DONUT 1: "We've got a good thing going with our forwards," said Rick Carlisle after Thursday's 102-89 home win over NJ, and what he meant specifically was the tag-team work of starter Caron Butler and "1B'' Shawn Marion. Last spring they complained about beging rag-dolled.
From rags to tags.
But we might should ("might should''; that's Texan!) re-interpret Rick's forward evaluation to include one more guy: The UberMan.
The three forwards – Tuff Juice, The Matrix and Dirk Nowitzki – last night combined for 23-of-31 shooting.
So, yes. We've got a good thing going with our forwards.
DONUT 2: The Avery Johnson scouting report on your Mavericks:
"They are tough. Just when you think you got them, you know Dirk will hit a big shot. … Just a veteran team. They know what to do. They mix in their man-to-man, they go to a zone a little bit and throw that curveball on you. They do a nice job and they got a lot of big guys inside now."
He left out the Kidd part. Probably an accidental oversight. But otherwise, that pretty much does it, yes.
DONUT 3: Kidd sat out the fourth. Until the 4:24 mark, so did Tyson Chandler.
Why sit Kidd? Hey, let's get him ready for Saturday's visit from the Jazz.
With T.Y., there was double-motivation: Chandler was almost certainly still a bit wobbly from having missed three days of work (including Tuesday's win over Golden State). Additionally, though, I believe he got the Kidd Treatment.
Carlisle wants him ready for the next one.
Nice luxury to stick Ian Mahinmi in there again. The Frenchman gets to be the center of record in the fourth period, further establishing in my mind (and Rick's?) that he's worthy of a few "energy'' minutes in most games, worthy of "mop-up'' minutes whenever available, and worthy of moving up in the rotation as a 4 ahead of The Janitor.
DONUT 4: The main event? It's Raptors at Mavs, We'll get together at the AAC on Tuesday, Dec. 28, and when you visit The 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!)
And now this:
Everyone who takes advantage of this deal will be eligible for a DB.com Night at the Mavs drawing ... and one of you is ALSO going to a Mavs-Blazers game with four tickets ... and another of you gets four tickets to a Mavs-Clippers game. ... and another of you gets four tickets to a Mavs-Rockets game ... and another of you is going to a Mavs-Thunder game with four tickets!
No. I am not kidding.
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! (How affordable? Right now, some of the upper-level seats alone are being sold elsewhere for around 20 bucks - and because you are a DB.commer, you get the whole package for around that price!) 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! Check out all our stuff and DB.com Night at the Mavs! C'mon along!
DONUT 5: I don't mean for this to come across as a "defense'' of Big Wood, per se. I've written that he's been "pouty,'' and even in good times, I've written that he's a "good-natured knucklehead.''
But here's one of the problems with the insta-analysis that comes with the internet and the Twitter and the whatnot: A guy has a bad possession (or in Brendan's case, a bad month), and the dogpile is immediate. He's suddenly "the worst this'' and "the worst that'' and "the next five years with this stiff is going to feel like marriage to Kate Gosselin.''
And one possession later, Haywood positions himself all wide-bodied to receive an entry pass and then muscle-swoops his way through Brook Lopez for a dunk.
And here comes the tweets that conflict with the previous tweets and make it look like the writer's keyboard has been overtaken by Gollum.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a loooooong path with Brendan Haywood. He's a 7-footer with skills. He will be given rope. Four or five years of rope. He will look sluggish – the organization knew that when it traded for him and knew that when it re-upped him. He will especially look sluggish in comparison to All-Star write-in candidate Tyson Chandler.
But this is a marathon … even as we sprint to judgment.
DONUT 7: Obviously, no gloating on Devin hurting his shoulder and exiting after nine minutes of play. No gloating from me. No gloating from the Mavs.
These things happen.
But – no gloating, just chronicling – these things especially happen to Devin.
We can debate Kidd-vs.-Devin, and we should; it remains a fascinating case study of how the Triangle of Trust worked then and how Cuban and Co, work now. And it's even bigger than that, with the age-vs.-youth angle and all. (My man Skin points out that the whole thing is more than Devin and Kidd … and he is correct. But space precludes me from breaking down the impact of Malik Allen, Antoine Wright, Nick Fazekas, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, Keith Van Horn and Trenton Hassell. Now, if you want Dallas to get ripped for what might've been had with those thrown-in first-round draft picks in 2008 and 2010, fine. History is going to treat this as Kidd-vs.-Devin, with little regard for Ryan Anderson.)
Still, the debate must include this fact: Devin misses about 15 games every year due to injury. Meanwhile, iron-man Kidd sat the entire fourth quarter because the team he leads was good enough to rest him.
Unlike the time Kidd sat at the end of the Mavs-Spurs game in spring 2008, the beginning of Jason's second coming in Dallas, because his then-coach Avery Johnson didn't quite grasp how this all works.
I point all this out, by the way, as someone who was in favor of retaining Devin at the time. But, I like to deal with reality. It happened. So what is the reality of how this trade is still working, three years ago?
Kidd's Mavs will win 50-plus. Devin's Nets are hoping he stayed healthy enough for them to win half that many.
DONUT 8: So if Devin doesn't get hurt, you think New Jersey wins? I'm going to need to see some evidence of that. And New Jersey beating Dallas? I've got no evidence of that in the last five years and in this building, I've got no evidence of it in 10 years.
Like I say: The key word on Devin is "someday.''
DONUT 9: I still enjoy watching Kris "Hunkphries'' Humphries play. (And so do the ladies!)
Last time I checked, Kris still owned his bachelor pad across the street from the AAC, a leftover from his stint with the Mavs last season. And last night, he put up some numbers: 16 points and 13 rebounds.
To the uninitiated comes this thought: Why didn't Dallas keep him?
To the initiated: Because when he was here, Dallas coaches could never quite convince him where to stand and stuff.
Moving Hunk got you Eddie Najera for last year's stretch run. Remember what he did?
But listen, I love the kid. And Kim Kardashian is crushin' on him. And when he makes another of his shirtless appearances in one of those "Twilight'' movies, I'll go see it.
DONUT 10: All we want from JJB is savvy. You cannot make a 3 so you do not shoot a 3. Instead, you do other things to help the club.
Suddenly, JJB – who will be back to the practice-court drawing board with assistant Darrell Amstrong because by God he cannot make a 3 – has savvy!
The Mavericks handed out a season-high 31 assists, and maybe "30'' is a measuring stick of sorts, given that Dallas improved to 2-0 on the year when recording 30-plus assists in a game. ... and given that they were 12-0 last year when doing so. The centerpiece? JJB, who led 'em all with career-high 13 assists.
We have so many great shooters, Jet, Dirk, Caron Butler, anybody," said Barea. "Shawn Marion was running today. So I was just trying to push the ball, attack, and then find my open teammates and it was working out."
Sounds like a point guard with savvy ... and, as our man Mark Followill points out, a point guard who has climbed to the coveted 2.5/1 assist-to-turnover ratio!
DONUT 11: Dallas' defensive numbers are so pleasing that maybe we've failed to take notice of the fact that even without a Nellie Propeller, the Mavs' offense is starting to click.
Proof: Dallas improved to 10-0 when scoring 100-plus points in a game. Makes sense, right, especially when you generally give up 10 fewer than that?
But to be specific: The Mavs have now scored 100 or more points in eight of their last nine games.
Defense matters. Offense matters. Master both, you, sir, are 11-0.
DONUT 12: Pregame quote from Mark Cuban: "It's great to have (Avery) back. Hopefully we kick his ass." No hard feelings. Hugs all around. Then asses kicked. Checks never bounced. Good feelings all around.