DONUT 1: DB.com's BJ Stahl helps us chase down the quotes, starting with: Back-to-back concerns? After all, the Dallas Mavericks had just won at Boston on Friday as they were trying to complete the sweep here of the three-game roadie. And adjusted according to who plays the most minutes, Dallas is the oldest team in the league . …
"We're fine." -- Coach Rick Carlisle said, short and sweet.
Also "short and sweet'': the history of Mavs-vs.-Bobcats: All-time, Dallas is now 14-0 against the Bobcats.
The list of Charlotte wins in this series is short.
The history of Dallas success is sweet.
So in terms of b2b or age or anything else, Rick is right: When it comes to playing the Bobcats …
DONUT 2: Regarding the overall state of the Mavs, who have skywalked their way back into second in the West with a 35-15 record, with eight straight, with nine wins in the last 10 outings … with a 16-7 road record . ...
"We're just having fun, just doing what we do,'' said Jason Terry, who scored 21 and oddly (but pleasingly) did so without making a 3-pointer. "We're back to how we came out of training camp, that same kind of feeling, that same type of edginess about us. That competitive fire is there."
DONUT 3: Let's have a video look-see:
DONUT 4: On the subject of facing his former team (Tyson Chandler came to Dallas via a summer trade with Charlotte -- remember The DUST Chip? Remember that Dallas management swapped Dampier's super-expiring into THIS GUY?)
"It's night and day the way I feel. Last year I was fresh off my surgery that summer. Now it's been a year and I just feel like a different person . . . I wasn't here long enough to have some built-up animosity. They were always good to me here. I had good teammates, a good organization. So, it's just one of those things." -- Tyson Chandler.
We're not much interested in the "good guy'' Bobcats. We are interested in TY "feeling like a different person,'' though. Because it shows up, with impactful numbers and more, every night now.
"He's been big,'' said Jason Kidd of TY, who was good for nine points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. "He's our emotional leader, our vocal leader. He's a guy who can run the floor, finish above the rim, block shots and rebound. He's been a big part of our success."
TY said he didn't get much sleep leading up to tipoff -- the Mavs arrived into town at 3 a.m. – but he was otherwise feeling well enough to show Bobcats fans a player they never quite saw last year when he was hobbled by foot injuries.
DONUT 5: Once again, Dallas found ways to spread offensive production around as five Mavs scored in double-figures.
"Balance has been our calling card all season long,'' Carlisle said. "We can't pile on Dirk's back every night. We've got to have a lot of other guys do it. Our injures this season have allowed other guys to learn a higher level of responsibility and right now you can see where those benefits have come. It's all about getting better. We've just got to make sure we keep trending the right way."
Five guys in double-figures has now happened in seven consecutive games. And in those seven straight the Mavs have scored 100-plus in each of them.
DONUT 6: We've got quote after quote after quote expressing the Mavs' pride in their road-warriorness … signs of a team that truly has befriended its swagger again …
*"Our goal on this road trip was to win all three, and we were very locked in. We were focused." -- Jason Terry.
* "For us, on the road, we wanted to get off to a good start and we did. Then we got off to even a better start in the third quarter." -- Jason Kidd
*"This road trip just shows the character of this team and how much we were able to go out here and just take it. Take what we wanted." -Shawn Marion
DONUT 7: On dealing with Stephen Jackson, who finished with 17 points and five assists …
"They depend on Jax's scoring, and not only his scoring but his ability to find guys,'' said Chandler. "I think we made it tough on him. We threw a couple of guys at him, stayed in the passing lanes and because of that, their offense was a little stagnant."
Jackson put up some numbers … six rebounds and five assists and 17 points - but on 5-of-17 shooting.
So what's wrong, Capt. Jack?
"I don't know the X's and O's,'' he said. "I know we're playing hard, but I don't know. The answer to that could get me fined."
DONUT 8: Which takes us to the Mavs front-office's thoughts on Jackson.
Regarding Captain Jack's, erm, exuberance -- he earned his eleventh technical foul of the season and is five away from a mandatory suspension – Bobcats coach Paul Silas said, "He's been acting that way for quite some time now. That's up to him to evaluate himself."
We believe the Mavs, with Jackson somewhere on their trade-deadline wish list, are comfortable with the idea that their locker-room culture would cause somebody like Jackson to funnel that "exuberance'' in the right direction.
But we're not as excited about the idea as some, for reasons of Capt. Jack's knuckleheadedness and more …
How about his age (soon to be 33), his contract (two more years at about $10 million per after this season), his low field-goal percentages (between 0.405 and 0.423 over the last four), his average PER numbers (right around 15.0), his bad defensive plus/minus numbers, his terrible plus/minus and adjusted plus/minus numbers this year, and the question of how he might disrupt coach Rick Carlisle's "Chemistry Vibe"? Is that enough to add up to too many negatives to think that he should be a primary goal for the use of Butler's contract? We say yes. Too many negatives.
And is Jackson too flawed to include anything substantial in trade in addition to Caron? We and the Mavs both say "yes'' to that.
DONUT 9: So, if the Bobcats – now 21-29 and having dipped to ninth in the East – eventually decide to "shed salary,'' how about Gerald Wallace?
As with Jackson, you can twist his final numbers to appear solid: 13 points and 11 rebounds. But Wallace, too, shot poorly, 6-of-15. He did perform at a high level in a loss to the Heat on Friday, but in Charlotte, they say that's the first great game he's played in a month.
Wallace gives effort. He's a strong defensive player. He's a physical freak. But the view from the Mavs personnel dept. is that is isn't a particularly effective offensive player in the half-court offense, which is what Dallas believes it will need in the playoffs.
So, no. Less-than-ideal.
Charlotte and Dallas will talk up until the Feb. 24 deadline. We say the Butler expiring must be utilized. We say the Bobcats will "shed.''
But we aren't in the "DO SOMETHING'' Club. The something needs to be right.
DONUT 10: A "thank you'' sidebar: Guys, I very much appreciate your support of DallasBasketball.com I'm proud of our relation with the team and with our audience. Proud of what we built together. And hope you'll have faith in me and The 75-Member Staff to provide you with Mavericks info, news, views, quips, tips and fun … that justifies about 10 cents a day.
DONUT 11: "We came out and played really well there in the first half,'' said Dirk Nowitzki, who led all scored with 25 points and also had four of Dallas' 14 blocked shots. "We moved the ball, got good shots and were solid defensively . … (But) it was actually a ballgame in the fourth, and we had to work harder than we wanted to."
Oh, we're not too concerned.
When the Mavs needed offense, the hard work paid off. The Mavericks are now 25-1 when scoring 100 points or more. (That's the best mark in the NBA.)
When the Mavs needed defense, more work: And Charlotte finished shooting 37.1 percent.
"As you see, towards the end, they tried to turn it on at the end,'' Jet said. "But they just didn't have enough juice."
DONUT 12: So, the Mavs are taking a well-deserved Sunday off. No practice, just Super Bowl stuff. And then a look ahead to Monday at the AAC, a chance to make it nine straight wins against the historically slumping (24 straight losses) Cavaliers ...
"It's a fight every night, and this is the NBA,'' Shawn Marion, who contributed to the fight with 10 points, four assists and seven rebounds. "Every team is a different challenge for us, and I think we've just got to prepare ourselves the best way we can to match up with these guys … Just go out there and have fun doing it."
This is fun, isn't it?