DONUT 1: The freshly-minted Dallas Mavericks DB.com Podcast. Keep the sound down low so the wife/boss/Blazers fans can't quite hear it ... (In other words, it might be a bit NSFW)
Dallasbasketball.com podcast 4-26 by dbmavs
DONUT 2: Can we stop now? Can we stop trying to conduct a contest that judges the volume and passion at a Portland game compared to the same at the American Airlines Center?
Shawn Marion complimented the crowd after Game 5. So did Tyson Chandler. I think they are largely unaware that there is a "problem'' with the season-ticket holders who sit on the floor and are "too corporate'' or "too dressed-up'' or "too placid.''
Maybe Portland is louder because the building is older or because their fans aren't burdened by the same psychologically woes that Dallas' are.
I don't know. And if guys like Marion and Chandler don't care, I don't know why I should care, either.
I'm at 50 games a year at the AAC. Sometimes people get to their seats late (maybe because they are socializing outside on the Ol' No. 7 patio ... "hanging out outside'' is an option not all NBA cities offer.) Sometimes the gym is louder than other times. Some people paint their faces to show loyalty. Some pay for wildly expensive seats and wear Polo shirts. ... and dollars and cents is how they show their loyalty.
Is one fan better than another?
Some fans are blind (in a perfectly good way) and trusting. Some "die'' when the team loses. Some temporarily write off the team when it loses. Some have a "Mavs Room'' in their house. Some are cynical, either because of playoff failures or because they have such a personality trait that comes more naturally.
One is LOUDER than another, but one isn't BETTER than another.
You think you're better than me, a better fan than me, because you paint your face?
You think you're better than me, a better fan than me, because you have a $200 ticket to every game and I can only afford to go to a few $5 upper-deck games a year? Or maybe I don't live close enough to Dallas, or am restricted in some other way, so my Mavs enjoyment comes from TV and DB.com?
This isn't a competition between the decibels produced in the Northwest vs. the decibels produced in North Texas. Yeah, fans want to feel they are involved and impactful ... but I don't remember Portland's crowd having any control over its team falling behind by 23. In fact, down 23 it was an outright LOUSY crowd.
So, DFW, you go ahead and be whatever fan you wish to be, OK? Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler think you are doing just fine.
DONUT 3: LaMarcus Aldridge is shrinking.
He's gone from being a 27-point horse in G1 to being a 24-point factor in G2 to being a 20-point sidebar in G3 to being an 18-point non-factor in G4 to being 12 points worth of invisible in G5.
I think it's funny that we want to question Carlisle's strategy in guarding one Blazers player while ignoring completely what's being done (with TY and Big Wood) to corral "Portland's answer to Dirk.''
One more nudge of LaMarcus Aldridge down this slide and this series can be over.
DONUT 4: I finally get it. The reason the Blazers are miffed because The Custodian set a hard screen on Patty Mills is because Patty Mills is the self-described "little bro.'' Like, you know, a team mascot.
So it'd be like if a Blazers set a hard screen on Champ. Or Don Knobler.
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DONUT 6: Dirk committed three turnovers. Suffered, I think, three blocked shots as well.
And all six of those "failures'' from G5 were worth it. I would take them all again in Game 6.
These are "errors of aggression,'' like the error a shortstop is assessed when he dives for a ball and has it tip off his glove.
The UberMan forcing the issue is, eventually, going to be rewarded due to his talent and his superstar status. The One-Legged Euro Lean-Back? That's all talent ... with no help from the refs.
DONUT 7: Can the Spurs win three in a row against the Grizzlies?
The games are being bunched together. Timmy looks worn down. The all-offense approach used by Pop in the regular season isn't working now (shades of Pop's old mentor, Nellie?)
And let's be honest here: The reasons we are rooting against SA are threefold: We don't especially want to see them down the line; they are the Spurs so naturally we root against them; and we want the Mavs to have 8-beats-1 company.
DONUT 8: Kobe Bryant? You mean The Drama Queen? That's the worst fake-injury-related acting performance since Al Czervik in "Caddyshack.''
DONUT 9: Hey, if Brandon Roy and the Portland crowd get credit for his D-Wade imitation, Brandon Roy and the Dallas crowd must deserve credit when he's at the AAC and is about as impactful as Patty Mills.
He's played three games at the AAC in this series, taken 15 shots, missed 12 of them, and scored a total of seven points.
DONUT 10: Which do you like? That the winner of Game 5 wins the series 83 percent of the time?
That in Game 5's in The Dirk Era, Dallas is 1-9?
Yeah, I like the first one better, too.
DONUT 11: Hey, if you want to stay in touch with the Mavs at every moment ...
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DONUT 12: Thursday's game is a 9:30 tip. If Dallas advances to Round 2, the first game will be Monday, either at LA or at home against New Orleans. DallasBasketball.com will take you through every step, the next of which is today's Mavs practice ... we're heading to the ACC right now and a full All-Access Practice Pass is coming your way!