Guest Donuts: Coop Says No. 1 Mavs Key Is ...

Chuck Cooperstein enjoyed his Friday's Mavs Donuts so much that he's offered to help serve up Saturday's boxful. BUT ... as we analyze the Mavs' flaws and foibles, the Mavs radio play-by-play voice say there is one thing and one thing only that is preventing this team from maxing out. And that one thing is …

DONUT 1: Coop is checking in from Utah, where the Mavs take on the Jazz tonight; he's got the ESPN Radio call of the tipoff at 8; We've got FS Southwest TV with Ro Blackman, pre- and postgame, starting at 7:30.

"Fish,'' Coop says, "Friday's Donuts on the Mavs being 'bruised' by the Spurs, as usual, made for wonderful reading -- and eating! But there is one stat that renders all the rest of the numbers and all the rest of the analysis virtually meaningless.

‘Turnovers/points off turnovers.'

Coop goes on … (And when he goes on like this, I tend to get out of his way. … but we'll go a little back-and-forth here …)

DONUT 2: Turnovers/points off turnovers renders almost everything else almost meaningless.

Guys, that is not to say that Fish and MDug didn't make valid points about guard play, toughness, late-game execution and the rest. The Friday Morning Mavs Donuts regarding the "bruise'' that San Antonio may have left on the Mavs was good stuff.

And maybe I should leave room for the possible exception and importance of "opponents offensive rebounding'' and "second-chance points.

Oh, and beyond stats, there are issues regarding the lineup and rotation. (See Shawn Marion's comments asking that Rick Carlisle "decide on which way we're going to go and that's how it's going to be ... I'm comfortable anywhere. Just give me consistent outlooks. Wherever you put me, I'll be good if I'm there consistently.")

But compared to "turnovers/points off turnovers,'' I mean it: the rest of it is rendered pretty meaningless.

DONUT 3: When you are turning it over 14.7 times and it's producing 19.1 off the mistakes, you're in trouble. That's what the Mavericks have done since the Memphis game -- a 104-103 home loss on March 6 that featured 15 Dallas turnovers and 23 Grizzlies points off turnovers.

DONUT 4: Coop brings up a point that certainly can be applied to that particular game – a game that is central to Dallas' 0-6 "slump'' against Western Conference-playoff-seed teams: Obviously, in that particular game, a one-point decision finalized on Zach Randolph's last-tick toss-up jumper, one turnover fewer … one bucket off a turnover … might've made all the difference.

DONUT 5: From the most casual fans to the most passionate – like the type that are Premium Mavs Fans at about a dime-a-day and those who are friendly to me on the Dallas Mavericks FISH Facebook Page (come like me!) – Coop's point makes some rational mathematical sense.

Back to you, Coop:

DONUT 6: Going forward, starting tonight here in Utah, just assume that the Mavericks could reduce those mistakes … a turnover that leads to a layup -- by two or three to get closer to their usual average. Given how they shoot the ball, that's a couple of more baskets (Or free throws) that becomes the difference between winning and losing, and since these handful of losses to the playoff-level West teams have come by a total of 16 points, I think it brings home the point even more.

DONUT 7: I say to Coop that we've got Rick Carlisle using words like "soft'' last week and this week conceding that "we aren't going to be a big, bruising team. …''

But Coop shuts me down.

DONUT 8: "Fish,'' he says, "if this is a conversation about Mavs-vs.-Spurs, as your Friday Donuts was, then I have to say: The problem, to me, has nothing to do with the Spurs being tougher.

Heck, in that recent game against San Antonio, the Mavericks shot 49 percent against them and out-rebounded them, too.

Isn't that tough enough?

DONUT 9: It occurs to me as we're talking (or rather, as I'm listening to Coop) that one of these days, we ought to put on a Get-Together at ThreeSheets and ask guys like Chuck Cooperstein and Mark Followill to be our guests … and to do it without having a game to watch. (Which is the way it would work, anyway, since they are sort of busy during games.)

Good idea? Have a Get-Together with Coop and Followill not centered around a game, but rather just centered around them, and your chance to visit with them?

Which reminds me: We are working on a blockbuster Playoff Edition Get-Together at at ThreeSheets. It would happen in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs, Mavs at whomever … and the blockbuster part includes the prizes I'm planning to give away.

Big time.

Stay tuned.

DONUT 10: Anyway, back to Coop's analysis:

The Mavs have shot under 45 percent only four times in the last 28 games, and two of the teams that did it to them were Cleveland and Golden State. So even the concern about Dallas being a "jump-shooting team'' isn't the killer.

The killer is …

DONUT 11: When teams are getting more shot attempts than you, because you keep turning it over. That's when you get beat. That's what's gotten the Mavs in trouble.

‘Turnovers/points off turnovers.'


DONUT 12: Let's watch for that as a key tonight … and listen for it, too with Chuck Cooperstein on 103.3 ESPN. is right back at it, all night and day, as the Dallas Mavericks go roadie B2B this weekend, at Utah tonight and at Phoenix on Sunday night.

Keep it here on for more!

Dallas Basketball Top Stories