Tuesday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: The Dallas Mavericks miss Jason Kidd, and need him back starting, like, now. It apparently won't happen Wednesday in Denver (I'll have a Kidd update from practice later today), but it'll be critical when it does happen. And if you spew stats at me that suggest otherwise, I suggest you watch the games.
Not just this year's games, either. The history of Mavs games with Kidd at the wheel, a history that suggests he will help control pace, feed the right guy, defend big guys, outsmart all guards and, if the game is close late, will BBIQ his Mavs to the win.
Had that happened this season? Not often enough, as Dallas is a .500 team in the games in which he's played while Kidd has also put up the club's poorest plus/minus numbers.
It speaks to the quality work of Carlisle and Kidd replacements Roddy B and Delonte that Dallas has remained afloat in Kidd's absence. But as I often say, numbers DO lie. Kidd's so-far shooting and some "I'm-tired'' downcourt passes have been his real problems, and you are best-suited to notice those things if you watch the games more than if you watch the stat sheets.
Dallas needs Roddy B to be a rotation-quality player, nothing more. Fibbing stats aside, it needs Kidd to be the engineer of "Flow,'' and nothing less.
DONUT 2: Paraphrasing various colleagues: "There is no possible argument that justifies the selection of Dirk Nowitzki for the All-Star Game.''
Wrong. So wrong. You want justification? He is a few months removed from being labeled by many of the same colleagues as "the best basketball player in the world.'' Over the course of the last number of years, he is the finest player at his position. And above all else, he is a symbol of so many things that are right about the Mavs, the NBA and sports in general.
And if you don't think "symbols'' are justified as All-Star selections, you've obviously never heard of Yao Ming, Magic Johnson or Jason Kidd, all of whom have played that role in the annual event.
DONUT 3: Having said that, two additional Mavs All-Star takes:
a) I DON'T WANT any Mavs spending All-Star Weekend laboring on a relatively meaningless project in Orlando. The Mavs who need rest should rest. The Mavs who need work should work. Hug your sweetheart, hop in the cryogenic tank, lift some weights ... whatever.
b) Funny thing about possessing the Larry O'Brien Trophy: I just realized this morning that for the first time in the 13-year history of DallasBasketball.com, I have written virtually nothing in the last month about the ongoing voting process, about where certain Mavs rank, about whether The UberMan or this Mav or that Mav is All-Star-deserving.
Why? Because the Mavs have Larry -- the ultimate team honor. And All-Star junk is therefore, to me, rendered meaningless.
So when Dirk that he's "not really'' qualified because "averaging whatever, 15, 16 points, I don't think you should be an All-Star," that's fine by me. For the first time in over a decade, I don't care.
To make an appropriate football anology on this day: Let ESPN do its 'round-the-clock debates. You think Eli Manning or Giants fans give two craps about whether anybody thinks he's "elite''?
DONUT 4: DB.com cannot do our thing without the help of sponsors and partners like MavCowTickets, Esparza's Restaurant , Classic of Carrollton, Game Havens and McKinneyDentist.com .
Give my guys a click, if you please! Oh, and welcome to a new partner, Red Rock Bar & Grill near Frankfort and the Tollway, home of the biggest TV screen in Texas ... and yes, we're planning a Mavs DB.com Get-Together soon!
DONUT 5: The Giants are the first team to finish 9-7 in the regular season to win the Super Bowl. Is this in any way significant for the "Just Get To The Tournament'' Mavs?
It does reinforce the idea that a team needs to be good enough to get to the playoffs and then hot enough to advance once it gets there. Remember, though, the Giants didn't spend the first three-quarters of the season being mediocre on purpose. Coach Tom Coughlin didn't allow his ass to nudge near a hot seat on purpose. And in that sense, the Giants' master plan (and any NFL team's get-to-the-playoffs plan) is vastly different than what these Mavs are attempting to do.
Oh, and isn't being hot enough to win four games (what it might take to capture an NFL title) rather different than being hot enough to win 16 (what it takes to capture an NBA title)?
The Giants came very close to not making the playoffs at all. They didn't "save'' anything in an attempt to make it. The Mavs, on the other hand, are walking a tightrope of survival in part predicated on the presumption that "Getting To The Tournament'' is automatic.
Be careful here, fellas. The No. 3 seed in the West one day finds itself the No. 8 seed the next. There will come a point when the Mavs need to "get hot'' and that point will come WAY before the postseason, I say.
DONUT 6: Here's the link to all the Super Bowl ads and what a great racket this is: Advertisers have made arguments pitting GoDaddy vs. Honda vs. Doritos as water-cooler-worthy as the game itself.
It's a grand, fun scam, and all you really need is an eloquent baby, a half-naked woman, a clever animal or Betty White, and you are in.
DONUT 7: A "game of attrition,'' right? So Gallinari has a chip frature on his left ankle and won't play for Denver against Dallas on Wednesday. And Billups now has a torn Achilles and won't play for the Clippers on Monday against Dallas.
DONUT 8: Follow the Mavs with Fish on Twitter!
DONUT 9: Jason Terry hopes to raise $650,000 for his charity foundation via a raffle of a Mavs championship ring that is a $36,000 replica of the one he and the players earned.
"It's a unique opportunity,'' Terry said. "These fans, they were proud of us. And everywhere we go, what do they ask you? They want to see that ring. And one fans is going to definitely be able to say, hey, not only can you see it, but I got it, and it's right here.''
For $10, fans can get five raffle tickets. For more information, go to NetRaffle.
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!
This afternoon, congratulations will be in order to a Premium Mavs Fan who wins the Mavs 2011 NBA Finals DVD Collectors Set!
That's a $50 prize ... and just another of the many benefits of being a Premium Mavs Fan!
What's the next Swag Giveaway from DB.com? You might just win access to the DB.com suite for a Mavs game courtesy of Signs Etc and MakeItGraphic! Stay tuned!
DONUT 11: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavs must use "these couple of practice days'' and "put them to good use and we have to get better." Among Rick's tricks: Attempting to find a way to simulate real games' halftime breaks so the Mavs know how to exit them without getting immediately crushed, as has been the case in three consecutive losses.
DONUT 12: I am sometimes asked to define "MavVirus.'' I could put it into words, or I could tell you to Google it, or I could simply direct you to the home of the most passionate Mavs fans on earth, DB.com Boards, where MavVirus lives in the form of this thread that predicts the outcome for the next week-or-so of Mavs games.
The prediction goes something like this: L, L, L, L, L, L, infinity L.
That is amusing ... that is depressing ... that is MavVirus.