DONUT 1: Rick Carlisle damn sure didn't mean it as a pun.
"I'm at a loss,'' said the Dallas Mavericks coach after Monday's 95-91 heartbreaker in OKC, and of course, actually the Mavs are at five losses in six games and have 17 losses to their 22 wins overall.
We've got complete coverage of the game here with First Impressions and here's the DB.com library for all our recent coverage -- game stories, breaking news, Trade Rumor Traffic, it's all there ... and there's more coming today as the schedule demands that the page keep turnin' ...
Here's hoping that the Mavs' bitterness towards the officiating in OKC (33 FTs to 10?!) is funneled properly towards tonight's with the Knicks in town. Carlisle expressed his displeasure. (See his postgame presser on the right-hand side of DB.com's front page in Video Spotlight). Other guys piled on, too:
From Jason Kidd: "We don't get the benefit of the whistle. I don't think we're looked upon as champions, but that's a whole other story. Dirk should live at the line if they would call it the way it's supposed to be. But, he doesn't."
OK, but as Dirk Nowitzki knows, if Jason Terry and the rest of the Mavs don't botch a pair of late-game possessions, they are able to overcome an awful call against "The Ianmimal'' and are in position to win.
"We won the championship last year because we were the best team executing down the stretch,'' Dirk said. "And this year, thus far, we just don't have it."
DONUT 2: It's time for a DB.com Mavs Get-Together: This time featuring the watching of a game at the hated Spurs, a live band, and DB.com Mavs swag ... all at Red Rock Bar & Grill at Frankfort and Midway in Dallas on Friday, March 23! Come take a look at the fun we'll have!
Show up a little bit early before the 7 p.m. pregame show on Fox Sports Southwest. Know that we've staged these babies at a variety of sites around the Metroplex ... This time it's Red Rock's turn ... And if you are not fully familiar with the way we roll, check out the scene and see if you recognize some faces ...
Our DB.com Get-Togethers generally look something like this:
The screen you will be watching Fish and Ortegel and Harp and Followill and the Mavs on is the biggest TV in Texas ... 200 inches of Mavs glory!
We'll give away Mavs-approved DB.com swag, our host Barry (a devoted Mavs fan himself) at Red Rock Bar & Grill will mix up some specials for DB.com readers, you'll meet some of your real friends and some of your fake internet friends, too, and when the game is done, we've arranged for DFW's No. 1 party band, Randon Axis, to perform into the night!
It's the Mavs DB.com Get-Together! Find Red Rock on Facebook, pop onto the DB.com Mavs Events Page, Save The Date and we'll see y'all on on March 23 at Red Rock!
DONUT 3: From Jet:
"We haven't really been sharp on our execution at the end of ballgames and that's hurt us," says Terry.
No argument there.
"(It's) not a big concern,'' Jason adds, "because I know the type of team we are. We thrive in those situations.''
Some argument there.
The Mavs scored zero points last night in the final 2:46. They were outscored 8-0 down the stretch. On two fateful offensive trips, The UberMan wasn't even allowed to touch the ball while in position to create. As I note below, in close games failure is this year more common than success.
"We've got to just keep clawing it out,'' Terry says. "Eventually it will swing our way and we'll pull these games out, but it's been a thorn in our side the entire season."
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: Gotta move quick, from OKC to the AAC and the visiting Knicks. The Starting Lineups ...
|KNICKS 18-19||MAVS 22-17|
|F- Carmelo Anthony||F- Shawn Marion|
|F- Amare Stoudemire||F- Dirk Nowitzki|
|C- Tyson Chandler||C- Ian Mahimmi|
|G- Landry Fields||G- Vince Carter|
|G- Jeremy Lin||G- Jason Kidd|
DONUT 6: Please click on the links to DB.com Mavs sponsors like MavCowTickets, Esparza's Restaurant, Game Havens and McKinneyDentist.com!
Give my sponsors a click, please. They keep DB.com crankin' and they will do you right!
DONUT 7: The Knicks on Offense, inside the NYK playbook with NBA scout Kyle Leath ...
• With Lin, they are trying to make him a Nash playalike and it's working. A lot of 5-out look with mid and side ball screens.
• In the half court, will run a lot of sets through Anthony. He is most effective shooting off a couple of dribbles back to the lane.
• Always looking to get out and run. Want to get ball out in transition.
• Will run Drag and Double Drag sets (Single and Double Mid Pick/Rolls).
• Rely on transition and jump shots. Very little continuity sets. ... which frees up Lin ...
DONUT 8: Stat Check ...
• Knicks are 2nd in Steals at 9.5/gm
• Knicks are 27th in 3pt % at 30.8%
• The Mavs will be thin at center with Haywood having sustained an ankle injury on Monday and Wright dealing with concussion-related issues.
• New York had lost 17 of 19 meetings to Dallas before a 104-97 Knicks home win on Feb. 19.
DONUT 9: The Knicks on Defense ...
• Man-to-man. Will jump and double ball.
• They do not show hard on ball screens.
• They like to pressure full court at times off dead balls and made baskets. Will trap ½ court as well. Chandler behind them allows them to take risks.
• NY will rely on turnovers to ignite offense. ... and Tyson Chandler in the middle is a big who can be that igniter. Tonight will be especially emotional for him, of course, as he'll receive his championship ring before the game.
DONUT 10: Every day. Every angle. Every Mav.
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DONUT 11: Kyle Leath on How to beat The Knicks ...
• PRESSURE – Get up in them on defense. Make them have to work every possession.
• POUND INSIDE – Get the ball in the paint through penetration and post entry. NY is long, and Chandler is a presence. But they will give up easy baskets to teams that work for them.
• BENCH – If Dallas had its entire roster available, it could use the advantage of depth to wear Knicks down late. Delonte, though, is out. And the problems exist at center. That evens up the talent between the two teams.
• EXECUTE – The Mavs' traditional stretch (executing in close games) has failed them this year as they are 6-8 in games decided by five points or fewer. The Knicks are a team that can be out-executed.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
"I'm just really looking forward to being back here," says Chandler, who will get the stannding ovation, the speeches from Rick and Tony Cubes and the ring tonight before the game. "You know, last year was incredible. I felt a lot of the emotions from the fans here, I know how much they respect my game and what I was able to bring last year."