DONUT 1: Oh no -- Caron Butler exited the game with a knee injury in the first quarter . . .
"We're afraid that it's potentially serious, but we won't know anything for sure until Dr. Souryal looks at him, we get an MRI and whatever diagnostic test we need to get." – Coach Rick Carlisle.
We spent all night breaking this down in great detail. Until you are told differently – and the telling of something should come this afternoon following Caron's return to Dallas and then his MRI – you can believe what you wish.
It's nothing. He'll be fine. Just needs ice.
What we believe. Maybe a dislocated kneecap. Maybe damage to a tendon in that knee as well. Long-term stuff.
DONUT 2: "To watch a teammate go down on the floor and pound the floor like he was, it's just terrible." -Dirk Nowitzki
We said it last night: The looks on the faces of this involved – especially the look on Carlisle's face – was something between "sad'' and "horrified.''
DONUT 3: "I tell you what, with the potential seriousness of the injury, the guy got up and walked off the court. And that's one of the most
impressive things I've ever seen in basketball in 35 years of this. He's a man's man." -Coach Rick Carlisle
You get points for that in sports. But the MRI machine, it doesn't care.
DONUT 4: "They don't call him 'Tuff Juice' for nothing." -Tyson Chandler
We wondered this last night on live TV, and we hope we didn't speak out of turn: But was it really wise for Caron to demonstrate that "toughness'' by walking on it? We know he had the home crowd watching him – Wisconsin loves the Racine native – but maybe somebody should've grabbed Dwyane Wade's spare wheelchair here?
DONUT 5: Regarding the zone defense and some reasons it didn't work . . .
"A lot of teams play the zone, but you know sometime they get overextended just because guys aren't used to playing the zone. Their guards were a little too wide. Once we were able to get their guys wide we passed to the middle and that was huge." -Earl Boykins.
Ouch. We've got 5-5, 133-pound Earl Boykins having big enough brass ones criticizing the way Dallas plays its heralded zone defense?
DONUT 6: About JJ Barea's career night -- 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting . . .
"I just stayed aggressive, Coach wanted me to be aggressive. I saw Caron go out, we don't have Dirk, ‘Trix is out, so you've just got to be aggressive. And tonight my shot was going in." -JJ Barea.
All hail JJB, but do know this: While lil' Barea was scoring 29, lil' Boykins was scoring 26. So Dallas' net here from a "surprising small package''
was only three points.
DONUT 7: The game in short, from that locker room. . .
"Look, with Dirk out and Shawn out, it's a game we had to win and we won. That's great." -Coach Scott Skiles.
And that's the ruthless truth of how it looked from the other locker room. Indeed, maybe you take some solace from this. We prefer to believe that
given the short-handedness of both clubs (no Jennings or Gooden for the Bucks), Dallas was still the better team. But Skiles – who by the way just
might be Brian Cardinal's handsomer twin brother – thinks this became a gimme for Milwaukee.
DONUT 8: And from the good guys' locker room …
"We were in a great position here in the fourth quarter to get a win on the road. We just came up short." -Jason Kidd.
That's the way we lean. And it's why we're leaning so hard on Jason Terry. Once again – and for the third straight game and third straight loss – Dallas simply needed Jet to be a 17- or 18-point guy … and once again, he was half that.
DONUT 9: "We tried, we played hard, but it wasn't enough." -JJ Barea
Can't argue with that. Oh, maybe the Toronto loss was an el foldo. But the loss to the Spurs was actually a respect-gainer. And in Milwaukee, JJB and Kidd and Chandler and DeShawn and Cardinal and yeah, Jet … and Brendan Haywood, too … the effort was there.
Of course, that's the sort of crap mediocre teams start having to tell each other …
DONUT 10: On coping with a huge manpower shortage going forward . . .
"I really like the way the guys have responded. Cardinal was great, playing tough and giving out hard fouls. Ajinca came in and did a good job. It's going to be tough … but we got guys who can get it done." -Dirk Nowitzki
Yes. Against Cleveland tonight. Maybe. And Dominique Jones is coming to the rescue.
No. Not against OKC and Orlando later next week.
DONUT 11: "We've got to stop the bleeding, so we're very fortunate to be able to have another game tomorrow night. But it's not going to be easy. Cleveland has some talented guys that play hard and can put some points on the board. So, the guys that are in uniform are gonna have to stick together and find a way to get the win." -Jason Kidd.
How do you not love J-Kidd, his BBIQ trying to trick itself into believing that another game 24 hours after this hoops disaster is a GOOD thing!
DONUT 12: And here comes the Sliding Return Timetable . . .
"I'm doing better. Hopefully, it'll be sometime next week. We'll have to wait and see." -Dirk Nowitzki.
Wait? If we had another option, we'd choose it.
We don't. So fine, we'll wait.