DONUT 1: First off, your Emmy-nominated Dallas Mavericks DB.com Podcast, fresh out of the oven, baked by The Fish, Mike Fisher; The Machine, Mike Marshall' and Kevin Brolan. ... oh, and overseen by the grandmaster of DFW radio production, Ron Pell ...
(btw, it might be a tad NSFW ... especially if you are a Lakers fan.)
dallasbasketball.com podcast May 5th by dbmavs
Old pal Skip Bayless, what's your (pencil-)neck size?
It is Skip's assertion that the contact was "inadvertent'' ... that it occured because Barea is "5-5'' ... and because the Lakers "needed to foul'' ...
"I'm sure a lot of people are going to really, really disagree with this,'' begins Skip, and that's really all you need to know about his motivation.
Saying things that rational folks are guaranteed to disagree with him about is, and always has been, how Skip Bayless gets paid.
DONUT 3: So what's John Trollinger's excuse?
Skip is a charlatan. I believe ESPN is comfortable with this, so much so that Bayless hands out business cards with the word "CHARLATAN'' printed on them.
But ESPN's John Trollinger is billed as an expert analysis with thoughts rooted in basketball science.
John, do you think the Lakers will still win this series?
John Hollinger's Wednesday chatroom answer: "I suspect they still will, but the odds are dramatically greater that it will take them the full seven.''
And why, Trollinger, have the Mavs been able to jump up 2-0?
John's Insider answer Thursday: "L.A. has had untimely misfortune strike.''
Bayless is a circus freak. ESPN knows it. They pay him to jump around in a cage and let the audience throw empty beer cups and peanut shells at him. It's a good if less-than-honest living.
But John Trollinger's official role isn't supposed to be "dolt,'' is it?
DONUT 4: Know this: I concede in our Podcast that the Lakers could surely win tonight (8:30 tip at the AAC, and DallasBasketball.com will go wall-to-wall, as always ... including a Shootaround report coming up in the noon hour, complete with exclusive video!). And should they do so -- the Mavs are favored by just two, so Las Vegas is saying its a bounce of a ball one way or the other -- the complexion of the series suddenly changes.
So I'm not being a fan boy in disagreeing with Hollinger when he predicts LA will go onto win the series (but it might take seven games!). In fact, for the moment I'm less fascinated by the possibility that the outrageous prediction might turn out to be correct than I am about the motivation of a smart basketball man to concede that it's a "1-in-6 chance'' that LA goes on to win this series ... and that a smart basketball man is putting his money on the "1.''
ESPN's Chris Broussard was on "Mike & Mike'' this morning and said, "If the Lakers can win Game 3 and 4 then the doubt can go away."
Well ... yes. And if they then go on to win Games 5 and 6 then the series is over.
DONUT 5: Go Mavs ... and Go Premium!
What do you get for about a dime-a-day? Here, take a sneak peek or three:
And of course, you get your Mavs Morning Donuts every day ... plus inside analysis from guys like Mark Followill ... fun stuff with the players like "Matrix at the Movies'' ... our DB com Mavs Podcast ... The Quoteboard ... our "Coach 'Em Up'' video series ... access to almost 200 other FOX team sites ... and Premium Mavs!
Take my 7-day free trial Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 6: Your referees for tonight's tilt: Derrick Stafford, Ed Malloy and Tom Washington.
And fellas, we're not asking you to wear royal blue like everyone else in the gym tonight. Just wear your grays with honor.
DONUT 7: Charles Barkley and anyone else who thinks LA is "better off'' without Artest must be speaking hyperbolically.
He's a starter. A guy who was assigned by one of the greatest coaches of all time, Phil JackZen, to help control Dirk. He's a weapon.
The Lakers are NOT better without all the bullets in their chamber. And if you don't believe that, let's reconvene after we see Luke Walton get some of Ron-Ron's minutes tonight. ... or, if as is being reported by the Orange County paper, that Shannon Brown might jump into the starting lineup.
DONUT 8: There is a whole 'nother world, a whole 'nother level, of Mavs fandom on DB.com.Boards If you haven't been you owe yourself a visit and a membership there!
Get on the DB com Boards! Get a DB com Mavs t-shirt like "THE UBERMAN!'' (Often imitated, never duplicated!) Get the whole Mavs DB.com experience!
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 9: Tn case you missed this ...
DB.com's Nick Reed digs into NBA Stats Cube has some stats for Kobe versus the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs, as compared to his regular-season shooting:
Against the Mavs in the first two games, he's taken only 6.1 percent of his shots in the restricted area, and shot only 33 percent. He's shot mid-range jumpers on 49 percent of his shots and made 54 percent of them. His 3-pointers from the wing (as opposed to in the corner) are coming on 26.5 percent of his shots and he's making 39 percent of them.
For the regular season, The Drama Queen took 19.7 percent of his shots in the restricted area and made 60 percent of them. He took mid range jumpers 39.1 percent of the time and made 42 percent of them. He took wing 3-pointers 18.9 percent of the time and made only 32 percent of them.
So the Mavs (or Kobe's ankle or whatever excuse Team Mama eventually conjures up) have taken away the majority of Kobe's looks in the restricted area, and challenged the ones he is taking. Kobe is responding by shooting more wing 3's and long two-pointers. He's shooting 12 percent better on 2's and 7 percent better on those 3s, which you can chalk up to bad Mavs luck or bad Mavs defense.
Obviously, part of the Dallas gameplan is to "force'' (as opposed to "allow'') Kobe to shoot over a defender – and in a sense, doing so over the shorter Jason Kidd seems sort of inviting. Bryant also knows that Tyson Chandler is waiting in the lane to offer help defense, and is therefore more likely to end up out of rhythm and "settling'' for what appears to be a "good look'' … that is in fact about two-thirds less of a "good look'' (shots in the paint) than he was given by NBA foes over the course of the season.
One more observation, calculated up by DB.com's Mike Marshall:
In Game 1, Kobe's average distance of shot was 18.2 feet. The only "close-in'' attempts came from 4 and 7 feet.
In Game 2, Kobe's average distance of shot was 18.9 feet. The "close-in'' attempts? Just two more, from 9 feet and on a breakaway layup.
Kobe and the Lakers likely believe this is something they can correct themselves. The Mavs might choose to think they are having some impact here, even as Bryant as scored 36 and 23 in the two losses.
But credit and blame don't matter near as much as 18.2 and 18.9 feet do. DONUT 10: Let's go to the video of Dirk's One-Legged Euro Lean-Back:
So much to see there. So much to learn. Note Dallas' offensive recognition of the fact that it is Gasol on Dirk, and that therefore the Mavs want to set up Nowitzki in a one-on-one situation, even if it's on the perimeter. Secondly, note how The UberMan, once he gets the ball, takes the Dallas offense from one that finds itself setting up from 24 feet out to one that sets up from 14 feet ... resulting in what is officially an in-the-paint shot. And finally, catch the reaction from Corey Brewer as he comes off the bench. Brewer isn't celebrating ... he's too busy trying to compute and comprehend just what the heck was it he just witnessed.
DONUT 11: "Must-win'' isn't the right word, really, until it's an elimination game. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a statistical importance tied to the outcome of a Game 3, even when you're up 2-0.
You already know that only three of the 18 teams that have held home-court advantage and lost the first two games have come back to win the series.
Now there is this:
No team has rallied from a 3-0 deficit.
So tonight is -- or rather, can be -- Coffin Nail Night.
DONUT 12: Here's the way premature photoshop work of JeffAtDeepEllum on DB.com Boards) ... because we know nobody's Gone Fishin' just yet but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the possibilities ...