DONUT 1: So after the Dallas Mavericks used a 38-year-old to out-athletic 'em and after the Mavs used BBIQ to out-execute 'em and after they used Dirk to out-UberMan them, Portland coach Nate McMillan decided it was all about the foul-call discrepancy, eh?
Good. Superstar calls for Dirk. So he gets to shoot 13 FTs. (And of course, makes them all.)
Listen, Dallas has been victimized by the superstar call for so long and in such grotesque ways that in the 2006 NBA Finals, the league decided to superstar-call Dwyane Wade into Michael Jordan Jr.
We understand that Nate is bitching with a purpose. (I was at the Blazers hotel this morning, and when the waitress asked Nate what he wanted for breakfast, he said, "Coffee, bagel with a schmear ... oh, and let's get some calls on behalf of the greatness of Nicolas Batum, please.
DONUT 2: Life ain't fair. We've got MavVirus. We live this. Hey, not even the world of jurisprudence always gets it right. I mean, look at two recent sports cases. ...
The Barry Bonds trial is over. Guilty! But what did the prosecution proven beyond a shadow of a doubt besides the fact that Bonds has raisin testicles?
Or how about Lawrence Taylor? He was assigned the lowest possible sex-offender status. So … congrats, L.T.?!
It doesn't always work out the way you want it, Nate. Though I fear your campaigning will earn the NBA's attention and on Tuesday morning I will report the referee assignments for the game and we'll see that Stern is rolling three Donaghys in here.
DONUT 3: Love the Spurs excuses expressed throughout their Game 1 loss to Memphis (literally "Game 1'' for the Grizzlies in the sense that it's the franchise's first-ever postseason victory.) How do the Spurs express displeasure?
Remember back in the olden days when players couldn't over-protest calls? That law's obviously been changed, so "The Timmy Duncan Cookie-Jar Hands'' is back in play.
DONUT 4: Even more fun: The Lakers' excuses for losing their Game 1 to Chris Paul and the Hornets.
Phil said it was because LA never wins "morning'' games. Why not? Pau Gasol still not made the time-zone adjustment from Spain? Kobe still having problems fixing his hotel-room TV?
I really enjoyed the way Gasol asserted himself in the loss. ... Y'all who claimed he's The Best Foreign-Born Player Ever, turn in your press passes.
At this moment, Gasol isn't close to Dirk. He's not Nash or Olajuwon, either. Hell, forget arguing that Pau Gasol is ‘The NBA's Best-Ever Euro' because right now Pau Gasol's not even ‘The NBA's Best Gasol.' DONUT 5: Heads-ups: We'll cover today's midday practice, featuring Exclusive DB.com Video Visits ... Plus takes from Mark Followill, Michael Dugat, David Lord, Ro Blackman, the whole gang ... All the links, notes, quotes, stats, analysis ... one-stop Mavs shopping, as has been the case for 11 years, at DB.com!
How does Mavs Premium work for just about a dime-a-day? Here, take a free sneak peek:
Take my 7-day free trial ... Go Mavs and Go Premium!
Speaking of shopping: It's in the Mavs Official Pro Shops, and it's available to you! Go get yourself a Mavs DB.com t-shirt in the DB.com Store!
DONUT 6: Rick's got his policy on announcing lineup and rotation moves. And I've got mine.
So if you want real updates on the injury-related progress of Roddy B and Caron, you've come to the right place.
Roddy B wants to be back on the practice floor today. If he is, not only will I report it, but DB.com will work to have video of it.
Caron is NOT practicing. He's rehabbing, putting big time in the weight room, and still launching mostly set-shots in a non-competitive format.
I'm as much a Pollyanna as the next clown, OK? But this isn't "Rudy.'' "Rudy'' wasn't real; I do not believe that Rudy was a midget who lifted enough weights in the shire so for one shining moment he could morph into Deacon Jones.
So hang tight. When there is something substantial, I'm on it. You want a fantasy flick? Call your cable provider.
DONUT 7: Who is on top of your Blazers Sport-Hate list? Not LaMarcus, right? Dallas-area kid, mom's fighting breast cancer, would someday look good as one of our Boys in Blue ...
So who does that leave? Check out The Official Mavs Fan's Guide To Playoff Sports-Hate.
DONUT 8: We all blather on about "adjustments'' as a series goes on, but after one game, for Dallas, a specific re-jiggering need is clear: The Mavs need to take away LaMarcus lobs to the rim.
It's a staple of what Portland does, in a variety of ways. Simplest one: Screen Aldridge's man, causing him to be a step slow or even to be unaware of what's about to happen.
And it's up and down. Easiest score in sports.
It's not just that L.A. scored 10 of his 27 points at the rim. It's that three of them were oops -- and that defender Tyson Chandler, himself a receiver on such plays on the other end, should know better (or be part of better communication) and sense when they are coming.
"We've got to do some things better defensively, for sure," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said Sunday. "The lob passes for 10 points is too many, and they're great at it. But we've got to concentrate on trying to take away those. And they hurt us in transition and they hurt us in some other situations as well."
I would ask to just repair the one situation. Eliminate the three oops and Aldridge's numbers look a little more mortal. How do you do that? Contrary to what some think, it's not about some spectacular challenge above the rim, an aerial fight. It's grittier than that. Calling out screens. Bulling through them. And most of all, drape an extra 250 pounds or so of human all over L.A. so he never gets off the floor to receive the ball.
DONUT 9: So is the Mavs personnel dept. officially correct in its evaluation of Gerald Wallace yet?
As DB.com reported in the weeks leading up to the recent February trade deadline: Mavs scouts have a great appreciation for Wallace's work ethic, athleticism, toughness, character, the works. And the idea of trading for the then-Bobcat wasn't crushed by salary issues or anything else. The reason talks never went anywhere: Dallas believed Wallace's limitations as a halfcourt X-factor would be exposed in the grind-it-out postseason.
So far, so right.
Wallace can change this. He seemed jittery in Game 1, shooting 4-of-13 from the field, committing three turnovers and seeming to not understand spacing. He tried to post-up, but his inside work yielded just eight points and five rebounds in 38 minutes, largely because teammates wouldn't feed him the ball when he thought he was open ... but he wasn't.
Here's hoping the Mavs -- respectful as they are of Wallace's gifts -- can be right about his limitations ... just three more times.
DONUT 10: Hey, if you want to stay in touch with the Mavs at every moment ...
Follow me on Twitter at FishSports! Oh, and get hooked up with other DB.com staffers like Michael Dugat and Kevin Brolan, too! !
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DONUT 11: Sorry, March Madness, but you're not better than the NBA Playoffs. Here in the pros, we get the same intensity level, the same drama, the higher stakes ... oh, and all the players are actually really good.
DONUT 12: DB.com's Professor Carter says he predicts Mavs in 5. "If I am wrong,'' he says, "David Stern is a weenie. And if I'm right.''