Flipping The Bird, Watching The Dirk: Donuts

As reader Corey notes, I'm on live TV trying to win you over to DB.com, one finger at a time ... Carlisle joins us in The Dirk Watch ... We're keeping 'Melo hope alive ... We've got it all today for Mavs-Spurs: Chat, TV coverage, game previews, breaking news, the works ... starting with the Donuts!

DONUT 1: I've applauded Rick Carlisle all along on his resistance to playing the "Dirk Watch'' game. There's no benefit in it for his team. … even as the public is starved for happy answers.

But yesterday, even Rick broke his vow … either that, or Nowitzki is nearing the end of this long regional nightmare.

Smile Carlisle followed up the Mavs' Thursday practice in San Antonio with an announcement that Nowitzki remains listed as day-to-day. That puts his status for tonight's game with the 33-6 Spurs in jeopardy … which puts the Mavs in jeopardy, too, as they are 2-6 without him and pretty much reduced to kicking their legs as the Dirkettes.

On the other hand, Rick actually speaking might just be a happy twist?

"Dirk increases his workouts every day and signs are positive," Carlisle said. "But it's very important that we focus on the guys that we have available at this time and make sure that he gets back absolutely 100-percent healthy."

Well, that's ALMOST good news. Kinda.

Rick reiterated what we'd already learned from Holger, that this knee thing isn't seriously serious.

"We've listed him day-to-day because we don't believe this is a serious injury and he is making progress," Carlisle said. "On the other hand, we're going to maintain an extremely cautious posture on this going forward, and like everyone else we want him to be back as soon as possible 100 percent healthy.''

Which means …

DONUT 2: Well, he didn't go through drills with the Mavs yesterday. They have nothing but a shootaround this morning. Nowitzki will certainly try to give it a go. But it's the team's policy is to wait until he's 100 percent … and he's not even practicing … hooboy.

DONUT 3: Ajinca's start in Indy was, as we noted the other night, probably equal parts thrown bone, experiment and tricky wild-card.

Our friend Skin has another theory: What if ‘Lex's first start as a Mav – and just his fifth career start – was designed as a showcase of his talents for other teams to see … you know, teams that might like to have him thrown into a deal?

I will say this: While Carlisle was complimentary of ‘Lex in explaining why he gave him a shot, Rick closed that portion of his Wednesday night presser in Indy by saying something about other guys getting a shot, too.

So it's not like ‘Lex locked up the job as Dirk's caddie, is what I'm saying.

DONUT 4: No, I'm not really flipping the double-bird to the FS Southwest audience, or at the Spurs … though I will have the chance to do it tonight when Ro Blackman and I serve as the studio analysts for Mavs-at-Spurs, taking you up to tipoff with Bob and Mark. It all starts at 6:30, and then Ro and I will be there for you on the postgame show as well.

Oh, and during the game, I'll be running the Fox Sports Southwest Game Lounge to chat all night! ...

DONUT 5: A great Tyson Chandler profile from Sports Illustrated here.

DONUT 6: I hope we are earning your trust, one minute and one story (and one finger) at a time, so we can earn your dime-a-day contribution to Premium membership at DallasBasketball.com. With the membership, you get access to all the FOX Premium sites for all your favorite teams around the region and around the country ... as well as deals on Mavs merchandise and Mavs tickets (I'm even giving away FREE Mavs tickets and Mavs stuff signed by Dirk, Jet and Roddy B RIGHT NOW!) ... and inside stuff from the DB.com staff and from the Mavericks themselves. Thanks for trying us on for size, as thousands of Mavs fans continue to do, 10 years running.

DONUT 7: Cam Newton says he's going pro -- but Cam Newton's dad will end up telling the kid he can't go anywhere until somebody gives Dad an envelope with $180,000 in it.

DONUT 8: Tony Cubes was on the radio the other day and said this:

"Carmelo's a great player (but) I don't think we have the assets (the Nuggets) need or that they want. They want a boat load of draft picks and other things. And that's not something that we have. With that said, whenever there's a big trade like that, particularly if it's a multi-team trade, you always need another team to help you make the numbers work. I think that creates an opportunity for us. When a team really wants a great player like Carmelo, They'll get to where their backs are against the wall and need that last piece to make that trade work. Hopefully, that's where we can squeeze in and pick up a piece."

This certainly fits with what David Lord has been preaching about "Dallas being the fourth team'' in this thing. But there's something more: What if, when "backs are against the wall'' and "squeezing'' is occurring, Dallas makes a bid to be more than the "fourth team''?

I will guarantee that will happen. It's an easy guarantee. When Denver has another bout of wrasslin' trouble with NJ, Cuban will intercede and "offer to help.''

By offering to take ‘Melo.

I'm still predicting it won't work. I'm just predicting that Dallas' nose will be up into the business of this transaction deep enough to sniff around if anything goes haywire.

You watch.

DONUT 9: Having said all that: Patience.

In this Premium piece, our David Lord explains why Dallas needs to be patient before popping the trade question … and I go one-on-one with Jason Kidd in a Video Visit as he reveals what he'll tell Mavs management when he's asked the "should we make a trade'' question.

DONUT 10: Worth noting from SA: The Spurs' No. 1 draft pick, James Anderson, also broke a 5th metatarsal bone in his right foot earlier this season. He's just now had HIS projected return pushed back to the other side of the All-Star Game.

So it's not just Roddy B. If that makes you feel any better.


DONUT 11: In case you missed it … Meet The NBA's King of Villainous Ineptitude: LeBron James. This is Pro Wrestling-level stuff from The King.

DONUT 12: Tyson Chandler is feeling under the weather right now, too. Flu, head cold, something. Let's hope this is an substantial a sick-bay need as T.Y. requires all season.

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