The Shortcomings of Conventional Mavs Wisdom

Conventional wisdom? It's in place for a reason. But as the Mavs attempt to bust a three-game skid, we attempt to bust through conventional wisdom to seek some unconventional truths. Mavs Donuts: The Shortcomings of Conventional Wisdom ...

DONUT 1: Unconventional Wisdom: The Mavs Podcast...

Nobody covers your Dallas Mavericks like, and we revisit a tradition with the relaunch of the Mavs Podcast!
How often will we do 'em? What sort of big-shot guests will we drag in? Can we keep some of the younger participants focused on stuff besides Mavs Dancers and Old No. 7 hangovers?

We'll approach these Mavs Podcasts the same way Rick Carlisle is talking about his 4-4 team right now:

"At this point, I'll look at anything as long as there's five guys out there busting their ass," Carlisle said Tuesday. "And if they aren't, they won't be out there.''

Same with So come listen to us bust our butts for you. Listen to the Mavs Podcast here!

DONUT 2: Conventional Wisdom: Darren Collison an upgrade over a Hall-of-Famer? ...

On Monday night, Darren Collison scored a season-high 21 points and added a team-high five assists. Flashing the speed and quickness necessary to get to the rim with ease, Collison would be disappointed by two blown opportunities near the end of the game.

Though he was stepping into awfully big shoes in Dallas by taking over for the sure HOF'er Jason Kidd, we're not giving up on the hope that he may just be an upgrade over his predecessor. His dynamism has been something Kidd, at his age, simply can not approximate as Collison has replaced a static spot-up shooter on the perimeter with multifaceted offensive game and speed to burn.

Collison's drives will prove all the more useful when Nowitzki returns and Collison has two kick-out options between the UberMan and Mayo.

Having said that: Yes, we are awfully hard on DC in this review of the Monday loss. And in our Premium piece on Darren, you'll see how he's kind of hard on himself recently, too.
DONUT 3: Conventional Wisdom: BBIQ and Ball Movement would suffer without JKidd ...

Though losing one of the smartest players to ever play the game always decreases a team's overall basketball intelligence, Dallas has not suffered much in that department so far. Kidd, himself, was prone to the occasional head-scratcher, too, if you will recall. We're still bothered by his weird penchant last year for lazy baseball passes that never figured to aid Dallas if completed ... and so often they were not.

This season, Dallas is a top-four team in assists per game, and very close to the league average in offensive turnover percentage.

Through the sludge of the three-game losing streak, this much has come true: Rick Carlisle's desire to keep Dallas among "the best passing teams in the NBA'' is still intact.

DONUT 4: Conventional Wisdom: The Offense would suffer without Dirk ...

Prior to the past few games, including Monday night, this conventional wisdom was indeed untrue. Without one of the greatest offensive weapons the league has ever seen, Dallas had shot over 60 percent in consecutive games and seemed to suffer no problems with spacing and scoring that some had predicted.

However, in the past three games the offense has indeed looked like a side minus a superstar that we all feared we'd see when it was announced Dirk would miss extended time.

In the last three games, the offense has hit 94 shots on 241 attempts for 39 percent. We were getting spoiled by that "60 percent stuff,'' eh?

Dirk is talking about his progress going a bit slowly. Mavs insiders are talking about a post-Thanksgiving return. And 39 percent is a dark cloud hanging over the AAC.

Chalk one up for conventional wisdom.

DONUT 5: Conventional Wisdom: Esparza's is the Margarita Capital of Texas! ...
Nobody does it better than Esparza's in Grapevine, a North Texas institution ... For decades and decades, the best Tex-Mex around and the the Margarita Capital of Texas!

DONUT 6: Conventional Wisdom: OJ Mayo is not a No. 1 option ...

Though Mayo only scored 18 points on Monday and did so in an inefficient manner, it was the first time in the last his last six games that he failed to eclipse the 20-point threshold. His unconscious shooting from the arc has been well-chronicled and is the primary fuel for his recent scoring binge. Conventional wisdom held that he was always more of a volume scorer and perhaps his stats will trend towards the mean as the season progresses.

However, Mavs people believe OJ has also shown that with proper coaching and player development personnel, he is capable of performing as a primary scoring option, at least in the short term.

And as a secondary option when You Know Who is part of the long-term.

DONUT 7: Conventional Wisdom: You read, you win stuff!...

Conventional wisdom comes true! Check out Boards for the winner of tonight's Mavs-Wiz lower-bowl tickets ($100 seats!) and for great Mavs fans conversations!
DONUT 8: Conventional Wisdom: 'Rick is a (fill in the blank) ...

"New School'' and I debated this morning about Rick Carlisle's "tough talk'' vs. Jason Garrett's "RedBall Robot'' talk and the fellas used this quote as their example of Carlisle the taskmaster:

"I sound like a broken record: defensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, containing dribble penetration, defensive rebounding, containing dribble penetration, defensive rebounding. Guard somebody and get a rebound. That's where it's at."

What he actually said (edited out from the mainstream media's review):

"I sound like a broken record: defensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, containing dribble penetration, defensive rebounding, containing dribble penetration, defensive rebounding. Fish, guard somebody and get a rebound. That's where it's at."

The point isn't to note that I got name-dropped. The point is that when you read the quote in the paper it sounds different from the tone he used to us who were actually standing there on Tuesday afternoon ... a tone that was loose enough that he crammed in there a winky joke about some reporter's abilities to defend and rebound.

Here's the full eight minutes of Carlisle. Judge for yourself - with the "Carlisle Robot'' and joke coming at the two-minute mark.

DONUT 9: Conventional Wisdom: The Lakers would roll over the rest of the league ...

It seems to happen most offseasons. One team makes a splashy move (or moves) and pundits flock to anoint them the next best thing since the '96 Bulls. Mark Cuban annually pitches in by sarcastically announcing that Team X "just won the summer.''

Of course, the subtle things like chemistry, familiarity, and a disciplined daily approach over the course of a long season eventually come into play.

Los Angeles started 1-5 and despite injuries and so many new pieces, Mike Brown was canned. It was stated that the Lakers, in part, decided to part ways with brown due to defensive issues. Conventional wisdom might indicate then that a defensive-minded head coach should be Brown's replacement.

DONUT 10: Conventional Wisdom: Mike D'Antoni's teams don't play defense ...

Some raised an eyebrow when D'Antoni was announced as a candidate and eventual hire of the Lakers front office. ( If you read, you were not surprised, because of what D'Antoni himself told us on Friday, hours after the Brown firing.) As mentioned, D'Antoni is regarded by conventional wisdom as an offensive guru with deficiencies on defense.

However, his teams haven't been the complete sieves they've been reputed to be. In Phoenix, the D'Antoni Suns' defensive numbers were marred by the pace of the "Seven Seconds or Less," offense. During those years, as noted by Zach Lowe, the Suns ranked near the league average in points allowed per possessions (a metric we were taught long ago by Del Harris to be acutely aware of). Further, during his time in New York, with Mike Woodson along as defensive coordinator (and Tyson Chandler), the Knicks were actually among the top 10 in the league in defense last season.
D'Antoni's Lakers will be able to play defense because Dwight Howard will be able to play rim-protector. We suspect that if those Suns teams employed Dwight Howard, they might have a better defensive rep.

DONUT 11: Conventional Wisdom: The Mavs lack enough talent ...

Maybe so. Yet the NBA All-Star ballots are out, and lookee here: Guards Mayo, Collison, Marion, Nowitzki and Kaman are all on it.

DONUT 12: Conventional Widsom: Tonight's visitor, the Wizards, are winless, so ...

Their glass isn't just half-empty. It's fully empty, right?

"We're not going to overlook them," Collison said. "That's a tough team, as far as we're concerned. We really need to win that game. ... "We have to win this game. It's a must-win for us.''

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