DONUT 1: "The Mavs are hard to watch.'' "The Mavs without Dirk are hard to watch.''
No offense intended to the many fans (and even the DFW journos) who write and say such things, but as analysis goes, that's about as deep as a fryin' pan.
They've been "tough to watch'' six times. Those account for the losses.
They've been "tough to watch without Dirk'' once. On Tuesday night.
It's hilarious how the thing of beauty that was Monday's fourth quarter in OKC when the Dirk-less Mavs held the Thunder to 4-of-18 shooting and 12 total points while Jet/Kidd/Chandler/Caron/Marion clicked … suddenly is forgotten as soon as the exact same group goes in reverse 24 hours later.
Same group of guys. … Guys who, when they lose, look as ugly as everybody from the Lakers to the Timberwolves when they do the same.
This quote from Tyson Chandler – "We're going to have to get used to playing without the big fella for a while'' – seems like an ominous one. Will Dirk miss tonight's game with the Spurs? Can Dallas afford to let him nurse his sprained knee in Milwaukee and Cleveland over the weekend?
But you cannot use stats from Dirk-less games this year as evidence that Dallas suddenly "sucks'' without him. "Stats from games in which Dirk'' sits are different from "stats from games in which Dirk is not available and therefore not part of the gameplan.''
That is, of course, unless you really believe that a long-term version of the Dallas Mavericks sans Dirk would get outscored by 14 points per game and regularly be "hard to watch'' against clubs like Toronto.
Actually, that thought inspires me.
Let me get on this, and check back in a little bit: The Mavs With Dirk vs. The Mavs Without Dirk and what it all means …
DONUT 2: From the Toronto Sun, on Wednesday morning, reflecting on what happened the previous night in Dallas:
"Given all they were up against, can anyone argue this was not the most impressive effort of the Raptors season? Maybe Raptors history?''
So, congratulations, Mavs. We made history!
DONUT 3: Catching Up On Mavs Current Events:
And "Take That Wit Youuuuuuu!'' is a t-shirt waiting to happen in the DB.com Store, right?
Or you can just celebrate The UberMan with the shirt being worn by Misty Mav over there.
DONUT 4: The league MVP? Bill Simmons casts his vote for Dirk Nowitzki.
If they go 23-5 with him but lose at home to the lowly Raptors without him? Yeah, that is an unwanted feather in the MVP cap.
DONUT 5: The b2b defense for the Mavs vs. the Raptors? I neglected to mention in my 12 Lame Excuses column that it was also the second night of a b2b for traveling Toronto.
So it's doubly lame.
DONUT 6: LeBron James keeps talking himself into a corner, insisting that his mention of the NBA improving itself by "shrinking the (league)" didn't mean "contraction'' … because he doesn't even know what "contraction'' is and therefore it's just the media twisting his words.
How does such a gifted businessman, surrounded by other gifted marketing experts and financial experts and business experts -- you know, LeBron's high-school pals -- not know that "contraction'' is something more than what your sweetie does when she's giving birth?
DONUT 7: Know that LeBron's view gives crotch kicks to his own union, his own brothers, and the fans in places like New Jersey, which he mentioned specifically in his "contraction'' speech.
"For him to talk about us specifically was a little offensive,'' Devin Harris told the Newark paper. "I mean, from a business standpoint … what's best, we're still trying to figure this out. But (James is) in the mind-set of, ‘Let's just team everybody up with stars and kind of duke it out,' which, it kind of was like that in previous ages, but who's to say what's best for the league?''
DONUT 8: Good for you, Devin … ‘cept for one fallacy, perpetuated by LeBron in his address and perpetuated by you in your counter.
This "previous ages'' thing is hogwash.
LeBron wants it to be like the 1980's, when – in his vision – every team was loaded.
LeBron James was born in 1984. What he knows about the ‘80's he knows from highlight reels and propaganda. So he thinks "the ‘80's'' were all Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
I was 24 in 1984.
There was a team in the NBA called the San Diego Clippers in 1984. There were Kansas City Kings, too, and they were in a division with the Nuggets, Spurs and Rockets and all four of them had losing records. In 1984, the Chicago Bulls didn't have much Michael Jordan influence as they were 27-55.
There is no such thing as "previous ages.'' Not the way you kids think of ‘em.
And then, after that doesn't work?
Back to the phones.
DONUT 10: Dallas native Chris Bosh seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the naysayers.
"For some reason, people think I can't play basketball,'' Chris tells the Miami media. "I'm a very good basketball player. I can perform when it's time. For some reason, coming into this situation, people were just nitpicking. It gives me an added sense of motivation to do well because I know more people are watching, and just to shut them up. To be frank.''
To be frank, Chris, your basketball skills have very little to do with why some people find you to be overhyped and thin-skinned.
Because the reason people find you to be overhyped and thin-skinned is quite elementary.
It's because you are overhyped and thin-skinned. To be frank.
DONUT 11: Spurs 97, Lakers 82 … and that's what San Antonio can use as its Tuesday night building block as it approaches tonight's 8:30 start at the AAC.
Oh, and they have swagger … or didn't you see George Hill talking smack to Kobe?
"I just wanted him to know that you might be an NBA All-Star and the MVP, but I won't back down from anybody,' Hill said.
DONUT 12: Now quit whining. And while I prepare to bring you Shootaround Stuff, you drink your "Tuff Juice.''