Monday Mavs Donuts: 'Eyes On The Prize'
DONUT 1: Kendrick Perkins hasn't been worth much in this series. But the OKC center can talk.
"I know one thing," Perk said in the OKC paper about the Mavs, now up 2-1 going into tonight's Game 4. "They're a veteran team. Their window is short. I knew what kind of team we were facing ... "We were going to get a veteran team with their eye on the prize.''
DONUT 2: They are two of the hottest-selling t-shirts at the Mavs Fan Shop at the AAC, but you don't have to go to the game to get your "TAKE THAT WIT CHEW!'' and your "REUNION ROWDIES!'' ... The DB.com originals, produced in conjuction with the Mavs themselves (and the TAKE THAT WIT CHEW thumbs-upped by Dirk himself) are available right here right now!
DONUT 3: Yes, Rick encourages his players -- all his non-centers, really -- to "step into 3's. So when DeShawn gets a wide-open look to begin Game 3?
He's gotta launch it. It's Carlisle Law.
But as we review the stellar start to Saturday night's 93-87 win, and try to apply it to tonight's proceedings, we see this:
After D-Steve's launch for a 3-0 advantage, the next six Dallas shots were from close range. Dunks. Layups. Puppies.
How about if tonight, trying to attack the heart of the OKC defense is also a "Carlisle Law''?
DONUT 4: I pointed this out in All-Access but it merits a re-mention:
ESPN's telecast included a feature called "Notable Playoff Beards'' (or something). The honorees included Bill Walton, Clyde Frazier, Kareem and ... James Harden?
First they won't give Kareem a statue to prove that he's on Jerry West's level. Now they shove him and his facial hair down to James Harden level?
James Harden has scored 23 points in a playoff game. On Saturday, he had just seven points and was 2-of-9 from the floor.
You know who else in this series in sporting a beard? Letsee ... JJB. He has a beard. Oh, and Tyson Chandler. Bearded. Um, Peja's had that distinctive black beard for about a decade now. DeShawn Stevenson has a TATTOO OF A BEARD where he sometimes wears a beard! Is that not notable?
Anybody else in this series gotta beard?
Oh, yeah. Dirk has suddenly grown a beard. I hope someday the world views him as being as "notable'' as James Harden.
DONUT 5: In G3, Dallas shot eight more FG's, made nine more FGs, made six more treys and shot over 43 percent from the field while holding to OKC to 36.5 percent. ... And yet won by just six.
I'm not complaining. And I don't need certain personnel from the Dallas Mavericks to complain, either. Just pointing it out, politely, is all.
Remember, Mark: "Silence is golden, baby.''
DONUT 6: Meanwhile, as I'm NOT griping ...
Here's a pair of potentially game-changing, technical-foul-drawing flops from James Harden ... if the league isn't infuriated (the NBA has rescinded the TY tech), you certainly will be ...
We suppose that it's nice that Harden has contributed something besides scoring in one game ... with flops in the other two ...
But let's Stop the Flop.
Unless JJB is the perpetrator. Then it's acceptable.
Really, though, you look at this highlights and see no reason to Fear the Beard, inasmuch as it obviously is covering up a glass jaw.
The good, good zebras in charge tonight: Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers and ...Dan (Damn!) Crawford. (What's that mean? A Brief History of the World of Danny Crawford.)
Don't let me see you fellas at Winstar this afternoon, OK?
DONUT 7: As I said on TV on Saturday night, every time ESPN's Mark Jackson says, "Mama, there goes that man!'' I'm hoping he means "that man'' is Mark Followill and that Followill is coming over to grab a microphone from Jackson and company.
But, we'll make due ... as soon as the game is over tonight, flip over to FS Southwest ... Ric Renner, Mark Followill, Earl K. Sneed and myself will get it done with a local flava ... covering the Mavs as we have for 100-plus games this year and 11-plus seasons overall ...
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Oh, one more thing: We're working with Shawn Marion for another edition of "Matrix at the Movies'' ... hopefully coming up in the noon hour today is 'Trix' DB.com exclusive, his video review of "Thor.''
DONUT 9: Does anybody think that because The UberMan committed seven turnovers in G3 that he's suddenly "solved''?
I've got a veteran coach who is whispering in my ear about some adjustments Dirk could immediately make to his game that would give OKC fits. (I'm working to put those whispers into story form.)
But in the meantime, know this: The seven turnovers by Nowitzki (three in the fourth quarter) is an all-time playoff high for him. He had never before done this in 115 playoff games, and he's now done it only five times total over 1,109 games (playoffs and regular season combined).
The ball goes through Dirk. He rarely coughs it up. If OKC is counting on seven turnovers again, OKC's probably misinformed.
DONUT 10: Worth considering (thanks, Jay), as we watch (hope) OKC experience mental breakdowns, lose at home, flop foolishly, position a tall superstar on the perimeter, act nice to the media, let the Mavs trot to the basket and allow emotion to drag them in the wrong path. ...
Is OKC "soft''?
DONUT 11: Some fun-and-frolic stuff on the DB.com Mavs Podcast, performed on stage before G3 but nevertheless worth your valuable NSFW time, I think ...
DB.com Podcast May 20th by dbmavs
DONUT 12: I hesitate to put too much stock in a throwaway line in a NY tabloid regarding a team stationed half a continent away from NY, but here goes:
"What undoubtedly fueled Westbrook's fiery response is a sense of entitlement,'' writes the New York Daily News. "As one Thunder veteran said, privately, "He thinks he's better than Kevin Durant."
It'd be an absurd allegation. ... one that you might accuse the paper of manufacturing ...except that when you watch Westbrook play, don't you get the sense that such thoughts really might be pinballing through his head?
Tonight, we find out how much value there is in the belief that the Mavs have their "eyes on the prize'' and their heads screwed on tight.
DONUT 13: By special Sturminator request: The Peja Perfect video, a DB.com exclusive: