucks! (Or just $29 if you want two shirts!)

Yes, this is a very affordable way for you to do this. It's Christmas and a DB.com Get-Together all rolled into one price! (My reward? I'm going to Heaven. But just in case ... aw, heck, you can buy me some nachos when we meet up at the game!) It's time for us to get together, time for us to get in the game, time for us to get suited up!

The shirts (DB.com originals designed by the brilliant Beau Shoulders) are limited-edition, and there is a limit to the ticket availability, too, though Ryan at MavCowTickets is pulling all the strings he can. …

So let's get in the game! DB.com Night at the Mavs! C'mon along!

DONUT 6: We'd previously mentioned four heavy rotation members who were underperforming... Here, all four played well.

*Caron Butler was only needed for 20 minutes, but went 4-of-8 from the floor for 10 points, six of which came in the pour-it-on third quarter. Tuff Juice had a couple of turnovers, but both were the result of attempting to drive to the hole. "Effort errors,'' they call those in baseball, and they are acceptable.

*JJ Barea scored nine points in the first half, including an early 3 before finishing as the Mavs second-leading scorer with 14 points and three assists. We are officially off his butt.

*Jason Terry added 12 points on 5-of-10 from the floor, three steals and led the team with seven assists.

*Brendan Haywood played well, particularly in the first half. He finished the night with seven points and 10 rebounds … meaning the centers combined for 16 points and 28 rebounds. We noticed a particular bounce in his step … and so did his coach.

"Haywood did a terrific job,'' Rick said. "He was really active on both boards. His length again was a big factor. He was running the floor. And he was around a lot of plays around the basket. That activity is really important to us."

And truly, if "depth'' is this team's calling card … it's fun to consider what can happen when at least four or five of the nine rotation guys are playing well. And shouldn't five of nine guys play well most nights?

DONUT 7: Dallas shot only 41.4-percent and still managed to win by 14. It's nice to have a defense. … a defense that, when all is measured, truly is at an NBA-elite level.

DONUT 8: Lost in the rush of seven straight wins and a 14-4 record: Dallas needs to get J-Kidd back on target. Kidd came into the game shooting a career-worst 36.5-percent, and he went 2-for-11 (1-of-5 behind the arc) against the Wolves. He did add the four steals, plus five rebounds and four assists during his 28 minutes. … so as we said last night, he did occupy the boxscore. But Dallas' ball movement, and the resulting freedom of Kidd from the arc on the weakside, is such a valuable component to this offense … you hate to see its absence linger.

DONUT 9: Shawn Marion came into the night shooting 1-of-10 from 3-point land … and because of that – not to mention the … er, cosmetic issues … we wouldn't mind if he never tried another bomb.

But Carlisle said in training camp that he'd green-light The Matrix' efforts there. We thought it was an olive branch then ("You won't be a starter, but hell, go ahead and shoot some 3's if that makes you feel better''), and we still think it.

But, good for Shawn. Within his first three attempts in this game, he'd tripled his season total by making two of ‘em. For the season, Marion now stands at 3-of-14.

We say, that proves a point. ‘Trix, you can make ‘em.

Now you don't have to try anymore, OK?

The Matrix led the Mavs in scoring (a season first!) and tied Michael Beasley for the game high, with 16 points to go with his eight rebounds and two steals.

DONUT 10: Three great ways to stay in touch with what the heck is going on around here: DB.com Boards, DB.com Mavs coverage on Twitter, and Friending Fish on Facebook. Come say hi. I seem nice.

DONUT 11: The dancing on the bench? That was Caron Butler feeling the music and soaking in the joy of the moment as he caught up on his rest late in the game. Benchmate DeShawn Stevenson seemed tempted to partner-up … but once one guy is established as Fred Astaire, another guy really doesn't want to be his Ginger Rogers.

It was right about this same time on the TV telecast when Mark Followill and Bob Ortegel mentioned that the T'wolves TV analyst had recently suffered a heart attack, and Coach O felt obliged to instruct the audience on how to call 911 in case of such a medical emergency.

Hey, time needed to be filled!

And here's the video (thanks to 75-Member Staffer kentatm) ... with the dancin' and the choo-chooin':



DONUT 12: This was the epitome of a "trap" game. You can imagine that some fellas might've been eyeing the 15-5 Utah Jazz looming on the horizon … for a Friday night matchup of the two hottest teams in the NBA, as both will bring seven game winning streaks into the contest. (By the way: DB.com's Mike Fisher will host the pre- and postgame shows with Ro Blackman on FS Southwest!)

Yet, the Mavs didn't coast and didn't let one slip away. As the Lakers lost a fourth straight and as the Spurs lost to the Clippers, the Mavs carried on ... and carried the strength of their defense forward, claimed the R-and-R they've often let slip away in the past, and must now prepare to face a very good Jazz team.

Mr. 400, Carlisle, seems to think the fellas are ready,

"We've got to continue it,'' he said. "I like this group a lot. We've been very business-like with our approach. Guys have taken nothing for granted. And they know how important it is to put opponents away when they have the opportunity. We've made some progress there, and again the mission is to sustain. Sustain the defense, sustain the rebounding, sustain the concentration and attention to detail. And it's going to be challenging as the games continue."

Visit the DB.com Store: DB.com Night at the Mavs on Dec. 28, two tickets and a T-shirt for $22!

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