Donuts: 12 New Year's Mavs Resolutions
DONUT 1: Vince Carter - Don't force shots and focus on being a willing passer over anything else. There is absolutely no chance of Carter focusing on passing before scoring, but it's our wish for Vince because of how much more of an effective player this would make him. An underrated part of Carter's game is his passing skill despite always being viewed as a shoot-first guy. As he's turned himself into a "hustle guy,'' anything is possible.
Also, continue to dunk on Emeka Okafor.
Chance of Happening: 25%
DONUT 2: Lamar Odom - Get comfortable as a member of the Dallas Mavericks and perfect the "Jack of All Trades" role that made him so useful in Los Angeles. Odom has gone through a few life-altering events in the past year and it is completely understandable that it takes time to adjust to events of that magnitude. It's time for Odom to begin having the overall effect on games like we have come to expect from him throughout his career. To his credit, he's started doing that over the last few games, but Rick Carlisle has mentioned on more than one occasion how Lamar needs to concentrate on what he needs to be doing in each moment. Improvement comes with each game.
Chance of Happening: 75%
DONUT 3: Brendan Haywood - Don't try to be Tyson Chandler. Chandler is who he is and Haywood is who he is. It seems obvious, but being something you're not and trying to be something you're not are two very different things. Haywood is a good starting center in this league, but his problem comes from constantly being compared to a center that brought intensity and passion Dallas had never seen before. That era is over and done with, but that doesn't mean there aren't positives Haywood can bring to the table. The sooner Haywood, and more importantly the fans, understands what the current reality of the center position is, the sooner everyone will be at ease.
Chance of Happening: 65%
DONUT 4: Brian Cardinal - Keep on karate-choppin' people, Custodian. Don't ever change.
Chance of Happening: Infinity %
DONUT 5: Roddy Beaubois - Begin to grasp the many subtleties that come with the game of basketball to combine with his overflowing talent. It's sometimes difficult to remember how new to this game Roddy B is. He's still learning every day how to harness his talent and to apply it at the necessary time during a game. I liken him to the speedy Luis Mendoza before Hans teaches him to stop in "Mighty Ducks 2''… anyone? Anyway, this is beginning to sound a bit like a recording, but it's time for Roddy B to begin to tap into that vast talent while mixing in a little BBIQ in order to become a legit asset to a team in need of a youth movement. He remains the Mavs' best chance to add another dimension to their offense with his athleticism on the wing, but at the very least the Mavs would love for him to improve in order to up his trade value.
Chance of Happening: 45%
DONUT 6: Jason Kidd - Avoid serious injury. As this team's leadership ambassador, any long-term loss of Kidd would be brutal for this Mavericks team's DNA. As you read this, Kidd is out for at least two more games with a lower back injury. Obviously with his age and the condensed season, this is a concern considering how durable Kidd has been throughout his career. (He's missed only five games in his last three-and-a-half years in Dallas.) It's impossible to know if Kidd's age or the schedule will ultimately damage his season, but we do know how the year would turn out if he misses too much time. Spoiler alert: It'd be grim.
Chance of Happening: 85%
DONUT 7: Dirk Nowitzki - Start making open jump shots. This obviously isn't a real concern since his legendary shot will come around, but what do you wish for with a guy who has accomplished everything Dirk has in the last year? Over the last two games, Dirk is 5-for-22 and has combined for only 16 points. It's clear Nowitzki is still finding his game shape and getting himself right for when he has to do his annual heavy lifting down the road for the Mavs, but hurry up will ya?
Chance of Happening: 100%
DONUT 8: Ian Mahinmi - Play beyond what Haywood provided the Mavs last year. After several hours in the DB.com lab, we've set a high goal of 12 points and 12 rebounds a night for the Haywood/Mahinmi center combination in order to adequately replace the Chandler/Haywood 14/14 duo from a year ago. Haywood, now as the starter, isn't going to reach the 10 and 9 numbers that Chandler posted as the starting center last year, so it's up to Mahinmi to improve enough to pick up some of the slack coming off the bench. As one of the few players currently on the Mavs' roster with room to grow while also being a regular rotation player (see Beaubois, Roddy above), Mahinmi can help Dallas exceed expectation simply by progressing in his role. So far, Ian has been quite a pleasant surprise by averaging 8 and 5 in addition to his constant energy and finishing ability around the rim. You could argue that Ian has already upgraded what Haywood provided off the bench last year. ... And more help is on the way. (Really, Del Harris? Yi Jianlian is going to be "in the three-man mix at center for the Mavs''?
Chance of Happening: 90%
DONUT 9: Bob Ortegel and Mike Fisher - Keep bringing the insight that can't be obtained elsewhere. I'm young. They are … well, not as young as I am. With their age comes a great deal of experience and insight and as a Mavs TV viewer, Coach O and Fish – along with Followill, Skin and Harper – give me everything I could possibly need to know about my Mavs. I watch a lot of NBATV. Other teams' fans do not have it as good as we have it. Coach O, Fish, guys and gals at FSSW … again tonight with the 6 p.m. start of the telecast from Detroit ... keep bringin' it!
Chance of Happening: 100%
DONUT 10: Jason Terry - Put in a contract-year performance with deal expiring. Jet has becoming a fixture with this franchise alongside Dirk for a long time now. We've seen almost everything out of Jet that you can with one player, but there is one thing Jet has never put on his resume: a season's worth of consistency. Everybody knows that when Terry goes through a red-hot streak, he can win games by himself (See Games 5 and 6 of last year's Finals). Conversely, a cold Jet can shoot the Mavs right out of games just as easily (See the first round in 2010). A full year of consistent shooting from the Jet would go a long way toward this team finding its stride. Jet's shot-making fixes a lot of problems when the Mavs are slow to find a groove and with his contract expiring, there's no better time than now to meet that challenge head on.
Chance of Happening: 55%
DONUT 11: Delonte West- Fill in key spots where needed. Donnie Nelson described West as a mix between DeShawn Stevenson and JJ Barea… which worked out well considering both players no longer reside in the 214 area code. Nelson wasn't blowing smoke either, as West convinced Mavs viewers almost instantly that he would bring some bulldog toughness to individual defending and a sneaky ability to finish at the rim with his left hand. His value to the team won't be any more evident than over the next few games while running the offense in place of Jason Kidd. He passed his first test on Saturday against the Hornets and his offense-running services may be needed more this year than ever while resting Kidd becomes more and more of a priority. Yup, that's all we want out of Delonte this year. Oh, also, no more Twitter rants, deal? Deal.
Chance of Happening: 70%
DONUT 12 Shawn Marion and the Mavs persona: We like when good things happen to good people.
That was the case Monday, when the Mavs visited The White House. The entire world got to see it. ...
But the entire world doesn't get to see the little things. That's our job ...
On Saturday night a couple kids ran over by the Mavs' bench with seconds left in the win over the Hornets. Their hope, obviously, was to see some of their favorite players or get an autograph, but people aren't allowed to stand in that area while the game is in play, so they were shooed away by an usher before they could see anything.
Shawn Marion saw this. So he took off his shoes, signed both, and gave them to both kids as he found them on his way off the court.
Little stuff like this goes unnoticed most of the time, but just another instance of how this team is made of some good dudes.
And in that regard, no Dallas Mavericks New Year's resolutions are necessary.