Monday Morning Mavs Donuts

Reviewing the weekend and prepping for OKC ... Getting crafty on Calderon ... Why, A.I.? Why, Delonte? ... Lingering disappointment from Portland and Golden State. ... Numbers to help Uncle Ricky make his decision ... all in Monday Morning Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: Dear Uncle Ricky ...

Not that Uncle Ricky needs my help, but can we review the "centers with Dirk'' numbers one more time simply to clear up how clear this is?

Kaman didn't play to start last week in Portland due to the concussion. So our totals are from games previous to that day: Dirk has played 199 minutes with Kaman, 244 with Brand.

Per 36 minutes with Brand with Dirk, the Mavs, as a team, have a total plus/minus of plus-5. Per 36 minutes with Kaman with Dirk, the Mavs, as a team, have a total plus/minus of minus-49.

How much better does Brand on the floor make Dirk and Dallas' defense? With Brand/Dirk, opponents are averaging 97.6 points per 48 minutes. That jumps to 104.2 with Kaman/Dirk.

Carlisle talks of the value of Brand off the bench, and I see that. And I'm as happy as you are that the talents of Wright and James are being explored. But these numbers say that when Brand comes onto the floor, Dirk should remain there, in tandem with him. And they also quite clearly say who -- with some bend for situations, fouls, matchups and the like -- should be on the floor to finish alongside Dirk for The Dallas Mavericks.
DONUT 2: Clever, yes. Dwight, no ... ...

We applaud creative thinking, especially if it's creative enough to end up putting Dwight Howard in a Dallas uniform. Where will he end this summer? Are the Mavs in the mix after all? CBS' Ken Berger offers a smart stab at a Dwight-to-Dallas possibility ... that our facts say really isn't much of a possibility at all.

Our exclusive breakdown is here in Mavs Premium.

DONUT 3: The Mavs Podcast ...

We were starting to see Dirk Nowitzki round into form ... and now we've got a "Father Time, bro'' issue. But either way, too often, when The UberMan experiences an "up'' a teammate or four counterbalance it with a ''down.''

That, of course, is not how we roll on the Mavs Podcast, where Kevin Brolan, Roy White and Mike "The Machine'' Marshall all bring their A games ...

Do understand, of course, that "A games'' are relative as The 75-Member Staff is graded on a curve.

Meanwhile, Dirk is trying to do his thing, too, prepping for tonight at OKC by noting after Sunday's practice that "The good deer antlers spray had time to really sink in."

DONUT 4: Thanks, Frisco Party Station! ...

Our friends at Frisco Party Station are ready for your birthday party, ready for Valentines Day, ready for ... anything! Check 'em out, too, for all sorts of unique Mavs goodies!

DONUT 5: A simple plan ...
Our man David Lord in in charge of the details of why Dallas didn't pull the trigger on a Calderon deal. And no, it wasn't about Vince. It was about Vince AND Kaman. Get the inside story at!

DONUT 6: The disappointment in Portland ...

I know we need to move on; I'm really trying to focus my attention to tonight's game, with yours truly joining Bob Ortegel on the Fox Sports Southwest telcast, which begins at 6:30. ( Mavs at OKC preview here.) And Portland is three games ago, for cryin' out loud.

But I remain bothered by Dallas' habit of inventiveness when it comes to losing games that are seemingly won.

"We've got to continue playing the entire game out,'' O.J. Mayo said after Tuesday's 106-104 loss that featured a 21-point second-half Dallas lead, "and we've got to step on an opponent's neck and not let them get going."

I know, but ... two OJ turnovers in the closing moments? (One, admittedly such a dubious call that the NBA later apologized.) Two amazing shots and five points in five seconds from Aldridge?

And, in a moment that was not significant in the game but still is getting Dallas national attention for the wrong reason, six guys on the court at once. ...

All of this is ... highly inventive.

DONUT 7: And then the fine ...

The Mavs didn't like the down-the-stretch calls that helped them lose in Portland. They didn't like the down-the-stretch calls that helped them lose in Golden State, either. That's the game in which Rick claimed Dallas got "screwed.'' ... and Carlisle earned a $25,000 fine for that one.

But you know, this is what happens to bad basketball teams. This is what sub-.500 looks like. Bad calls. Bad plays. Bad luck. Six men on the floor.

DONUT 8: Want more Mavs? ...

We've got the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!

By the way, we take that same focus that we provide on the Mavs here on and apply it to the Mavs and the Cowboys on 105.3 The Fan. Listen live here for some Fish on Football and for breaking Mavs stuff, too ... throughout today and every day ... and we'll take you inside the teams in every possible way!

DONUT 9: Hi, TY ...

Tyson Chandler recorded back-to-back 20-rebound games for the Knicks over the weekend, and yes, Mavs fans, you have every right to cuss.

DONUT 10: SuperTeams and Nuclear Winter ...

Too many NBA observers are confusing "Nuclear Winter'' with the "Death of the SuperTeam.'' OKC losing Harden is not the "death'' of OKC; Ibaka moves nicely into the third spot. Memphis' dealing of Gay doesn't mean "SuperFriends'' can't work; are/were the Grizz really an assemblage of superstars? LeBron maybe leaving Miami "someday'' isn't the breakup of the Heat until "someday'' comes complete with an ESPN special.

Cuban and the Mavs need desperately for the death of SuperTeams and Nuclear Winter to be one in the same. But the potentially fatal flaw in the thinking remains the same, even as Harden and Gay have swapped teams: All it takes is one franchise to be an over-spender and a tax-ignorer.

If 29 teams go "Nuclear'' and one team -- the sort of team likely based in NY or LA -- to buck the conventional trend ... and you've got yourself a heavy title favorite.

DONUT 11: Why, AI? ...

What are smart Mavs fans saying about Allen Iverson declining the Legends' invitation? It's here , along with an update from me on why Dallas doesn't simply skip the minor-league step and go right to AI with an offer of a 10-day contract:
His statement that the D-League is "not the route for me'' speaks volumes about his misplaced pride. I will suggest to you that the "insult'' of a 10-day prove-yourself contract probably isn't the "route'' for him, either.

DONUT 12: Why, West? ...

And you, too, Delonte?

Listen, I realize the D-League ain't the NBA. (Though Frisco and the Legends ain't exactly Idaho, either.) But Delonte and Iverson both, in a sense, "behaved their way'' out of the NBA. And their unwillingness to "behave their way'' back in speaks volumes about where their heads are at.

Basketball is telling them what they must do. And they aren't listening.

DONUT 13: The Final Word ...

That Paul Harvey Super Bowl TV commercial was so convincingly powerful it makes me want to buy ... A farmer.

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