DONUT 1: Want the singular chunk of positive news from Monday's 103-89 insult of a basketball loss in Detroit? The UberMan is back, he's fine, quit worrying, shaddup. Dirk goes for 32 points 10-of-17 shooting, with five boards, five dimes -- The UberMan is back.
The UberMan is back and Dallas still lost. Badly. To the Pistons.
In spite of Detroit's problems, in spite of a fully-armed and operational Nowitzki, the Mavericks are still playing like little children trapped in
a nightmare. This marks a historically bad stretch for the modern-era Mavs; they haven't lost six in a row since Dirk first unpacked his suitcase in
We can talk it up. And we will. But let's do so in response to the leadership talking. Let's listen up in the McKinneyDentist.com Quoteboard, overseen by DB.com's own B.J. Stahl… and react.
Different. And pissed.
DONUT 2: A lack of effort. Never thought I'd say it. Never thought I'd see it. Thought the character was greater than that. Thought the occasional straggler in this department – and hell, why name old names when now it's almost all the names? – would be roped in by the ever-efforting leaders.
Quote: "This game is about effort, and we're not giving the effort. I think everybody's just got to do a little bit more effort-wise." -- Jason Kidd.
Quote: "We just looked a little flat and uninspired." -- Dirk Nowitzki.
"We caved." -- Coach Rick Carlisle.
DONUT 3: Now, here's something Different and Pissed. A damn good pregame funny (The Fish & Ro Coffee Mug – good for a "Cup o' Ro'') bolted on to some real-live FS Southwest postgame analysis … and then the reputed Battle Royale between the lovely Emily Jones and the irate Mike Fisher:
Legend has it (legend being created right now on DB.com Boards) that Emily and I do not like each other. I know this to be untrue … but after reading all the comments last night, I called my pal Em and asked her.
"Hey, do we hate each other?'' I asked.
"No, Fish, you know I love you! Why?'' she said.
I told her that a skillion people thought I threw my necktie at her, or that she called me fat or something.
"Aw, Fish, I'm just bustin' your chops,'' she said. "Tell ‘em that.''
You've been told.
DONUT 4: OK, back to the Mavs' wobbly attempted explanations.
"We've got the talent to do this,'' Kidd said, "but we didn't get a stop when we needed one, and we couldn't hit a shot when we needed one. Defense was always our blueprint for winning, and it isn't there right now."
"Got the talent''? You think? Against a Pistons team that is sitting healthy players because they are trade fodder and playing a couple of not-ready kids and experiencing in-fighting between players and coach, and so rudderless that they don't really exactly even have an owner?
You think the Mavs have "got the talent'' to beat THEM?
"What happened in the second half is just not acceptable,'' Carlisle said. "We all own it, myself on down to the other coaches and all the players. This is not what we're about, and we've got to remedy it quickly."
Two important points:
DONUT 5: First point: When Rick says "this is not what we're about'' … you've got to wonder. Yes, the 24-5 was real. Waaaaaaay back then, this team was about defense.
"Our defense has gone haywire, and I don't know what happened,'' Dirk said.
And the defensive lapses cannot be directly tied to Nowitzki's missing nine games. I mean to say, there IS a relationship there. Kammrath and Dugat got out their biggest-ass calculators and proved it over the last few long weeks while Nowitzki was wearing his Sunday best seven days a week.
But with or without Dirk, you cannot give up 57-percent shooting to a Pistons team that, according to Dallas' own pregame scouting report, isn't a very good shooting team.
DONUT 6: Second point, about Rick wanting to "remedy it quickly.''
BOOM! Do it!
A lengthy Tuesday practice? F'in A. After a day game on Monday and with the Lakers rollin' into Big D onWednesday, yeah, a lengthy practice. Get Tyson Chandler some DayQuil and get Kidd to make a bucket and find a starting lineup that can be relied upon and oh-by-the way: Cuban said a few days ago that if Roddy B played for any other team, that any other team would probably already have him back on the floor.
Tony Cubes meant that to mean, "He's pretty much able. But we don't need to rush him.''
Does anybody still think that? Patience becomes less of a virtue when you go weeks without a win.
DONUT 7: How else to remedy it?
I'm not the fanboy who screeches, "Go get Iggy! Go get Martin! Go get Wallace! Go get Capt. Jack! Go get Devin! Go get-ty Maggette!
It's more complicated than that. …
Which is why we take it way beyond fanboyishness and study this damn thing, piece by piece by piece, like we're going for our Masters. And it's why we report this damn thing, player and situation by player and situation, to find the truth.
*What's up with Dallas' interest in Tayshaun Prince ... and didn't that almost feel like a 19-point tryout yesterday?
*A potential target such as Iggy and what Dallas really thinks there.
*Stephen Jackson views from Mavs HQ.
*Devin Harris? It's an idea we break down here
*Our David Lord comes up with an inventive way to pursue Devin while helping the 'Melo-seeking Nuggets with their tax man problem.
*And being brewed up right now, to go along with your Mavs Morning Donuts? I'm working on finding out what the Mavs REALLY think about Troy Murphy ... and it's not quite what you think they think.
Read ‘em. Learn. If you are a passionate Mavericks fan, if you worry, if you care, it is well-worth a dime-a-day.
DONUT 8: A word from the enemy: Maybe this happened because Detroit's just found a groove right now?
"I think that foundation has finally been set,'' Tracy McGrady said. "It's just clicking right now. That's something we've been searching for for quite some time and I think we finally found it."
Stupidest thing said all day. Dumber, even, than the quotes that came clonking out of the Mavs' postgame locker room. The Pistons are trying to trade their foundation, you dope.
Coach John Kuester, you want to add a lollipop onto T-Mac's pile of rose petals?
"Right now I like what I'm seeing out there,'' Kuester said. "I'm very comfortable with the way this group is playing.''
Hey, Kuester! Your two best players hate you.
But, hey Kuester! You are still better off right now than Dallas!
DONUT 9: Going forward -- next one's at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"The good thing is we're going home, and hopefully our crowd can get us fired up for a big game against the Lakers,'' Dirk said. "Hopefully, everybody has to sit on this one and come out strong again on Wednesday."
I'm all in.
Shoot, if you're gonna "vibe'' your way back to basketball life, that's a helluva way to do it. Come home. Kiss the wife, hug the kids, beat the Lakers.
Sounds like a plan.
DONUT 10: Like I said on the FS Southwest postgame showright before Emily Jones karate-kicked me, I've got my lunch pail all packed. DallasBasketball.com is kicking ass and taking names today. I'm dragging the whole 75-Member Staff to Mavs practice today and we're bringing video cameras and notepads and press passes and sharpened swords and tire irons and whatever hell else it takes to get the job done.
Who's with me?!
DONUT 11: You know what I'd like to do today?
I'd like to play golf.
I deserve it. I work my ass off here at the DB.com HQ in the penthouse suite of the DB.com Building in downtown Dallas. I'd like to cruise up to The Colony and go tear into The Old American and enjoy the scenery and one of the finest, toughest courses in the country. I'd like to click on iDealGolfer.com and get me some big ol' 50-percent discounts, too.
But you do that. You click. You play. No irons for me today.
Just tire irons. And sharpened swords.
DONUT 12: So what the hell has changed around here?
No Tuff Juice? Dog days of January? A fine line?
"A six-game losing streak is always ugly, I don't care who you are,'' Dirk said. "It's not fun to go through. And it's funny how things can turn around in this league. Winning and losing is a fine line. Earlier in the season it seemed like whatever building we walked into we were gonna win. And now it seems like we can't find a way to win."
It is "funny'' how things can turn around in this league.
I am very, very excited to see some "funny'' sometime real soon.