Monday Mavs Donuts: 3 Issues Of The Day
DONUT 1: A trio of Questions of the Day for you to roll around in your MavsHead:
It's a long wait to Monday's Mavs-at-Denver game ... a 9:30 p.m. start?! So ... Wanna play "Draw Something'' with me? Or you wanna talk Mavs?
The first MavsHead Question of the Day:
Has Jason Terry "earned the right'' to be a loose cannon?
Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki hear Jet chirp. About wanting to take the last shot, about the coach erring in playcalling, about wanting a new contract, about his play being an "audition for 29 teams,'' about the front office having forfeited this year ... and they laugh.
"Jet's an emotional guy," Cuban said. "I don't care. Jet's been here a long time. He's earned the right to say whatever he wants. I don't read anything into it. Jet motivates himself in the ways Jet motivates himself."
I've often referred to Jason as this team's "spokesmodel.'' He's got a cameras-rolling job to do and he does it as entertainingly as he does what he does on the floor. I'm the guy who wrote a couple of years ago about Jason Terry creating the motto "CTC'' ("Cut the Check''). My man's got a lot of daughters to pay for and my feeling is that he's probably the financial godfather of a lot of family members who look to "Brother Jet,'' "Uncle Jet'' and "Cousin Jet'' for help in pursuing their dreams.
So Jet pursues his. And talks about it. And I've come to the conclusion that his talk isn't cheap ... and isn't laughable ... it's fuel.
DONUT 2: Second question: Would Mavs life have been easier had Dallas simply matched Tyson's $15-mil-a-year deal and kept him?
It would've meant no shot at Dwight, ever, and it might've been the big "second-star'' contract that the team would like to give Deron this summer. In other words, "yes'' to Tyson might've meant "no'' to Deron.
But would it have allowed the Mavs to be stronger contenders this year and in the future? Was TY such an ideal fit here that Dallas would be substantial better than it is today? Is Tyson's play and leadership -- not wholly paying off in NY, record-wise -- something that was/is invaluable and missed here?
Some of the finest minds in all Mavs fandom argume the points here on DB.com Boards.
DONUT 3: And three: Is Roddy Beaubois' "Fancy Frenchman'' act a positive or a negative?
It is my season-long contention that if you let Roddy B perform on four consecutive possessions, he will reward you with productivity on three of them.
And on that fourth wacky one? Hey, you gotta live with it.
And then there are the plays that are both "productive'' AND "wacky'':
Rick Carlisle, try as he might, surely knows he cannot turn an apple into an orange. He can corral. He can teach. (And of all of Carlisle's grand skills, that may be his finest.) But the Essence of Roddy B is what it is. And what he is is someone fully capable of outperforming Tony Parker (as was the case Saturday) after two straight games of being rather dominant against the Wiz and the Bobcats. The Mavs are still in the process of training Beaubois, of building his game piece-by-piece. EKS informs me that Roddy B's done a great deal of film study in an attempt to emulate Barea's keep-dribble-alive penetration game. And we've seen the teardrop developing. And his midrange jumper is a thumbs-up work in progress.
So he's not a finished product. But he'll never be an orange. Roddy B is an apple. And three out of every four plays, there's no worm in there.
DONUT 4: I'm doing radio today starting with 'Elf & Friends' on 105.3 The Fan from 10 a.m.-to-2 p.m. ...
Listen Live here to 105.3 The Fan starting at 10 a.m. as I co-host with Elf! Yeah, it's the second round of tryouts, in the sense. Mavs talk with Elf & Fish ... we promise to bring it!
Oh, and catch us on Twitter as well!
DONUT 5: Breaking Buyout News from DB.com ... Kaman? Turiaf? Nocioni?
We've got the answers in our exclusive story from Saturday ....
DONUT 6: Welcome to a new DB.com Mavs partner ...
RED ROCK Bar & Grill is working with us to host another of our famous DB.com Mavs Get-Togethers ... and in the meantime, we're all going to start hanging out there because of that 200-inch screen - the biggest TV in Texas! -- and because of the live music.
Red Rock is at the corner of Frankford & Midway, Just off the Tollway, at 18110 Midway Rd Dallas, TX 75287 .. (972) 733-3683.
Go check 'em out and tell 'em The Fish sent you! ... Oh, and Save the Date: This Friday! ... Mavs at Spurs and we're all going to meet at Red Rock Bar & Grill ... with Random Axis performing after the game! Come sign up here!
DONUT 7: When 'Dirk is Dirk.' When 'The Real Mavs' are 'The Real Mavs.'
It was natural for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to be forced to endure questions about Dirk Nowitzki, the backbone of a Dallas Mavericks team that on Saturday was missing three starters and still beat the Southwest Division-leading Spurs won 106-99.
"Dirk gets a lot of points no matter who's guarding him,'' Pop said. "He's an MVP and Hall of Fame player. … Dirk is Dirk.''
But then Pop dug deeper into the makeup of the defending champs, a team enduring some change that have manifested themselves in what Jason Terry labels "a little turmoil.''
Said Pop: "Dirk is Dirk. But I think Jason Kidd had a good game, I think (Roddy) Beaubois had a good game, Vince Carter had a good game, I thought Ian Mahinmi was good."
The Spurs coach could've continued rattling off Mavericks names.
DONUT 8: And all without three starters ...
Dallas, missing ironman forward Shawn Marion (a bad knee caused him to miss his first start of the season) along with Delonte West and Brendan Haywood, won its third straight game in a fashion familiar to those who paid attention to the club's championship run from a year ago.
Dirk is Dirk. But he cannot do it alone. And while the been-there/done-that Mavs have not displayed their "do-it-ability'' on a nightly basis – heck, during a grueling recent cluster of games Dallas made its fate more grueling by losing to each of the four cellar-dwellers in the West – they do seem to understand the consequences of "playoff-atmosphere'' games.
"It was a playoff battle,'' said Nowitzki, who scored a game-high 27 points against the Mavs' long-time arch-rivals. "Anytime we see the Spurs it's a fun game, great atmosphere, both teams really trying to get the win. … I thought as a team, we always made the right play, find the open guy. That was definitely big."
Those "right plays'' and "open guys'' permitted Dallas to start relentlessly, to avoid shifting into cruise control and to lead from the opening tip to the final whistle. When San Antonio battled its way back into it, drawing within five in the final quarter -- or at any other time, for that matter -- the Mavs responded.
Whether it was Jason Terry or Vince Carter drilling back-to-back late daggers from behind the arc, Kidd putting up his first double-double of the season (14 points, 10 assists), Mahinmi hustling and making himself felt in the paint, Brian Cardinal contributing, Brandan Wright not allowing himself to be buried by the much stronger Tim Duncan, the dynamic play of Beaubois and even the fully-engaged Lamar Odom, the Mavs countered every punch thrown their way. Like the veteran playoff team they are.
The moral to the story is this: The Mavs haven't done an effective job this year of cranking up their ol' engines and dismissing all the New Jerseys and the Sactos that come along. (Given that fact, who can be certain of what will happen at Denver tonight, where the Nuggets are semi-good but in another state of roster flux?)
But on two days rest? In a playoff atmosphere? As has been the case for so much of Nowitzki's career, SA had problems trying to invent a formula to contain him. That was true from a pure scoring perspective (Dirk scored the last 12 points of the first half for Dallas) but it was also true from a physical perspective.
Nowitzki won a few wrestling matches with Manu Ginobili and didn't back down from old nemesis Stephen Jackson (re-acquired in trade by the Spurs on Thursday) and his attempts to "punk'' Nowitzki.
"(Dirk) probably doesn't get enough credit for being the competitor that he is, and for being so tough-minded," teammate Lamar Odom said. "There's nothing soft about Dirk. He's tough."
DONUT 9: And can't the same thing be said about the Mavs themselves? ...
What is "toughness''? What is "leadership''? When an organization and a team exhibits all those traits at a high enough level to upset opponents in round after round on the way to a world championship, does all the toughness and leadership go away with a change (or two, or five) to the roster?
The Mavs are dealing with an assortment of unique challenges. In the last few days, they've been dealing with the eccentricities of Terry and Odom, and then with the injuries, too. Three of five starters out, people.
But then the Spurs come into town and the defending champs look ready to begin an elevation in the West standings … in that Saturday game in particular using a smaller lineup and still managing to outworked San Antonio on the glass in dominating fashion, out-rebounding the Spurs 48-35 and working to triple their second-chance points (12-to-4).
"The rebounding is a big stat when you play these guys,'' said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who then, not coincidentally, mirrored Popovich's way of rattling off Mavs' names. "Second-chance points … was the difference in the game, and it was an emphasis for us. The good thing was we had a lot of guys who had three or more rebounds; Carter had six, Kidd had five, Terry had three, Odom got three, Brandon (Wright) had a big night. …''
In other words, Dirk is Dirk. But he cannot do it alone.
And in this playoff-flavor game, despite his stellar level of play, he didn't have to.
DONUT 10: If you like insight into 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! ... And dress the part, too, by checking out the Dirk-approved, Mavs-approved swag in our Mavs DB.com Store!
DONUT 11: Of Global Icons ...
There was a time when, to be a Global Icon in sports, you HAD to play in New York. You couldn't quite be "Babe Ruth'' and you couldn't quite be "Joe DiMaggio'' and you couldn't quite be "Mickey Mantle'' playing in Cleveland or Pittsburgh or Seattle.
But that was 90, 70, 50 years ago.
Here's my message to the Dwight Howards (and more immediately, the Deron Williamses) of the world. ... something LeBron James will someday regret not understanding:
This is a technology age. Once upon a time, Joe Namath had to be "Broadway Joe.'' Being "Mile High Joe'' or "Lake Erie Joe'' or "Buffalo Joe'' just wasn't going to cut it.
But today? "Global sports icons'' don't have to be headquartered in New York. Where did Brett Favre go global? Where did Peyton Manning do it? Who is more global than Yao Ming? Who has more potential to go global than Yu Darvish?
And global icons exist in Dallas, which is why when it comes time to recruit Deron, Cuban would be wise to measure what it is Williams wants ... my guess is that he wants a combination of global-icon earning power, a chance to win titles, of course, and a "place to retire,'' as the DFW native himself said this week.
Done. Done. Done.
Iconic earning power IS Dallas. It's Aikman and Staubach and Emmitt. It's Dirk (who shuns it) and it's Darvish (who hasn't yet even thrown a strike in a big-league game.) It's Nolan Ryan and it's Cuban himself.
It's been written that adidas will give Dwight a $200-million deal if he lands in New York/New Jersey/Brooklyn. I find it difficult to believe that if a player of his caliber were to land in Dallas, adidas is going to screw him financially because he'll be so "off the map.''
What, they'll make him play barefoot?
LeBron didn't leave Cleveland and therefore screw up his chance at titles. Miami gives him that. But the goof was the "global icon'' thing. He was ALREADY a global icon in Cleveland, based on his talent, their wins, and the positive PR generated by his hometown story.
LeBron left Cleveland in pursuit of something he already had. "Big-market'' only remains a "thing'' because the myth is perpetuated that "New York is where it's at.'' But New York's Mark Sanchez is never going to be bigger than Denver's John Elway. And by the way, "Brooklyn'' ain't Broadway.
And you know what? Deron Williams already plays in "The Big Apple'' (as much as the New York Giants and New York Jets did for all those years). I mean, he's a cab ride away from Madison Avenue. And if playing in the shadow of Manhattan is all it takes, why isn't Deron Williams ALREADY a "global icon''?
The best way to achieve "global icon'' status ... in Oklahoma City or New York City ... is to win.
By the way, if you want the TRUE numbers on how Deron's Dollars can work in Dallas, check out our exclusive Premium story here.
And if you want to get caught up on GM Donnie Nelson talking very frankly about "big fish'' and "having our cake and eating it, too'' in terms of contending this year and free agency in the summer, here's that weekend piece.
DONUT 12: The passing of a legend ...
Furman Bisher, a great chronicler of sports characters and a great character himself, passed away this weekend at the age of 93. The Atlanta-based columnist attended and covered every Super Bowl after the first one and I will always remember the kindness he and the handful of men who were in his "club'' showed a certain young writer during annual greetings at The Big Game. RIP, Furman.