Donuts: Mavs-N.O. In Quotes (Delonte's, Too)
DONUT 1: There's progress! (Again!) (Maybe!) ...
The Dallas Mavericks had six in double figures. Compared to how the year started, there's progress. Scratch your head over Dirk's shooting, whine that our Mavs got skunked by a guy with dreads named Squeaky a few times, and wonder if Delonte is going to be OK -- with this White House thing and beyond.
New Orleans still gets its butt kicked, 96-81. This Dallas team has things upon which success can be built ... provided we don't run out of season first. And there are so many storylines ... provided the Delonte sidebar doesn't overrun the rest.
DONUT 2: Delonte West goes off ...
Captured on DB.com Boards is all the controversy and craziness of Delonte's Twitter rant, most of it apparently a result of a Star-Telegram postgame interview in which West allegedly said his gun-related record will preclude him from joining the Mavs for the Monday visit to the White House.
In the rant, Delonte talks of sleeping in his car, of not qualifying for an apartment, of being unhappy with his salary and of feeling disrespected because he gets "sideshow'' questions from the media. He compares himself to "Scarface'' before noting that his "Meds finally kickin in.''
West, in his first year with the Mavs, eventually tweeted, "I apologize for bringin any neg light to ur wonderful org. I am humbled at content..wit my opp to play here.''
Delonte suffers from bipolar disorder. This will all be the source of much speculation and many jokes, and lost in all of that is the question of whether West really won't be allowed to join his team at the White House.
We've got some experience with the psychological side of this matter and we know the Mavs have access to the very best in that field. We'll do some digging on this, but for now, we'll assume that the wheels are already in motion to give Delonte the supervision and attention he clearly requires.
DONUT 3: We could become fond of this guy -- on Vince Carter and his 13 points ...
"Just playing within the flow of the offense. Being aggressive and making a couple shots. Trying to get to the basket. Just being aggressive and making plays." -Vince Carter
"If I go up soft, [Okafor]'s going to block it. I've had many experiences with him doing that. I saw him coming, I saw him waiting, I saw him getting ready to jump -- I've got to attack him ... I'm not going to sit here and say it's not fun. It's just I don't make it my business to go out and do it." -Vince Carter, on his monster dunk.
"That was half-man, half-amazing right there. He got up right there, so I think he surprised everybody with that one. We needed that excitement ... Vince's still got a little spring in those legs. If he gets that step on you, he can still get up." -Brendan Haywood
DONUT 4: Are you a Mavs fan who wants more?
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DONUT 5: About depth, flexibility, battle plans, and all that other stuff ...
"The defining characteristic of the season is that depth is huge, depth is king. Energy triumphs everything. We have to find it, we have to keep it on the floor and when it is not there we have to shuffle the deck. That is the way that it has to be. For the most part I thought we were pretty energetic. We had some guys that got tired and we got them out. A lot of times you come up with a plan for a rotation on a given night, but that has rarely gone as planned this year and that seems like it is going to be the norm." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DONUT 6: Rodrigue Beaubois, or Free Yourself, Roddy B! ...
"He's got to work on his decision-making ... But I like when he plays hard, he makes stuff happen, and I like when he's aggressive. Sometimes he has to find a better mix of driving and shooting and finding the open guy, but we need him." -Dirk Nowitzki
"He made some shots, but the rest of his game needs work. He's playing point now and Jason's not out there with them, so this is a different kind of challenge for him. His decision-making is going to get better, his recognition is going to get better, but he understands the challenges and it can't be me having to scream at him to get in a stance every time on defense. He's got to do it for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I still need to keep pushing myself, to keep working because I have to find my sensation back." -Rodrigue Beaubois
DONUT 7: Flagrant 1, Jarrett Jack trouncing Shawn Marion ... about the only time N.O. really put up a fight ...
"No, I didn't think it was a flagrant foul. He didn't look like he was to hurt after the foul. It's just part of it. Hopefully the league will look at it and re-send me my money." -Jarrett Jack
DONUT 8: Come follow Fish and the Mavs on Twitter!
DONUT 9: A thought on Mavericks Basketball ...
"We're a veteran team and it's something that's going to take time. We're a very unselfish team. We move the ball, share and there's a lot of shooters ... Everybody's unselfish. It's not about how many points you score; it's about execution." -Vince Carter
DONUT 10: We're not worried, but is there something wrong? About Dirk's bad shooting week ...
"I've just gotta keep on working. My legs are not quite there yet. I've just got to keep on working and I'll be all right." -Dirk Nowitzki, who did wear a sleeve over his knee, but when asked about it, simply repeated, "Gotta keep working.''
"I hope he keeps getting those looks ... He's barely playing over 30 minutes a game. He's going to get there." -Coach Rick Carlisle
DONUT 11: It bears repeating; the Mission Statement ...
"It's really going to come down to, do you make the playoffs and can you figure out a way to get in the playoffs rested?" -Mark Cuban
DONUT 12: The all-important Bottom Line ...
"It's not always pretty, but there's gradual mild progress and we just got to keep working." -Coach Rick Carlisle