Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts
DONUT 1: We're all spoiled. Even the Mavs themselves ...
I've written often about how spoiled the Dallas Mavericks have caused you and me to be.
Turns out, they've spoiled themselves, too. And that's a good thing, because the high expectations fuel their work to the path to the top.
"When you're used to going a little further and doing a little better, everything becomes a priority,'' GM Donnie Nelson says. "The priority is for us to be healthy in the here and now and also in the long term and never go back to the 10 years of that Bataan Death March, walking the desert with no playoffs.''
The Mavs have qualified for the playoffs for 12 straight years, have won two WCFs and have won an NBA title. Before this run led by Cuban, Donnie and Dirk? That was called "the 1990's,'' otherwise known as The Bataan Death March.
"We got our work cut out for us,'' says Donnie, prepared to do the marching but like the rest of us, not willing to have it end in basketball death.
DONUT 2: The Blame Game ...
I popped onto 105.3 The Fan the other day to talk some Mavs with Richie & Greggo, and Richie Whitt -- my long-time friend and a former Mavs beat writer -- wanted to play "The Blame Game.'' He brought up the possibility that Dirk himself might have to shoulder some blame for a season that went wrong ...
And Richie's right.
It's Dirk's "fault'' (a harsh word but it works here) in the same sense that a Kobe team or a Manning team or a LeBron team that underachieves will cause the superstar/quarterback/best player to shoulder some responsibility for the "failure'' (again a harsh word).
Blaming circumstance is the most accurate target. And in fact, "circumstance'' is part of the reason Dirk rolled into this season not in the finest shape of his career.
In that very specific way, Dirk must shoulder some blame. Blame Cuban, blame Donnie, blame Odom, blame Dirk, blame Jet ... this team lost a lot of games it could've won. If you must play "The Blame Game,'' blame 'em all.
DONUT 3: The UberMan's admission ...
Nowitzki says he's already put together a problem in order to help him avoid the physical issues that hurt him (and yeah, his team) in the first half of the season.
I was on record as defending Dirk for the "circumstance.'' The lockout caused a lot of people to not prepare as they normal would for a season many didn't think would ever occur. Futhermore, Dirk climbed a mountain. He earned the opportunity to celebrate. And, ahhh, it was a summer of love! Dirk's now engaged and yeah, that's a damn good reason to take a day off work, too.
But then the season came. And while Dirk was still All-World in so many ways, the Mavericks eventually opted to hold him out for four consecutive games in January so that he could strengthen a troublesome right knee. "The Dirk-Out Workout'' was weird ...
And next year, it won't have to happen again.
"I struggled physically for the first time in my career," Nowitzki said. "I'm going to really try to keep my legs strong so we don't have to go through what I did at the beginning, because that was ugly."
DONUT 4: Caught up on your Mavs news? ...
* The Jason Kidd Video Visit - And My Takes On His Future
* Rick Carlisle - The Mavs' Most Important Free Agent of All
* Mavs Exit Interview Highlights and Insights including the 'Get Your Ass Home'' message to Deron Williams
* DB.com Boards, where Mavs fans love to barroom-brawl it!
Also, coming up on DB.com: I go one-on-one with the Mavs GM ... David Lord grades the Mavs' CBA-related moves ... and Mark Followill offers his season analysis, with a look back and a look ahead.
All only on the best place for the most in-depth Mavs news and views -- DallasBasketball.com!
DONUT 5: Medical Center ...
The Mavs say no major offseason surgeries are planned for the fellas, though Shawn Marion says he will have a minor surgery to remove ... what did he call it?
For a moment there, it sounded like he said, "Glaucoma.'' "A minor thing with glaucoma.''
Trix was pointing to the back of his shoulder when it said it, though. And now we realize he was saying "lymph node tissue.''
Whew. Because "glaucoma'' didn't sound all that minor.
DONUT 6: The Margarita Capital of Texas! ...
When you're in the neighborhood -- and what a fun neighborhood it is! -- come see the gang at Esparza's in Grapevine! The Margarita Capital of Texas and proud partners of DB.com now celebrating its 27th anniversary!
DONUT 7: More blame? ...
Brendan Haywood might've played his way into candidacy for amnesty by doing so little in the OKC series.
If you're looking for Big Wood to concede that he played poorly, keep looking.
"We all could have played better," Haywood said.
DONUT 8: Catch the Mavs and the DB.com Staff on Twitter! ...
DONUT 9: The Maverbockers ...
The example of what Dallas management feared has it paid up for TY (and/or the other ex-Mavs with rings) isn't just hypothetical.
It lives and breathes in New York.
The Knicks signed a bunch of guys. Gave max-level superstar contracts to Amare and 'Melo (who may or may not be worthy). They used their amnesty card. They have no draft picks. And they have Tyson Chandler at $14.5 million a year.
And ... what do they have?
They have no roster flexibility. They have no cap flexibility. They are an extremely expensive .500 team that must either trudge along with this group or dismantle and suffer those consequences.
Maybe NY wins/contends for a title and it'll all be worth it. What's your prediction? We have the prediction of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson.
They've avoided taking the Knicks path. And you don't have to "imagine'' what that path might look like. You got to see it on the floor this year. You'll get to see it on the floor in Knicks uniforms for the next four years.
DONUT 10: Best in the Business ...
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DONUT 11: Who needs tickets? ...
My guy Ryan at MavCowTickets knows the ins and outs of the Mavs, the Cowboys, the Rangers, the arenas, the opponents ... the works! For the most personal service in the business -- with no stupid add-on costs -- check him out and tell him The Fish sent you!
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
"This summer will be long, so there will be plenty of time to plan things." -Coach Rick Carlisle