DONUT 1: The Streak has ended at 12. So we supposed we can ditch the capital letters and our fancy plan to have Kammrath chronicle the coming games in a fancy series of themes to be called "STREAKWATCH.'' (And Beau Shoulders, you needn't bother with the Ray Stevens-themed graphic, either.)
The Streak … er, we mean, the streak … was put out of its misery by the visiting Bucks, 103-99, despite the Mavs having once led by as many as 20 in the first half. … just like the Mavs had done over New Jersey … and just like the Mavs had done over Utah. …
‘Cept, of course, Dallas won those games.
"Having a take-care-of-business mentality is really important; we have yet to establish that on a consistent basis,'' Carlisle said. "There will be frustration until we get there. We have work to do; it's as simple as that. I still have a great belief in our team, and I know what our potential is. But this kind of slippage we've seen all too often. I've got to coach harder, the players have got to be more conscientious, and we've got to do better than we did tonight."
DONUT 2: Trailing by three in the fourth quarter, with Dallas finding a breath of momentum, Milwaukee decided to "Knock-on-Wood" … intentionally fouling Brendan Haywood (who entered the night shooting 26.5-percent from the line) … and the Bucks found their luck begin to change.
With 6:29 left in the game, after four straight misses at the line from Haywood, the Mavs held onto a five-point lead. From that moment on, the Bucks outplayed and outscored the Mavs 20-11 to close the game and seal the win, leaving Dallas coach Rick Carlisle with a stinging comment to sum up the night.
"They kicked our ass. I don't know any simpler way to say it."
There were lots of issues down the stretch, including pick-and-roll defense (and maybe that's where you give Jennings and Bogut some credit). But let's stick on this free-throw thing for a minute.
"Smart move by their coach,'' Dirk said of Bucks boss Scott Skiles pulling the Knock-on-Wood.
Dang it, Brendan. You've been a 73-percent free-thrower in a season and you are a 61-percenter career. What the hell is going on here? How can you go DOWN from 26.5? How can you miss four straight? How much are you willing to handicap your coach, who was faced with the ticklish decision to
a) Leave you in to pretend he retains confidence in you … and risk losing the game?
b) Pull your butt outta there and risk losing YOU?
Carlisle, exercising that Chemistry Vibe, spoke supportively of Big Wood.
"Brendan will be alright,'' he said. "He'll make enough free throws.''
DallasBasketball.com has spent a decade chronicling these Mavs. And for that decade, quality free-throw shooting has been part of the culture. (Coincidence?) Seriously, this is a Dirty/Filthy/Nasty thing, a Nellie thing, and a Gary Boren thing.
We hate to see this knucklehead turn it into a joke.
DONUT 3: We understand Jason Kidd took Brendan Jennings to dinner on Sunday. The respected old veteran and the starry-eyed kid. You know.
We also hear that Tashard Choice showed up at the dinner and asked Kidd to autograph his gloves.
DONUT 4: Scrawled numerous times across the Mavs locker room whiteboard (filled with gameplan stuff) was the name "Andrew Bogut.''
Perhaps it needed to be tattooed to the fellas' foreheads and pinned to their chests and ink-penned onto their sneakers as well.
Bogut kept the Bucks in the game when the Mavs threatened to put the game away early, going 6-of-7 on his first half field-goal attempts and putting up 12 points and seven rebounds.
He finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and a steal before fouling out in the final minutes.
In the end, Bogut – who got to the rim eight times and made all eight -- handed the game to the other name high on the Mavs board: Jennings.
Jennings scored 18 points in the second half (including eight in the fourth quarter) while going 7-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-3 behind the arc … and helped fuel, with additional assistance from Chris Douglas-Roberts, a 14-to-0 run by the Bucks in the final quarter that essentially put the game away, and rendered a late push from Dallas meaningless.
He finished with 23 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.
"He hit some big shots," Shawn Marion said of Jennings, "and he was able to come off that pick-and-roll so hard and we didn't have an answer for that."
DONUT 5: Quote of the Night, Carlisle on Jennings:
"He's the quickest guy on the planet.''
DONUT 6: During the 12-game winning streak, the Mavs found ways to support their biggest star. In the early going, that again appeared to be the case. By halftime, nine Dallas players had seen the court … and all nine had scored.
By the end of the night, despite a fourth quarter push from Jason Terry (seven points on 2-of-3 shooting), the offense stumbled around Dirk.
Nowitzki put up another MVP worthy performance with 30 points, seven rebounds, two blocks (though he clearly got his hand on, and altered, another shot) and one steal … all of that capping the day's announcement that he's again the Western Conference Player of the Week. … but it's the final shot taken with 11 seconds remaining that is likely to linger in his mind.
It was an 8-foot fadeaway that hit the front of the rim and fell away …
"Actually on the last play, I was too open,'' Dirk said. "And I was shocked at how open I was. I ended up in the lane taking a shot that I really didn't want to take, and that's obviously on me."
We think Dirk was anticipating some contact that didn't come, so he ended up taking a One-Legged Euro Lean-Away when he didn't need to. Sort of caught himself in between moves. … and missed a shot that the entire gym assumed he'd make.
Gotta love this, though: The UberMan misses the shot and says, "That's obviously on me."
DONUT 7: Can we be positive for another moment?
Speaking of those two blocks by Dirk, it's hard to ignore the fact that his defense has been consistently better this season.
He's feeding off the disruption Tyson Chandler brings to the interior and using his seven-foot frame to alter or stop shots.
"He's better this year for sure," Carlisle stated on the topic of Dirk's defense before the game. "Every year you get a little more knowledgeable, a little more crafty."
Gaining knowledge and craftiness certainly helps, but so does the addition of a guy like Tyson Chandler.
As neither man-to-man or zone worked against Milwaukee, it's not the solve-all. But if Dirk can play defense, there aren't many excuses for anybody else.
DONUT 8: Chandler once again had a solid performance … though he was unable to slow Andrew Bogut, as evidenced by his team-worst plus/minus of -11.
He finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and one block. … and just to punctuate the free-throw problems, he also missed one late that would've come in handy.
DONUT 9: We've made note of Dallas' history of home success against Milwaukee; the Bucks hadn't won at the AAC since 2002. But it's also worth noting that both games between these teams last year were decided by two points or less. Both resulted in Mavs victories, but still … the Bucks aren't dogs. They are working their way to .500, they've got old friend Drew Gooden doing some dirty work for them, and in Bogut and Jennings, they boast two guys right on the lip of the cup of true stardom.
DONUT 10: Dirk likes to have the family come into town for a big Christmas every year, and here they come … Pops Nowitzki was at the game last night (we mistook him for Holger Geschwindner for a moment because all tall, fatherly German men look alike), along with Dirk's honey, Jessica Olsson. Sis will be in with the kids … A German Christmas is traditionally on the 24th … so Happy Weihnachten, gang!
DONUT 11: Dallas held the Bucks to 7-of-21 shots (33.3-percent) and 15 points in the opening quarter.
In the second and third quarters they allowed them to shoot a combined 22-of-39 (56.4-percent) for 60 points.
As they scratched their way back into the game in the final minutes, their defense once again began to find a foothold as they held Milwaukee to 11-of-24 from the field (45.8-percent).
They failed to meet the goal, as stated by Jason Terry to DB.com, of keeping opponents to 45 percent or under in the final quarter … just barely.
But, "just barely'' was enough to be "their undoing'' (that's RickTalk).
DONUT 12: DB.com Night at the Mavs is almost sold out. Please come. Please hurry. Please get your tickets and your t-shirts and your chance at free stuff -- all at the cost of what ONE ticket might normally cost -- by visiting the DB.com Store.
DONUT 13: This marks the fourth home game in a row that Dallas has allowed a 20-point lead to be carved away into a close contest.
Monday night, after the lead had been pushed to 20, both the crowd and the team became lethargic … it's tempting to blame that Mavs' second wave, with JJB and Big Wood on the floor together, doing not near enough … and for the first time, the Mavs couldn't squash the uprising in time.
So it's an eventful night in sports.
The Mavs' streak? Dead!
Brett Favre's streak? Dead!
Cliff Lee's streak? Dead!
Wormer? He's a dead man! Marmalard? Dead! Niedermeyer? Dead!