DONUT 1: More than a week ago, we wondered if by this morning, the Mavs would be well over 30 games over .500, breathing down the neck of the Parker-less Spurs, and putting distance between themselves and the 'struggling' Lakers.
No. No. And no.
The Lakers are coming on Saturday, and they are coming up in the standings. Parker's miraculous recovery from a month-long injury took a week. And the Mavs just lost, 93-92 to a CP3-less Hornets team, giving Dallas its second close loss in four days.
This is not a happy morning (despite the deliciousness of these Donuts!). These Donuts are also rather ... soft.
DONUT 2: The Dallas Mavericks need Roddy B.
The argument can branch off into specifics and intricacies, into "overrating'' or "underrating'' him. But can we at least agree on the first part?
MDug offers up an example of something Roddy B does that makes him kinda special: Going into New Orleans, in the category of FG% at rim:
*(Removing centers) on Mavs: 1) Marion 72% 2) Dirk 69.7% 3) Terry 66.1% 4) Roddy 62.1% 5) Barea 59.8%
*Other than centers, other than Marion (38%), Roddy B also takes the highest percentage of his shots at the rim, where 37% of his attempts come.
*Despite working back from injury, and limited minutes, Roddy B takes more shots at the rim (3.2) per game than all Mavs but TY (4.2) and Marion (3.8).
Now listen: This is FREE RODDY B headquarters and we don't apologize for that. But there is something special lodged inside of all those numbers.
Roddy B is easy baskets.
"He makes mistakes'' and "he's not as good as so-and-so'' and "he gets gassed'' and blah-blah.
Easy baskets. Dallas needs 'em. Roddy B's got 'em.
Now, all that is going into New Orleans. Coming out of New Orleans? According to the way Carlisle used him, Roddy Beaubois is a token starter deserving of about half as many minutes as crunch-time go-to guy Brian Cardinal.
I contend that the way Rick used Cardinal (and DeShawn) last night instead of Roddy B signifies a falling into a trap: Dallas gave playing time to veterans who wouldn't lose the game ... rather than to a kid who might-could've won the whole damn thing by himself.
Or, if you think that's going to far, might-could've made a basket in the final minute and a half, something none of his teammates were capable of.
DONUT 3: Penal. It was a Mavs pregame show on FS Southwest and I said penal overload.
Here, go judge for yourself, Colonel Angus.
DONUT 4: TY made his semi-triumphant return to New Orleans ... a double-double but two missed free throws in the clutch. And his old Hornets mate Peja Stojakovic?
"I believe we're listing him as day-to-day,'' says Rick of his starting forward, who did not play. "But it's spasms in his neck and that's something that's serious. So we got to make sure we take care of it."
This doesn't have a good feel to it. Peja's had these back-related problems before. He's no kid. His absence means one less shooter on the floor (and boy, last night Dallas seemed like it had a LOT of non-shooters on the floor).
Does he roll off the airplane and back onto the court for tonight against the Knicks?
DONUT 5: Things move kinda fast and furious around here at DB.com. So please make sure you're caught up on your Required Reading!
* Your All-Access Pass to the Mavs at New Orleans
*The smartest discussion around, Premium Members on DB.com Premium Forum and the rascals at play at DB.com Boards
And that's all from just 24 hours of Mavs coverage!
To be right in the middle of it? It's about a dime-a-day to be a DB.com Mavs Premium Member and to get Inside Mavs HQ ... exclusive interviews, analysis, locker-room video, even video of the Mavs in practice ... it's all here. For about a dime-a-day. We even offer a 7-Day Free Trial! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 6: OK, I guess I'm not done ranting about Roddy B.
Roddy B's line: 13 minutes, nine points (4-of-10 FGs, 1-of-4 3 FGs), one assist, one turnover, one blocked shot, two fouls and one technical foul (because he smiled too wide, I guess).
I know somebody is going to make the argument that such a line is not deserving of even a second Donut. But now we're seven games straight with Beaubois getting 18 minutes or fewer. And we're a bunch of games in a row in which Roddy B starts quickly (he made 3 of 5 shots in the first), maybe commits an error, maybe senses the shoestring leash, maybe makes another mistake ... and back in timeout for you, son.
"I don't have any choice (but to wait his turn)," Beaubois said last night. "For sure, I want to play ... It's tough because you kind of get out of a rhythm, but that's the way it is. I have to keep working to find a way to stay on the court.''
I say (and then I'll stop) it's NOT just Roddy B who needs to do that work.
FREE RODDY B.
DONUT 7: I would've lost a lot of bets last night. No Paul and the Mavs lose. TY's return and the Mavs don't seem especially inspired. Peja hurt and Corey Brewer (22 total minutes in four games) still gets a DNP. Roddy B with but a sniff. Cardinal on the floor to close. Dallas losing an 11th straight time in that voodoo palace.
Here's more of how it happened:
DONUT 8: Please join our Dallas Mavericks FISH Facebook Page ... prizes to be won, fun to be had, friends to be made! C'mon! I seem nice! We'll probably hit 500 friends today or tommorow, at which time somebody is going to win Mavs tickets on me. ... so come aboard!
DONUT 9: Mavs tonight? Back on the horse. And hopefully on 'Melo and Amar'e and all the other ' guys on the Knicks -- oh, and it's been locked in as an 8:30 p.m. start. The whole 75-Member Staff will be at the AAC all night and all day ... keep it on DB.com for updates throughout ... and also be in our MavsTwitterVerse to follow Fish, Kevin Brolan and Michael Dugat as well!
DONUT 10: Hottest shirt among Mavs fans? I would say it's the Fish-tested, Dirk-approved 'TAKE THAT WIT CHEW!' from the DB.com Store!
You will notice ... even Ro Blackman digs the 'TAKE THAT WIT CHEW!' shirt!
DONUT 11: "Soft.''
That's the one-word description of his team Rick left us with last night. It's a dirty word around here since Nick Van Exel revealed it as the league-wide view of the early-90's (Dirk/Nash/Shawn Bradley) Mavs.
"Soft White Boyz.'' Remember?
Here's hoping Rick used the word not like he was a basketball scout looking to summarize a team, but rather like he was a crafty leader looking to inspire one.
DONUT 12: "Soft.''
"I wouldn't go that far," said TY.
"Who said that?'' responded Jason Terry. "I'm not soft, not me. I don't know where that comes from, but we ain't soft. We have to see how he meant soft in that aspect, but I know he wasn't talking to me personally or any of my teammates because I don't think none of these guys are soft."
There. It worked. Maybe.