Thursday GameDay Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: They aren't snowflakes ...
The Dallas Mavericks are trying to overcome their 0-2 deficit in this Round 1 match with OKC. In the moment, it feels ... unique. But if you've been there before -- as this core group of Mavs have -- well, maybe it's not such a snowflake.
Carlisle notes that in his 28 NBA seasons as a player and coach, he's approaching the 260-game mark.
"It doesn't change much,'' he says of playoff basketball, and that's a comforting thought, in a way, isn't it?
J-Kidd offered up the same sentiment approaching tonight's Game 3 at the AAC, an 8:30 tip.
There are no concerns here,'' Kidd said. "It's just basketball. Keep it as simple as possible.''
DONUT 2: The Matrix is No. 8 ...
Shawn Marion didn't win Defensive Player of the Year. Old pal Tyson Chandler did.
"Well, my vote would go to Marion,'' Carlisle said. "I thought Marion was deserving. Tyson did a terrific job for New York and really helped change a lot of what they were doing, so defensively he's deserving. There were a lot of guys deserving of consideration, but I felt Marion, because of the diversity of which he's been doing it all year, guarding four, five positions, should have been in the conversation."
Rick's right about one thing: there is a list of guys with merit. Here are the top 10 finishers in DPOY voting, with total points: Tyson Chandler, 311; Serge Ibaka, 294; Dwight Howard, 186; LeBron James, 112; Kevin Garnett, 44; Tony Allen, 36; Andre Iguodala, 33; Shawn Marion, 17; Luol Deng, 16; Josh Smith, 9.
It's awfully hard to argue against any of those guys.
Carlisle told me, "Marion's got to be in the top one, two or three guys in the league'' and therefore believes Shawn will make his first-ever All-NBA Defensive Team (first- or second-team.) Makes sense, except ... look at the forwards among the vote-getters. Ibaka, James, KG, Iggy ... even making All-NBA D is going to be tight at the forward position.
DONUT 3: Preemies ...
Three tales being hatched before their time:
*Kidd will require a certain level of salary or else he'll threaten retirement.
*No way Marion will be amnestied.
*Deron definitively knows where he's going.
As always, it's a mad race to be first to spew the information ... even if the information turns out to be inaccurate. In the case of these three stories, we cannot write the conclusion to them because ... they haven't even begun to be written yet.
DONUT 4: Chasing Westbrook ...
Dallas is mentioning the possibility of assigning Shawn Marion to guard Russell Westbrook and this is a compliment to 'Trix but a breakdown in other ways and a surprise in still others.
It's a breakdown because chasing Westbrook is something Delonte, on paper, ought to be able to do as well as the next waterbug defender. It's a surprise because all these mid-range shots being made by Westbrook in this series were being missed by him a year ago -- missed with such consistency that Scott Brooks finally benched him amid accusations of selfishness.
Dallas' job here would be much easier if Delonte would guard him ... and if Westy'd miss a dang shot every once in a while.
DONUT 5: Overcoming frustration ...
In the final two minutes of these eight playoff quarters, OKC is outscoring Dallas 55-39. And in the final three minutes of each game? The Thunder has a 20-10 advantage on Dallas.
"It's been frustrating,'' Dirk Nowitzki said. "Last year coming down the stretch, we knew we'd find a way to win. Get the big stop, get the big shot, get to the line. Whatever needed to happen to get the win, we did.
"This year for some reason, we couldn't. So it's been frustrating. But we're not going to pack it in. We're going to keep coming.''
The good news? The "keep coming'' part. The bad news? Dirk's remarks, heard with a cynical ear, almost sound like he's talking in the past-tense.
DONUT 6: Take 'em two at a time? ...
It's weird to hear Carlisle bust from the conventional in this regard. Oh, he didn't mean it quite like we're letting ourselves hear it, but still ...
"We need to win two games," Carlisle said of G's 3 and 4. And that's about as close as a coach will come to saying, "We're taking 'em two at a time.''
DONUT 7: T-shirts! ...
the Mavs are giving away 20,000 blue "All-In' t-shirts for Game 3. I've already promised Lamar Odom I'd grab him one.
DONUT 8: Watch the game with DB.com on Twitter ...
Follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... As has been the case for 13 years, the 75-Member Staff is the best in the Mavs business!
DONUT 9: How's your "disposition''? ...
"It's going to be physical," Carlisle said of tonight's G3. "That's how playoff series get. Generally, they get more physical before they get less physical. We've got to have the right kind of disposition."
Well, there's "physical.'' On the other side of it is "accidental.'' And over on the far side is "dirty.'' The Dirk-Perk near-fight was actually triggered by Ibaka's rake-and-poke, the sort of play that will indeed alter a guy's disposition -- and maybe even his ability to see out of one eye.
After watching that ... how's your disposition?
DONUT 10: KD's 15-of-44 ...
That's what the three-time scoring champion had done for OKC, and it ain't much. His fortunitous bounce to close G1 is a lone positive moment, and Marion had him bottled up on that shot, too. Kevin Durant isn't getting into the paint, isn't creating, isn't open.
So is this something to build on, meaning it's a trend that can happen again tonight? Or is a fluke meaning KD's due to bust out?
DONUT 11: My Tyson thing ...
I'm not attempting to win an argument here. Nor am I attempting to sell something. I'm in the information business, not in the sales business. (Though if I can interest you in the best margarita in Texas, I'd be happy to steer you to Esparza's!)
So please read this 10-point dissertation on the departure of TY and understand that it doesn't necessarily reflect my thinking but does illustrate what the Mavs were and are thinking.
The part that is all me: The urging of Mavs fans to extract themselves from the 0-2 moment and to look at this transaction and all transactions as part of a continuous flow of Mavericks basketball. And it is a continuous flow in the sense that there's never a "Title or Bust'' approach, not really ... because there's never a "bust.''
No matter what happens, Cuban and Donnie and Dirk and you and me are going to be right back here again next season (whenever "next season'' begins) plowing away again ...
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
Teams that fall behind 0-2 have a record of 14-226 in best-of-seven series. Reason enough for Jason Terry to announce, "Game 3 is a Game 7.''
I might note that Game 4 will be the same thing, though wise colleague Chuck Cooperstein jumps in to note that depending on what happens in Game 3, Game 4 might be something different altogether.
But I still say if your mind and body can treat them all like Game 7, you'd usually never need to ever get to a real Game 7.
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