Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: Look for a more crisp effort, on both ends, from Shawn Marion tonight. I think the defensive assignment of KD, and the relative failure there, combined with the almost-broken nose, contributed to 'Trix having a case of the offensive fumbles. I know he's gone to the film room for defensive thoughts ... and I think his handles (and his teammates' feeds to him) are due for an upgrade tonight.
DONUT 2: DB.com contributor Imran offers up a rather stirring tribute to what these Mavs have done so far ... Jet with the "unique stories'' ... and Dirk with the pain that will not go away unless ...
"It'll stick with us the rest of our lives,'' says Dirk Nowitzki, "if we don't make the moment go away.''
DONUT 3: We love JJB enough to have DB.com staff artist Beau Shoulders create our "Second Gunman'' piece.
And Dirk loves him enough to be even more brutal.
Dirk says Barea, the 5-10 guard who exploded for 21 points in the opener, "is fearless and he's got a big heart.'' But then he takes a shot at JJB's cabeza.
"I think if his head was normal size,'' The UberMan says, "he would be 5-4.''
DONUT 4: Top storyline for tonight (8 p.m. tip on ESPN): How OKC attempts to deal with Dirk.
Scott Brooks is even joking that they might let Dirk "go free'' ... thinking that he can't do better than 48 against NO coverage.
Trickle-down storyline from how OKC attempts to deal with Dirk? If it's with double-teams ...
"I'm licking my chops,'' says Jet, who already went for 25 without those sort of likely open looks.
DONUT 5: And tonight's Zebra Trio is ...
Greg Willard, Bill Spooner and Tom Washington.
DONUT 6: A reason for OKC confidence: They are 4-0 in these playoffs following a loss.
''That's one thing about this team, we're resilient, we bounce back,'' Thunder star Kevin Durant said. ''Hopefully it's another case of that in Game 2.''
DONUT 7: It's a busy weekend for the Mavs, their fans, and our sponsors!
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DONUT 9: WCF games at the AAC seem to agree with The UberMan. In his last two appearances (Tuesday, and then in the Western Conference Finals in 2006 and Game 5 against the Suns) Dirk's got 98 total points. Including 51-of-52 on free throws.
DONUT 10: I can see how the critics see Dallas' 121 points in Game 1 as an outlier ... but then isn't OKC's 112 an outlier, too?
The TNT guys last night argued against Dirk once again going to the FT line 24 times. I might counter by suggesting that if overmatched defenders like Perkins (put in the popcorn machine) and KD (who desperately put his hands all over Dirk as soon as The UberMan touched the ball) are on him again ... yeah, he might put three different Thunder guys in foul trouble again.
But let's stick with The Double-Outlier format: As our man Mike Bacsik points out, maybe Dirk isn't getting 24 FTs again. But that game was a whistlefest both ways, so many Durant isn't getting 19 FT tries again and maybe Westbrook isn't getting 18 FT tries again, right?
DONUT 11: Here's hoping TY doesn't fall into the trap of thinking this series has anything to do with Kendrick Perkins' "He don't like me and I don't like him'' remark.
What I don't like is the inability to conjugate verbs ... and attempts to reduce this thing to WWF level.
DONUT 12: Richie Whitt helps us out with the Top Five UberManly Games in History:
* May 12, 2001 -- Despite needing an IV to combat the flu and having a tooth knocked to the Reunion Arena floor by an errant Terry Porter elbow, scores 30 points and grabs 15 rebounds to help Dallas avoid a Spurs' playoff sweep.
* Nov. 3, 2009 -- Sets a franchise record with 29 of his total 40 points in the fourth quarter in crazy comeback win over the Jazz at AAC.
*May 22, 2006 -- Caps 37-point, 15-rebound performance with crucial three-point play to force overtime in Game 7 of West Semis in San Antonio.
*June 1, 2006 -- 50 points, 12 rebounds in pivotal Game 5 of West Finals against Suns at AAC.
*May 17, 2011 -- 48 points on 24 of 24 free throws and only 15 shots in Game 1 win over the Thunder. One of the most efficient performances in NBA history.
Wonder if tonight will make the pantheon?