Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts

We've got the goods on Jose's hammy ... Rick's got a five-point plan ... A D-Lord exclusive on Vince retirement talk ... The backcourt differences (starting with skins on the wall) ... Is there an advantage to be gained by being an early bird? ... Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: Jose Calderon's hammy ...

New Mavs point guard Jose Calderon came up a little lame yesterday morning. Tight hamstring is the official word, so he was kept under wraps for most of the Wednesday training-camp work.
The Mavs say it's a minor thing. With the help of's training expert Jeff Stotts, however, we can report that it is something worth monitoring.

Calderon, 32, has dealt with hamstring problems throughout his career. He missed 14 games in his rookie season. And in 2010-11, he missed six more games.

Again, though, none of this is crisis-level stuff. Calderon missed some time during preseason last year due to hamstring tightness but once the regular season started was good to go, his handful of missed games due largely to an eye injury.

UPDATE: Calderon, did not participate fully in the Thursday a.m. workout as Dallas continues to monitor his tight hamstring.

"He did a little bit of stuff," coach Rick Carlisle said, and indeed, Calderon was moving around fine during some shooting work. "He's going to be OK. It's not serious.''

Dallas will likely not have Calderon participate in the p.m. session, and the Mavs remain open to keeping him from full-scrimmage stuff until the tightness is gone.

DONUT 2: A five-point plan ...

The Dallas Mavericks have pinpointed five specific problems from last season that they are working to correct in this training camp.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is being pretty frank when discussing those specific areas that need improvement from 2012-14. Keep in mind, the points of emphasis aren't limited to these five; in some areas -- entry passes from the point, for instance -- the personnel changes will automatically make this year's club vastly more capable than last years.

DONUT 3: Using Rick's words ...

Those five points being stressed in this week's opening days of training camp down in the AAC basement, in Rick's own words:

*"Working on late-game situations.''

*"Transition defense.''

*"Take away 3's.''

*"One-on-one defense.''

*"We've got to be better at guarding the ball without fouling.''

Some are obvious. Some are more subtle. Some seem easier fixes than others. One, to me, jumps out as a direct difference-maker with an easy win-loss correlation to be made:
"Working on late-game situations.''

DONUT 4: Defense First? ...

On Boards, we kick around the merits of the Mavs focusing on defense first. Yes? No? Offense first? Both?

You are welcome to join the conversation. Membership is free, and you will be engaged with thousands of the sharpest Mavs fans on the planet!

DONUT 5: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...

Follow the Mavs on Twitter: Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!

DONUT 6: Swap meet ...

There is no point in Carlisle detailing for the at-large media his innermost thoughts on swapping out Mayo and Collison for Ellis and Calderon. Though he does wax philosophical on the subject with me here in a Premium Q-and-A.

But if there are advantages to be noted, the advantages are about experience, maturity and skins on the wall.

the coach will note that at this time last year, he was overseeing a 24-year-old Mayo and a 25-year-old Collison with a combined seven years of NBA experience. ... and that Calderon at 31 years and Ellis at 27 -- each with eight years of NBA experience -- can be an edge.

"We're more experienced (in the backcourt) by a long shot,'' Carlisle said. "We've got two guys who has several years experience as starting guards. And both guys have playoff experience, so that's going to help us.''

DONUT 7: Vince talks retirement ...
Well, kinda.

"What are you trying to do,'' Vince jokingly asks the inquisitor David Lord, "get rid of me?''

It's smart basketball stuff from one of the finest minds in the Dallas locker room (Vince) and one of the finest minds in the DFW media (David Lord). Go get it!

That same link, by the way, takes you to my exclusive Video Visit with Jose Calderon along with details from inside Mavs training camp. And here is the Tuesday Training-Day report with all the Premium goods to be found!

DONUT 8: The hope (and the humor) ...

Are you permitted to be hopeful about this year's Mavs? Our Michael Dugat makes the case that there are so many unknowns that predicting anything is a risk ... so why not allow yourself to anticipate the positive?

The hope (and humor) of the start of camp is chronicled there.

DONUT 9: Worm-catching...

Training camp started just this week. But throughout September, assorted Mavs players gathered outdoors at the local track and then indoors for five-on-five stuff at American Airlines Center.

Is there an advantage to be gained by being an early bird?
"There were a lot of guys here through the month of September,'' Carlisle said. "In a way the reason there weren't any surprises (to open camp) is we've been able to see most of these guys working for three weeks, so that really helps.''

DONUT 10: Bridesmaid ...

Greg Oden told a Miami radio station today that the the closest he came to signing with a team other than the Heat was with ... the Mavs.

Does that comfort you or encourage you in any way at all?

No, I didn't think so.

DONUT 11: Thanks, Red Rock! ...

Our North Dallas hangout for sports and live music? It's Red Rock Bar & Grill! They help make what it is ... thanks, guys!

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

We still have fond thoughts regarding Brandon Bass and his re-invention of himself as a Mav. Now he's re-inventing himself again ... as the 28-year-old is learning an essential new skill.

"My boy Bass learning how to swim,'' Dirk tweeted proudly.

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