DONUT 1: AND JUST LIKE THAT ... They were gone.
With Tyson Chandler returning to the AAC for the first time since helping the Dallas Mavericks put away the Miami Heat, claiming the first NBA Championship in Mavs history, the last of the rings were handed out. A scene that still shimmers in the the land of the surreal, while lingering like a man bleeding out from a paper cut.
Dirk Nowitzki went out of his way to welcome Chandler back to town with a hug before the game, an embrace after it ... oh, and a dagger jumper over Tyson's outstretched hand in the final minute to seal the game as the Mavs won 95-85.
Tyson is my man,'' Dirk said. "We've been through battles and came out on top. He's family forever."
"Family'' and "enemy,'' all at the same time.
DONUT 2: THE BIG GERMAN, BIG IN THE SECOND HALF Dirk Nowitzki started the game looking like a man who had wrestled through 38 minutes the night before, hitting only one of the eight shots he attempted in the first half for four points.
Yet, thanks to the the offense of the Dallas point guards (20 points between Roddy B and Kidd) the Mavs were able to maintain a six-point halftime lead despite allowing a late push from the Knicks ... an ominous sign for New York, that Dirk couldn't find his shot still the Knicks could not make Dallas pay.
The third quarter arrived and delivered with it a reinvigorated Nowitzki, and the Mavs pushed their lead to as much as 19 points and heading into the final frame up 14 ... a lead that would not be safe, demanding the dominance of Dirk once more.
"(Dirk) knocked (his first attempt) in," Carlisle said, "and it seemed to get our team going, out bench going, it got him going."
New York opened the fourth period by throwing up 15 points before Dallas could score their first. The Mavs offense crumbled, fell out of synch and threatened to give the game away as what had been a 19-point lead became a 1-point deficit ... and Dirk went to the bench after vehemently arguing a non-call and earning a poorly-timed technical foul.
Dirk, adorned in anger and emotion, and Jason Kidd, bringing his eternal calm, had seen enough. Kidd helped guide the offense back on track by ensuring that Dirk touched the ball, until the defense ignored Kidd altogether behind the arc, leaving him to drain his third 3-pointer of the game. In the face of the wave Nowitzki and Kidd cast their way, the Knicks fell apart.
Dallas erased the ground gained by the Knicks 15-0 run by streaking to a 14-0 burst of their own ... nine coming from Dirk and the other five from Kidd, pushing the lead back to 13.
Moments later, the lead at 10, there came the scene. Tyson Chandler was defending Dirk one-on-one at the top of the key with just over 30 seconds to play. Chandler had to know what was coming, he'd seen it many times, tread the reenactments again and again in the dreams of his Title run ... now he saw it once more from the other side. No longer a teammate, merely a witness.
The UberMan went to work, created the necessary space, rose up and drilled the 18-foot dagger over Chandler's helplessly outstretched hand.
DONUT 3: LINSANITY IN DALLAS The headlines may have read, "Jeremy Lin and the Knicks come to face the Mavs," but it wouldn't take long for the Dallas point guards to steal the show. Jason Kidd set a new season high with 15 points (along with six assists, four rebounds and a steal) and once again exhibited his ability to govern the Mavs offense, to save it from itself when it threatens to run blind into the night.
Outside of Dirk in the second half, Roddy Beaubois was the most efficient, consistent weapon wearing a Dallas uniform for much of the night, getting into the paint at will ... leaving either Baron Davis or Jeremy Lin by the wayside on his way to 18 points, 6-of-11 field goals, two rebounds, one steal and one assist.
While not the orchestrator of Kidd, Roddy B again displayed the immense offensive talents he harbors. When the directive is simply to score, to create easy shots, and to attack; Beaubois can add a dimension this team often lacks otherwise with his speed and athleticism (no disrespect to Delonte West or Vince Carter). Particularly when Jason Terry struggles, he can provide an offensive spark that changes the dynamic of this team.
"We couldn't have won without him,'' coach Rick Carlisle said of Roddy B.
Lin did some damage of his own, scoring 14 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals ... but hit only 4-of-13 shots and could not take over the game.
For more on Roddy B vs. Lin, check out Fish's First Impressions.
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DONUT 5: THE NBA HIGHLIGHT REEL Fun stuff, 'cept for the irksome announcers:
DONUT 6: YOUR DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR It seems every passing contest simply adds to the defensive highlight reel of Shawn Marion. With Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup, Marion was not handed the assignment of Lin, taking 'Melo instead ... a player most consider one of the deadliest pure scorers in the league.
Anthony's final numbers: six points, 2-of-12 field goals, 0-of-3 behind the arc, eight rebounds and two turnovers ... and a complete non-factor.
Marion was not alone in his excellence at the defensive end, but he was again worthy of prominent praise. When 'Trix can outscore the man he is defending, the biggest offensive threat on the opposing team -- as he did with Anthony, 8-to-6 -- the chances for team success rise astronomically.
Said Carlisle of 'Melo's night: ""We were fortunate, but I think Shawn had something to do with it."
DONUT 7: STRANGE PULL OF THE TIDES Listening to the crowd in the AAC was often a strange experience Tuesday night. The love shown Tyson Chandler, who received his championship ring prior to the game, was to be expected. Hearing Jeremy Lin draw almost equal ovations was not ... at least not completely.
Perhaps leading the audio oddness, hearing the crowd's reaction when Lin went to the free-throw line. As the gathered himself to shoot, he was buried in boos ... then, as the ball floated through the air, it seemed to drift into an alternate reality, leading to a loud chorus of cheers as it swished through the net.
Equal boos and cheers at different ends of the same shot. ... Weird reaction for an unusual player.
DONUT 8: MAVS DB.COM WATCHING PARTY time for a DB.com Mavs Get-Together: This time featuring the watching of a game at the hated Spurs, a live bad, 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 9: MAVSELLANEOUS It's not often a team shoots 38.8 percent and wins by 10. Of course, it helps when the opponent hits only 38.1 percent of their attempts ... A night after seeing a significant free-throw disparity against the Thunder (33-10), Dallas walked to the line 30 times, compared to 23 for New York. Is the point still lost on anyone as to why Jason Kidd may have spoken out? ... Dallas has held their opponents beneath 100 points in 18 of their last 19 games ... Lamar Odom gave some effort but was a statistical non-factor, hitting only 1-of-9 shots for three points in 22:50 of action. ... Brendan Haywood did not play due to his sprained ankle. Ian Mahinmi played well in his stead with nine points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. "Mahinmi was terrific, very active,'' Carlisle said. ... Kidd gave Dallas a season-high 15 points, including five in a game-changing 14-0 run the Mavs, along with six assists.
DONUT 10: GO MAVS! GO PREMIUM! Please try our Premium Mavs coverage! 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 every reason 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: NEXT UP After a day off, Dallas now heads on the road for three cities and three games in three nights, the epitome of a scheduled that has been both ruthless and unrelenting.
Depth will be put to the test, as Brandan Wright will not make the trip with the team (though Haywood will), and Delonte West remains out as his hand heals. Oh, and Lamar Odom seems a bit energized, right? (The best story Mavs fans will read all year on Lamar Odom is right here.) There comes the test, the trials, and the opportunity to gain three in the win column in barely a blink, but Jason Terry will need to snap awake. LO will be required to make an impact.
Dallas will need everyone capable of stepping on the court to absorb minutes, to spread the blow.
Things can either go extremely well or exceedingly poor in a very quick time.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD The UberMan's shot-making fired up him. When he didn't get a call? Fired up, to the point the ref threatened him with, "Do you wanna go?''
In crunch time, where Dirk wanted to go was on the scoreboard, with the One-Legged Euro LeanBack:
He excitedly then slapped hands with front-row kids (Jerry Jones' grandsons?) while also using F-in' language not appropriate for the time slot.
"I get fired up no matter if it's a national team game in the summer or it's a frickin pick-up game,'' explained Dirk, spitting out more F's. "Once I'm out there, I want to win and compete."