Well, we knew Dallas was going for "No. 2.'' But no, Tony Cubes, that's not quite the "No. 2'' we had in mind.
DONUT 2: So which is it? You want ‘em to "hard-foul'' opponents or not?
Jason Terry is apologizing for his ruffian role in the 110-82 loss that essentially ends Dallas' bid for the second spot in the West (and probably sticks a fork in the Mavs' confidence as it relates to beating LA, too). The Lakers have a game-and-a-half lead and the tiebreaker.
"Emotions got the best of me tonight," Terry said. "I already apologized to the team. You just can't let that happen in big games."
But the Mavs have something. They shoved some people around.
But isn't this what we've been asking some Mavs to do? Isn't this the opposite of "soft''?
It's cheap. But I thought we WANTED "cheap"!?
This is "thug-it-up''! You asked for it. Rick Carlisle himself asked for it!
DONUT 3: It's apparently not enough for Chris Webber, the TNT dolt who believes that unless it's Dirk Nowitzki assaulting somebody, it doesn't count. Here's C-Webb's mindless rant on the network, proof that they really shouldn't let this guy veer off-script:
Webber's got his anti-Dirk shtick so pre-recorded in his head that as the video shows assorted Mavs bouncing into the fray to play peacemaker (while Barnes plays troublemaker), Webber is noting that Mavs AREN'T bouncing into the fray.
But there they are. Terry. Then Barea. Then Haywood and Dirk and Peja. Then Chandler is ready to come off the bench but is smartly held back by Cardinal, who later combined with Mahinmi to deliver a hard foul on Pau Gasol.
We asked for it. C-Webb asked for it. So they did it.
Let's bury them for losing by 28. But let's not bury them for losing their temper … because it's what we've been demanding from the "softies.''
DONUT 4 : One more note on C-Webb: I do not remember his fine NBA career being one highlighted by him starting or, most certainly not, ending fights. I remember him as being smart enough to do it not unlike Nowitzki does it: He's too important to team to take a bunch of fouls or throw a bunch of punches.
So when C-Webb talks like this … he sounds like what, when I was a young black man growing up on the mean streets of Greeley, Colorado, we used to call a "fugazi.''
Now, I have seen Chris Webber push somebody violently. Unfortunately, it wasn't an NBA player. It was a limousine driver about half Chris' size, who seemed displeased that C-Webb wasn't going to pay him for riding around in his car for an hour.
DONUT 6: First Chris Kaman and now Phil Jackson, both saying matter-of-factly that Dirk has a knee-related hitch in his gitalong.
"He can shoot his shot out of a wheelchair,'' Phil said of The UberMan before the game. "That guy is going to play forever. He's such a great shooter, but he definitely runs with a limited gait. He's got to work at that run. You can see that when you watch him run. We like to take advantage of that when we can."
Dirk went for 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 13 rebounds.
I guess I wish 11 other Mavs had his "knee problem.''
DONUT 7: Give up on "FREE RODDY B''? You're kidding, right?
Roddy Beaubois was often overmatched (he opened by guarding Kobe) and even more-often lost. Where JJB often over-dribbles but ends up with a layup attempt, Roddy B over-dribbled then ended up launching his catapult 3.
But – and let me say this gently to fans and colleagues who are letting their frustration show – this is part of the process. Roddy B's BBIQ is not high enough. You know what? Neither was Troy Aikman's FBIQ when he was a rookie.
But Troy Aikman was an obvious difference-maker in the making.
(Don't like the Roddy B-Aikman comparison? Fine. Pick a prospect, any prospect. Elvis Andrus? Dez Bryant. He's got to play sometime. And if his team isn't good enough to win NOW without him, he's got to play NOW.)
Let's keep "making.'' There is pain before payoff. You cannot "give up'' on an experiment with this much promise, with a team that NEEDS this much promise, especially when the experiment is just beginning.
Let's keep FREEING RODDY B.
DONUT 8 : I said it on the Mavs pregame show on 103.3 ESPN Radio: The Mavs have an understanding of what Kobe, Gasol, Artest and Odom do. They have gameplans there.
But there is no answer for Andrew Bynum.
I mean, one answer might be for the refs to notice that he's traveling on about one of every five times he's making a move inside. (Yeah, he's taking steps toward greatness, but he shouldn't be allowed illegal steps.) But he's becoming such a beast that not even TY can truly contest him.
Can somebody guard Kobe, Gasol, Odom? Maybe.
Guarding Bynum? That's the matchup problem Dallas (and everyone else in the West) is about to endure.
DONUT 9: Since the clock turned 2011, the Mavs are 2-10 against West-seeded playoff teams. Portland, Denver and New Orleans remain on the schedule as opportunities to Band-Aid that mental wound.
DONUT 10: If you haven't noticed, I'm partial to my Mavs broadcasters. Mark Followill and Chuck Cooperstein do more prep, have more knowledge and present it in a more efficient and entertaining way that all the TNT and ESPN clowns put together. (With the exception of Barkley, who is a purposeful and intentional "clown.'')
Cheryl Miller? She offered a rosy report on Caron Butler being "a month ahead of schedule'' and gave a national TV audience (not to mention a DFW audience) hope that Tuff Juice is nearing a return …
And Dear Reader, according to what I am told, that is simply not so. The Mavs, as an organization, are in no way counting on Caron Butler in the playoffs.
DONUT 11: It comes down to the simplest task. Like pronouncing people's names.
I have experience here. You know why, when I'm on TV, I always refer to Zydrunas Ilgauskas as "Big Z''? And come to think of it, why I refer to Peja as "Peja''?
So I don't screw up their names.
In fact, I just did it in print, without even thinking about it. (And I'm leaving it as is.) I subconsciously avoided tying Peja's surname, thus avoiding the possibility of misspelling it.
Which takes me to Reggie Miller.
Why is it so difficult for TNT's Reggie Miller to pronounce J.J. Barea's name?
Dude's been in the NBA for FIVE years. Just 24 hours earlier, in the same town, recorded right there in the newspapers, at a Mavs-Clippers game that Miller coulda/shoulda attended, Barea scored 22 points.
Just the day before that, it was revealed that Barea is dating a Miss Universe!
How is J.J. Barea not on the pronunciation radar of the broadcaster who is working his game?
Yet once again (because this does happen with consistency, right?) Miller goes with "JJ Burrora'' ... er, "JJ Brurroro'' ... um, "JJ Barrio'' ... eh, "JJ Burrito.''
Either use my trick ("JJB'' will do) or give the lil' fella his props.
DONUT 12: Late last night/early morning, here comes the Michael Jordan "bacon-collar'' Hanes commercial. And you are thinking the fighting and the controversy and the conflict is all over … and by God, there is Michael Jordan wearing his Hitler moustache.
Coming up for the NBA Playoffs: Hanes debuts new Michael Jordan TV commercials featuring him wearing Idi Amin's hat while smoking Fidel Castro's cigar and uttering Hanes' new slogan about how they "make the trains run on time.''