Friday Mavs Donuts: Educating Larkin

I've got Fox Sports Southwest TV tonight, with the telecast for Mavs-at-Hawks starting at 6 p.m. ... How the Mavs aren't trying to morph Larkin into what he is not ... Straightening out that Bosh mess ... Cuban on HGH ... The benefits of passing ... Oh, the Nets thought this was going to be so easy ... Friday Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: Busy weekend ...

The Dallas Mavericks are at Atlanta tonight and I'm in the Fox Sports Southwest studios for the telecast, starting at 6 p.m. Dana Larson, Bob Ortegel and myself get you started and then we go to Mark Followill and Derek Harper for the call.

Before that, if you want to chew on the Cowboys-Raiders Thanksgiving Day result, I'll be in studio with "Ben & Skin'' for an hour-long roundtable beginning at 3:30 on 105.3 The Fan. Listen live here.
And then on Saturday, I join R.J. Choppy on the Texas Legends telecast on Channel 47 starting at 7 p.m. We'd love to have you join us on TV or, even better, in the arena in Frisco. It's Tulsa at the Legends and you can get your tickets here.

A fun, busy weekend ... and I am so proud to have you along for the ride!

DONUT 2: Morphing point guards ...

Is this Rick Carlisle conceding that he messed up in trying to make Roddy B a point guard?

"I think there's things about Barea's game that every sub-six-foot point guard can learn from," Carlisle said recently. "And I want to be clear about this. You know, the plan is not to clone J.J. Barea into Larkin, because they are different players and they're different people with different personalities, but just to show the things that he is capable of and situations where he can be effective the way J.J. was.

"But I've learned in this league you can't take guys and turn them into other guys. Many times it does more harm than good, but you try to point out the positives, encourage them and train them. And then as you go you figure out what works and what doesn't work."

In that above link, Mavs fans discuss what Rick means by all this. Maybe it's not really about Roddy B at all. But it's certainly relate-able regarding how Shane Larkin is JJB-like in some ways ... and yet also about how Larkin may be a unique talent ... and may be used by Rick -- the guy who handpicked Shane in the draft -- in unusual ways.

DONUT 3: Larkin's Video Visits ...

Larkin got tugged from the loss Monday to Nuggets after two less-than-energetic minutes. He says a lesson was learned ...

"Too cautious''? That's not the way the Mavs want him to play. Solve that and he gets to be the first PG off the bench, he gets to work in combination with Ellis, he gets to serve as a defensive substitution (!) and he gets key minutes in crunch time ... all of which happened Wednesday in the win over Golden State.

"They've been saying it for a while, and I haven't done it and saw the consequences," said Larkin, who responded with his best game yet against the Warriors with seven points and six assists in 17 minutes. "I played two minutes that meant something the other night (vs. Denver), they pulled me, I didn't get back in the game. That just lit a fuse under me.''

The next challenge for the rookie is the same as with any kid making the jump from college to the pros: A lit fuse, 82 nights a year.

DONUT 4: Cuban talks HGH ...

There is a distinction necessary when we discuss Mavs owner Mark Cuban's views the use of human growth hormone for professional athletes.

He's not in favor of HGH. He's in favor of knowledge.

"That's why you study it," Cuban said. "If there's a study and it gets approved by the FDA and they say, yeah, it helps recovery (from injuries) and it isn't dangerous, why wouldn't you do it? ... There's a lot of drugs that they don't know about until they do the study, and then they get FDA approval, and then you use them."
Cuban said he wants to "accelerate'' the learning curve by possibly funding studies himself. Part of that learning curve isn't just scientific, of course; there is a stigma attached to HGH.

"That's so curable,'' Cuban said. "It's easy. I mean, think of it this way. Any drug that's been FDA-approved that has medical benefits, there's going to be a non-sports population that benefits from it. ... When I was a kid, I was stuck with glasses for life. Then LASIK comes along and it gets approved. Now, every player uses it ... I'm not worried about the public perception. Perception is really connected to non-prescribed usage. If it's all prescribed usage, it's a different animal."

DONUT 5: The benefits of passing ...

The benefits of Dirk as a passer, of Calderon at the point, of guard tandems featuring two guys with PG-type skills (now including Shane Larkin)?

Against Golden State on Wednesday, the Mavs recorded 27 assists. Dallas is 7-0 when they get 25 or more than a game.

DONUT 6: At the risk of being impolite ...

If you are viewing ESPN and taking it as the gospel on all things Mavs, you, my friend, are doing it wrong.

ESPN is asserting that your Mavs have already pinpointed Chris Bosh as the No. 1 target in summer-of-2014 free agency.

At the risk of being impolite ... please allow us to explain in detail the three areas in which this story is baloney.

DONUT 7: Join Boards! ...

There is Mavs conversation about the games, the moves, the NBA, the everything on the best Mavs discussion forum on the planet, The Boards! Fourteen years and still going strong thanks to y'all's participation ... which is among the things I am most thankful for!

DONUT 8: J-Kidd's Nets mess ...

Our David Lord's take on the mess that is the Nets:

You'd swear that the Nets were tanking - or thinking they might need to adjust their goals and go into tank mode - except they don't have any picks this year.


Wonder what Prokhorov thinks of this, considering he's paying over $100 million in player payroll, plus about $90 million or so in tax, for this elderly abomination of a team losing games at half the rate they win them, all the while looking so hapless with little hope for the future?

J-Kidd's spill-my-drink sequence in order to get a clock stoppage the other night is cool or funny or lame or whatever you think of it. (What the league thinks it is: Worthy of a $50,000 fine.)

But there is nothing "cool'' about what the Brooklyn Nets are doing as they once thought the building of a champion was as easy as spending money ... and they now realize it's as difficult as looking innocent while spilling a drink on purpose.

DONUT 9: Mavs 103, Warriors 99 ...
Our coverage of the Mavs' maybe-signature win over the Warriors includes video and analysis here in Donuts. Thanks to Dirk, Vince, Monta, Rick and so many others for their cooperation in helping us bring you all our Video Visits!

DONUT 10: "Chanukah with the Mavs" ...

It makes sense for the community and it makes sense for Israeli rookie point guard Gal Mekel: On Dec. 3, the team will hold "Chanukah with the Mavs" in conjunction with Jewish Heritage Night at the AAC before the Bobcats game.

The evening includes an exclusive meet-and-greet with Mekel, kosher foods and at 6:15 p.m., a menorah lighting. Click here for tickets.

DONUT 11: Biggest TV in Texas! ...

Want live music on weekends, a great location in North Dallas, and the biggest TV screen in the state? Come see Barry and the Mavs-lovin' gang at Red Rock Bar & Grill!

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

What are the Mavs thankful for?

DONUT 13: The Finest Dentists in North Texas! ...

Our neighborhood dentists, even though we don't even live in the McKinney neighborhood? It's, and it's been the case for Nate, Tony and me for my kids' entire lifetime.

At, Dr. Berlin, Dr. Markham, Dr. Lynch and Dr. Wood have been providing the finest in everything from technology to chair-side manner for years, to my family and to so many of you. Their great work has part of us bringing our Mavs coverage to you since 1995 ... And we're proud to be associated with The Finest Dentists in North Texas ...!

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