Psychology of the Placebo In Saturday Donuts

Saturday Morning Mavs Donuts: Some gorgeous comeback video, a moment for Shaq, the To-Big-D Business of The Finals and The Psychology of the Placebo as we get ready to sneak you into Mavs NBA Finals practice this afternoon ...

Dirk Nowitzki

DONUT 1: Boy, this is just gorgeous. Not just the editing, but also, of course, the content. How Game 2 went down for your Dallas Mavericks ...

DONUT 2: "Look," Rick Carlisle says, maybe meaning to look one more time at that video. "This was not a conventional game. We all know that. (But) if you're going to win a championship, you've got to have the wherewithal to hang in there when things are tough. You have to keep believing."

One issue: How "unconventional'' is this series going to have to be for Dallas to win a few more games?

DONUT 3: The good citizens of Miami, the famous Mercenaries on their basketball team and my wise brothers and sisters in the media don't seem to understand the Psychology of the Placebo.

So, using my Advanced Degree in Jibber-Jabber, allow me to explain:

Wade's contention that his 15-point-lead Statue Dance WASN'T a premature celebration -- "A celebration is champagne and confetti,'' he essentially said, pretending to be puzzled -- is correct.

In his mind.

And maybe in the minds of non-Mavvy people wondering, "THAT'S the offense? THAT'S what got Dallas all pissed and itchy?''

The minds of Chandler, Kidd and Terry are not melded with the mind of Wade. His dancing reality is his own and it is real; the Mavs' observation of it, evaluation of it and reaction to it is their reality.

It is really "offensive showboating'' and "premature celebration'' to do what the Heat did in such close proximity to the Dallas bench, with that much time remaining in a championship game?

That's up you to. That's in your head.

Was it really behavior that fueled the Mavs to want to retaliate with winning basketball? That's up to them. That's in the Mavs' heads.

It's the Psychology of the Placebo. The psychology is so powerful here that I'm willing to bet that The King of BBIQ is faking being pissed off to help fortify his teammates' outrage.

But is it real? YOU try to tell the pill-popper that it's not real.

DONUT 4: After G2's postgame media session, Dirk apparently walked through a curtain and headfirst into a steel pole.

Casey Smith, can you tape something to that, too?

How to honor Dirk on Sunday night for Game 3? Should we all run into steel poles? Cuss at Jason Terry in Germanglish? Maybe 21,000 people with tape on their left middle finger?


I know! Rock Dirk's ‘Take That Wit Chew!' available NOW in the Store!

DONUT 5: I dared mention it above -- Dallas needs to win three more, you know -- and trust me. Nobody is getting ahead of themselves here.

How do you fathom the idea of beating The Heatles in back-to-back-to-back ... or whatever-it-takes ... games?

You don't.

So, taking The UberMan's lead, we should all just discuss Game 3. Dirk was asked something about how the Mavs will approach the next three games and ...

We're not going to approach the next three," he responded firmly.

"You can't get a split and get a huge emotional win in Game 2 and then go home and lose Game 3," Nowitzki said. "As far as I'm concerned, this next one is the biggest game of them all."

The number we've all seen floating about: In the 11 times that the Finals have been tied 1-1 since the NBA instituted the 2-3-2 format in 1985, the Game 3 winner wins the series -- all 11 times.

So Game 3 is "the biggest game of them all''? Not really. Because after that comes Game 4, and the same sort of numbers will float, and Dirk will say the same thing about it, and we'll worry and sweat all over again.


DONUT 6: I know it's not right, but every time I see Mike Miller, even now that he's trimmed the ponytail, I want to borrow from "The Office'' and Michael Scott and say, "Some advice: Put some cover-up makeup on your Adam's apple. That way you won't look so much like a transvestite.''

I know, I know. I'm sure he's a good guy and his family is enduring some difficult times and I'm glad everything is working out. But ... aw, OK. I take it back.

DONUT 7: Shaq's finally hanging it up. And some of the Mavs are paying tribute to his incredible 19-year career.

"Knowing him personally, he took me under his wing as a youngster Not only was he huge for the game on the court, but off the court as well. He meant so much to youngsters like myself, mentoring us. His personality was contagious. He was always there, whether it was somebody in the league or somebody like me in high school trying to make the league." -Tyson Chandler

"My best memory is the McDonald's All-America Game, when he went coast-to-coast. He let us know right then that he was going to change the game. And he did." -Jason Kidd


"I remember he fouled me pretty hard when I was playing with Washington and then he kissed me on the head. That's one of my YouTube moments with Shaq." -Caron Butler

"He's one of the all-time greats, not only on the court but off the court. We're going to miss him." -Dirk Nowitzki

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DONUT 9: Welcome to a sporting epicenter.

The 2010 NBA All-Star Game. The World Series involving the Texas Rangers last fall. The NFL's Super Bowl XLV, at Cowboys Stadium, a few months ago.

And now? Welcome to Dallas, LeBron.

The NBA Finals have moved to Big D, the Mavericks having earned a split in Miami against James' star-heavy Heat team. Over the course of the next five days, Games 3, 4 and 5 of basketball's crowning event will be staged at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas. And of course,'s 75-Member Staff has been issued 75 press passes to cover it all! (Stay tuned for this afternoon's All-Access Practice report live from the AAC!)

DONUT 10: More than two years ago, Mavs owner Mark Cuban joined with Jerry Jones on the plans for that All-Star Game as both hyperbolically promised things like, "the biggest sports party America has ever seen.''

If you take each of these major events individually? Maybe. String together over the course of a year-and-a-half an NBA All-Star Game, a World Series, a Super Bowl and an NBA Finals? It's certainly the longest ongoing single-city/area sports party America has witnessed.

DONUT 11: I recently visited with Roger Staubach on the subject of the financial impact of events like this. Staubach is a uniquely qualified interview subject here; he remains a face of the Cowboys from his days as a legendary quarterback, he's a business giant and a civic leader and served as the chairman of the North Texas Super Bowl Committee and …oh, yeah. He's a Mavs fan.

Staubach told me the estimated financial impact of the Super Bowl in North Texas rings up as $612 million. Now consider the impact of a quartet of such events ...


"Even something like a convention being held in Dallas is going to cost the city $1 million,'' Staubach said. "But the Super Bowl? Consider the future people who will come here because of it, consider the future businesses that will come here as a result of it … The tangible part is that $612 million. The intangible part goes beyond the value of the game. It's about the economy and about the pride, and the bonding of so many people. And the fun!''

DONUT 12: The Mavericks are now charged with the responsibility of making LeBron's latest visit to DFW less fun than when he was here in February 2010. All that "a-geein'-and-a-hawin'' was over what was essentially an exhibition game, the Jerry Jones-supervised NBA All-Star Game.

But the NBA Finals? This is serious basketball. And serious business.

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