Monday Mavs Donuts: Today's The Day!
DONUT 1: The Dallas Mavericks' will conduct their NBA championship-ring ceremony Wednesday against Minnesota. And you can be there!
Wednesday also happens to be DB.com Mavs Suite Night … a once-in-a-lifetime event that DallasBasketball.com is giving you the chance to attend … with a guest … and Premium Parking … with The 75-Member Staff … in a suite!
The game is against Minnesota so yes, J.J. Barea will be there to receive his championship ring. But more importantly to you, YOU can be there, too! A few simple steps (some of which you've probably already been wise enough to take):
* Friend the Mavs DB.com Facebook Page
*Be a member of DallasBasketball.com (sign up in the upper-right-hand corner of this page) and poke around DB.com Boards. Membership is free!
* Follow Fish on Twitter!
Once you've plugged in with Mavs information in those three ways, send me an email at Fish@DallasBasketball.com with the subject line, "FISH, I WANT IN ON DB.COM MAVS SUITE NIGHT!'' … and you are registered.
Now, you've got to move quickly: Marcia will draw the winner today and we'll announce that name here on DallasBasketball.com in the Advance Scouting Report, later this afternoon. It's you and a guest, with Platinum Parking, in a suite on Ring Ceremony Night … and no purchase is necessary. (Although if you are looking for something sharp to wear, you do know where to look – in the Mavs DB.com Store!
Good luck. … and we'll see you in the suite on DB.com Mavs Suite Night!
DONUT 2: The major news of the weekend is the Dirk-less story and we've got most of the angles covered right there.
Here's one to kick around from barstool-to-barstool, though, and while I don't think there is a right answer to it, Dirk Nowitzki himself seems fairly convinced:
"I'm not helping right now anyway, and I think the guys are better off when I'm not out there,'' Dirk said.
The UberMan, obviously, is his own harshest critic.
DONUT 3: So it's Lamar's turn to take over at the 4.
I liked the way Lamar played,'' coach Rick Carlisle said after the win in New Orleans, in which LO started for Dirk and scored 16 points. "This week is a big week for him.''
Two big angles:
One, Rick noted that, "The only reason (Odom) didn't finish the game (Dallas went with a 3-Guard Attack) is he was dead tired.'' This is a new development; LO hasn't been anything near a closer yet in his time here.
Two, a sign that LO really cares. "Once I heard that they (the Mavs) haven't won here (in New Orleans) in a couple years, I kinda just wanted to gut it through, and do whatever I had to do to get this win tonight,'' he said. "Anytime you can come down here and get one, especially not winning here before; it's a good way to end the trip."
It'd been 11 straight tries and fails in the Crescent City for the Mavs, and Odom pitching in to overcome the psychological hurdle ... well, it's a good sign.
Odom also said something about his comfortability and how it relates to unselfishness.
"I'm becoming a lot more comfortable offensively,'' he said. "I'm just trying to learn the schemes, offensively and defensively, find out where I'm gonna find my shots, and trying to play off guys. It's the easiest thing for me to come down one-on-one, put the ball between my legs three times and just go. But I wanna learn within the system, because I think that'll help us down the road."
Truth is, LO did kinda do some of that stuff in N.O. He launched 3's, issued a too-casual cross-court pass and didn't always take advantage of the large slugs who guarded him.
But he obviously cares. That's a start.
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DONUT 5: Coop notes that the Mavs have dominated the Suns in recent years. Dallas has defeated Phoenix six straight times, has won eight straight against them at home, and has done so by an average of 13 points. The Mavs are hot at home in general, too ... Again, you'll want more on this matchup this afternoon when NBA scout Kyle Leath gives you his Advance Scouting Report.
DONUT 6: A few-seconds glimpse at the Mavs' developing bigs ...
"The Ianimal''? He's clearly arrived as a legit backup center. Oh, he's got lots to learn on defense and he sometimes loses wrestling matches underneath. But he and the Mavs staff have worked to develop him ... and now he's finishing games as the "center of record'' behind Big Wood.
And then there is Brandan Wright. Maybe another reclamation project at the 4. (Or, I don't know, maybe somebody destined to be buried behind Dirk/Odom/Yi.) He's too skinny and he's too foul-proned but he's spent his life as a blue-chip talent and you watch that highlight again and see that he's more than just a jumping jack. He's got feel, touch, instincts ...
DONUT 7: How much urgency should Dallas feel over the results of the moment? Isn't the Dirk shutdown a hint that there is no reason to panic? (And isn't 10-7 a decent-enough hint, too?)
The Mavs are truly committed to playing for May. We see that in minutes management and we see it with the Dirk shutdown and we saw it with Kidd's week off (and I bet with see it with Vince, too).
That doesn't mean tonight against Phoenix is insignificant; far from it. The Mavs need to develop confidence and develop the kids, too. And piling up enough wins to be playing in May, well, that's a requirement of the plan as well.
We've heard over and over that Dallas' goal is to get in the playoffs. "Get in the tournament,'' as we like to say. They're not worried about seeding. That means they must get their wins from the scrub teams, and that the outcome against the better teams is less relevant than it would be otherwise (or in a normal season).
You might not agree with the plan, but if you understand it ... it lessens your angst over "style points'' gained or lost in January?
You do the math and you look at the schedule and can't we expect Dallas' record to bob a few games over .500 at the end of this month? We keep expecting them to "turn the corner'' ... some imaginary corner ... but the major issue (outside of health) is still to 'Get to the Tournament.'
What are there, six teams in the West with "good" records? There is evidence that Dallas is as good as most or all of them. There is ample time to gnash teeth over being second vs. third or fifth vs. sixth or even eighth vs. out, I suppose.
But this week isn't that time.
DONUT 8: Follow the Suns at Mavs game tonight on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse!
DONUT 9: I have faith in the Mavs system.
Carlisle said something about the week past: "I'm proud of our team after the first two loses on this trip,'' he said Saturday night after the win in N.O. "We really gutted two games out. That's not easy to do."
That's just one week. And it's an accomplishment. Now, extend that over a year of 50 wins ... and then 11 years of 50 wins.
And finally, compare it to a randomly-chosen NBA team that spends a lot of money and gets a lot of attention but doesn't have a system worthy of such faith.
Ummm, how about the Knicks?
The were deemed virtually "unbeatable'' because they acquired Amare and Melo and Tyson. I glanced over on Sunday morning and by gosh they are a poor 6-10. We all love Tyson, and the season is young, but what sort of a $15-million "difference-maker'' is that?
Those Knicks are a poor 6-10 but they are rich in so many other ways. Like, rich with money.
I have faith in Dallas' system.
DONUT 10: If you like this level of coverage of the World Champion Dallas Mavericks, try our Premium Mavs coverage! This is what we do, every day, with 28 years of experience on the beat! It's pennies a day to get All-Access to what the Mavs are doing upstairs, down in the basement, in the locker room and on the court – and it's free to come inside for a 7-day tryout. Now more than ever, there's no reason not to give it a go! Thanks for your support of the site at less than a dime-a-day! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 11: The good folks at the NBA Store holler at me to let Mavs fans know that the historic NBA Finals series is available starting this week with the definitive Collectors Set of 6 DVD's. Own each game in its entirety, with over 10 hours of content, including exclusive bonus features. All six games, commentary and the works for $49.95, all available at * NBAStore.com.
DONUT 12: There are more corners to turn, of course. But there is now reason to believe that even without Dirk (and Vince and whomever else), the Dallas foundation is no longer "outscore the other guy.''
By holding the Hornets under 100 points, the Mavs set a new franchise record by holding an opponent under 100 for the 14th consecutive game. The previous record of 13 came in the 2005-06 season … the season Dallas first reached the Finals.
During this 14-game stretch Dallas is holding opponents to 84 points per game, and only allowing them to hit 39.9 percent of their shot attempts … and their record is 10-4, with two of those losses coming in the final seconds.