DONUT 1: You're an NBA All-Star. But if you were a superhero, what would your power be and what would your name be? Yeah, all y'all, including Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks?
DONUT 2: "Elf & Friends'' gets cooking today on 105.3 The Fan at 10 a.m. ... and today I'm Elf's "friend.'' (Well, I've been his friend and an admirer of his work and style for 20 years now, but today I'm riding sidecar on his show, 10 to 2.)
On your computer you can Listen Live here ... Call in, send emails, Fan Text, storm the gates, whatever ...
Thanks for your support in what we do here on DB.com and on TV on Fox Sports Southwest ... Yes, it's an audition of sorts today. Let's try a little radio with "Elf & Friends,'' shall we?
And, yes. We'll be all over The Odom Saga as the news rolls in ... wavering between remembering how "The Boy Who Cried Wolf'' ended while also wondering how long an employer can accept an employee behaving as if he's at a funeral 'cept nobody died. ...
DONUT 3: There's no denying that Shawn Marion is carrying a huge load as a result of being Dallas' Swiss Army Knife of defense. And when 'Trix says he's tired, beat up and desirous of his bigs setting screens on others the way they get set on him, it's understandable.
But those who express concern about this issue going forward need to remember the circumstance that required Marion to shift into a gear that had him not only guarding the LeBrons, Durants and Kobes of the NBA world but also the Pauls, Rubios and Lins:
Kidd got hurt. Then Delonte got hurt. And then Kidd returned but did so under the protection of the "minutes limit.''
Coming soon: A time when Kidd will play more than 28 minutes a game and will be fully capable of guarding the Rubios and helping on the Kobes.
Coming soon: A time when Delonte will be on the floor as a perimeter stopper to guard the waterbugs while 'Trix guard the wingmen.
Marion spent all summer getting himself in some of the best shape of his life. I've no doubt he's ready for the second half. We get you ready, too, with the first of two Mavs-out-of-the-Break pieces: The Mavs as Oscar Nominees .
DONUT 4: Stay in touch with Fish and the Mavs on DB.com Boards and on Facebook and at FishSports on Twitter!
And follow Mark Elfenbein on Twitter, too!
DONUT 5: The Starting Lineups for tonight, 7:30 at the AAC, Nets at Mavs ... and the scouting report from NBA scout Kyle Leath ...
|NETS 10-25||MAVS 21-13|
|F- DeShawn Stevenson||F- Shawn Marion|
|F- Shelden Williams||F- Dirk Nowitzki|
|C- Brook Lopez||C- Brendan Haywood|
|G- Marshon Brooks||G- Vince Carter|
|G- Deron Williams||G- Jason Kidd|
DONUT 6: Please click on the links to DB.com Mavs sponsors like MavCowTickets, Esparza's Restaurant , Classic of Carrollton, Game Havens, McKinneyDentist.com and Red Rock Bar & Grill, where we're planning a Mavs DB.com Get-Together soon!
Give my sponsors a click, please. They keep DB.com crankin' and they will do you right!
DONUT 7: The Nets on Offense ...
• Favorite half-court set is a 1-4. Will run Williams off UCLA cuts where they will post him on the weak side or bring him off a weak side staggered screen. Also will enter to post and Williams will cut to front of rim and then post quickly in the lane. Will look at side pick/roll with wing and post.
• They like the mid pick/roll while dropping other three to baseline.
• Deron Williams dominates the ball and can get into a mode where he tries to create one-on-one when the offense is not executing. It's a burden, but he's good at the crossover:
• NJ is not a transition team.
DONUT 8: Stat Check ... As coach Avery Johnson's Nets are near the bottom of the league in a number of team categories:
• 28th in FG% - 42.2%
• 30th in Def. FG% - 48.1%
• 30th in Def. 3pt. FG% - 38.7%
• 30th in Opp. Assist Per Game – 23.2/gm
• 29th in Rebounds Per Game – 39.4/gm
DONUT 9: The Nets on Defense ...
• Despite the presence of DeShawn -- who will get his ring tonight, by the way -- they are a very poor defensive team. They do not guard the ball on the perimeter and interior defense is slow to react on penetration.
• Defensive transition is slow with really all five players, not just the bigs. Way too much standing around:
• On mid pick/rolls, they will fight over screen if the ballhandler is a shooter.
DONUT 10: Every day. Every angle. Every Mav.
That's how DB.com has covered the Dallas Mavericks for 13 years now. In 2011, DallasBasketball.com was read by 500,000 people. ... stunning, really. Knowing you are reading this ... and hearing your feedback ... enriches the experience for The 75-Member Staff.
We're excited to be able to offer you, for pennies a day, all the analysis, the numbers, the exclusive Video Visits, the whole experience. Please try our Premium Mavs coverage!
This is what we do, every day, with 28 years of experience on the beat! You 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: How to beat The New Jersey Nets ...
• PLAY FAST – Push the ball on them.
• BOARDS – NJ is a weak rebounding team and do not get out and run much. Crash offensive glass and get some second-chance points.
• DRIVE – Attack them off the dribble and look to get to rim from perimeter.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
I say this with no disrespect to my brothers and sisters in the media, nor with disrespect to Mr. Cuban. But when he climbs aboard his pregame Stairstepper (or whatever that gimzo is called) and proclaims that "the Mavs like their team the way it is, but are willing to spend money to improve, and will always be opportunistic,'' well, I don't feel compelled to rush to my keyboard to report it.
Those are the exact same phrases he's used at this time of year for 13 straight years now. They are always empty and meaningless ... but this year, because of the CBA changes and the Mavs' 3D Blueprint-minded changes that go along with it, in some ways isn't at all like the 12 years that proceeded it. (Toss Odom's situation on top of this pile, too; I'd rather "Tariq him'' than buy him out, thus freeing him to go back to the Lakers. Wouldn't you?)
We're getting Trade Rumor Traffic cranked up in the next few days as the March 15 deadline is upon us. (Here's a starter for Premium Mavs Fans: Deron & Dwight at $17.877 Million.) But breathlessly reporting Cuban's by-rote remarks in group press settings?
Wake me up when he tells me to "step away from my crack dealer,'' OK?