Mavs Donuts: No More 'Beat-Yourselfies'?
DONUT 1: Player-By-Player Scouting Reports ...
DallasBasketball.com has put the finishing touches on our exclusive Player-by-Player Scouting Reports -- projections and plans and upsides and pitfalls -- constructed with guidance from president Donnie Nelson, coach Rick Carlisle and elsewhere inside the Dallas Mavericks personnel department itself. It's 15 Mavs and 15 reports – Premium-grade information from inside the AAC. It's ready for Premium Mavs fans just in time for the start of the regular season. Here, a taste of what is included, featuring Monta Ellis:
Mavs scouting view: Monta Ellis is a "second star'' waiting to happen, and the reason it hasn't fully happened -- even though coach Rick Carlisle refers to Ellis as a "star'' in his conversations with us -- is because he's never played alongside a Dirk. Ellis is a 20-ppg-level scorer who also creates for others, and while his advanced-stat defensive numbers are poor, Dallas thinks there is promise in taking what Ellis does as a steals guy and making it work in a team-wide concept.
Projected role: The Mavs are careful not to put too much on Monta as it relates to the future; questions about him being a "foundation player'' or "the guy to take the baton from Dirk'' are generally deflected. Why? First things first. Carlisle thinks Ellis is the fastest player to ever wear a Mavs uniform. At 28, he's as suited as anyone on the roster to play a fast pace while also playing heavy minutes. None of that makes Ellis a guaranteed foundation piece for the franchise, but it makes Dirk and Monta in the two-man game the foundation piece for the Dallas offense.
Upside: For us, this is 100-percent about Ellis getting to the rim. Monta got to the rim for 5.2 field-goal-attempts per game last season in Milwaukee, and has never averaged below 4.5. By comparison, Shawn Marion led the Mavs a year ago with 4.0 attempts at the rim per game (the most for a Dallas player since Marion averaged 4.1 in the 2010-11 season). No Dallas player has matched those 5.2 attempts at the rim per game going back to the 2006-07 season (per Hoopdata.com), and only twice in that span has a Dallas player exceeded Ellis's career-low of 4.5: Marion with 5.1 in 2009-10 and Devin Harris with 4.6 in 2007-08.
If Monta shoots 22-foot 2's, the concept of Dirk/Monta as a two-man game to set the NBA afire will collapse under its own weight. Monta to the rim? That's the answer.
Pitfall: The "volume shooter'' tag bothers him because the truth hurts. In 2008, Ellis had a .580 true shooting percentage and the driving force there was his ability to get to the rim. There are also issues on defense, where his risk-taking gets him steals but where his lack of size can cause him to get abused.
Contract: Ellis has a three-year deal that pays him $8,000,000, then $8,360,000 and then a player-option season at $8,720,000.
Quotable: "Monta have it all.'' – Monta Ellis.
Folks, we're launching our 14th year of Mavs coverage and as we continue to strive for your approval (and your dime a day!) we are so proud to be on this ride with you.
Thank you, DB.com Mavs fans!
DONUT 2: Trix to the Hall? ...
Can we make a case for Shawn Marion being in the Hall of Fame? Yes, and it's a case so solid even Trix himself digs the angle.
While we're at it, we do the same for Vince Carter as well. Thoughtful stuff for Premium Mavs Fans.
DONUT 3: The Finest Dentists in North Texas! ...
Our neighborhood dentists, even though we don't even live in the McKinney neighborhood? It's McKinneyDentist.com, and it's been the case for Nate, Tony and me for my kids' entire lifetime.
At McKinneyDentist.com, 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 ... McKinneyDentist.com!
DONUT 4: "The Statistical Giant.'' ...
Anyone about to write Dirk Nowitzki off as an aging superstar on his last leg, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said they better think again. "He's getting ready, he's getting ready,'' Carlisle said after Friday morning's shoot around at American Airlines Center. "My hope is that he doesn't have to be the statistical giant he's been in other years and that we can work that out with our balance and come up with the right balance.
"The Statistical Giant.'' That sounds cool.
DONUT 5: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...
Follow our Mavs coverage on Twitter, where our live coverage of the season will unfold all day and every day! Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!
DONUT 6: Join the club! ...
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DONUT 7: See you at Dee Lincoln's ...
Thanks to Dee and the incredible staff at Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger Bar for making their place the wonderful "upscale casual'' place to dine before you attend events in Dallas ... The gang from DB.com looks forward to seeing you there!
DONUT 8: J-Ho to S.A. ...
There's no reason to fear this, exactly. Josh Howard is signing with the Spurs and is on a non-guaranteed contract and is literally eight seasons removed from having been at any sort of high level of effectiveness.
So even as he shifts to their D-League program, why are we so concerned that San Antonio is going to somehow make this a productive move?
DONUT 9: Congrats, Harp! ...
A positive vibe for Mavs fans to hang their Don Carter-style hats on this season: the confirmation that legend Derek Harper's No. 12 will be retired by the club this year.
Harper, now Dallas' TV color analyst, holds the franchise career records for assists (5,111) and steals (1,551), and ranks fourth in team history in scoring with 12,597 points. His number will be retired alongside Brad Davis and Ro Blackman.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban stated back on Dec. 12 of last season that Harper's time was coming, so this isn't breaking news ... but we'll take the feel-goods where we can get 'em.
Harp is part of the DB.com family with his periodic contributions here, and his guidance has been invaluable to me in our work together at FOX Sports Southwest. We're honored to call him a friend and so proud that he's about to be honored in a way he so deserves.
DONUT 10: 'Beat Yourselfies' ...
Goshalmighty are we tired of the concept of Mavs "dress rehearsals.''
They failed to properly pull off the concept in consecutive home losses last week, on Friday closing the preseason at the AAC with a 98-77 loss to the Pacers.
"We made a lot of mistakes that are ‘beat yourself' mistakes,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We've been talking about it all training camp that one of the calling cards for this team is that we don't beat ourselves. We did a lot of it ... We have to do better."
Despite Carlisle again suggesting this might be a "dress rehearsal" for Wednesday night's home opener against the Atlanta Hawks, we're left hoping it is something well short of that. The Pacers were able to pull away midway through the fourth quarter, forcing Carlisle to rest his starters the remainder of the way.
Dirk Nowitzki struggled finding his shot most of the night, finishing with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Monta Ellis added nine points, five rebounds and six assists for the Mavericks, but found it equally difficult to put the ball in the basket, going 4-of-14 from the field. Shawn Marion also contributed in the loss, scoring 10.
The Mavericks led 41-39 at halftime, and were able to build a 51-43 lead early in the third quarter before the Pacers quickly extinguished it with a 13-0 run that ultimately put Indy ahead for good.
Aside from a night that found Dallas shooting 37 percent from the field, an even bigger story was sloppy play that led to 25 turnovers for the game. The offense seemed out of sync, and had trouble slowing a Pacers team coming off a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
"That's a good team showing us that we have a long way to go,'' Dirk said, "so maybe this wasn't all bad."
Carlisle capped off a frustrating night collecting a technical foul with 38 seconds left after trying to call a timeout and having none to spare. It was yet another mistake that was a "beat yourself' mistake.
Mercifully, the 4-4 preseason is over. No more "dress rehearsals'' and hopefully, fewer "beat yourselfies,'' too.
DONUT 11: Worth another look ...
It's rather inspiring, isn't it?
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
"We still have three practices,'' Jose Calderon said late Friday. "That's the main thing. We have to get ready, get good rest, be ready for Wednesday. It's a really important game to start the season with a win. ... You've just got to grab the positive part. The bad part is what you need to fix tomorrow, get better. It's not about if you win today or you lose. It's 0-0, we start Wednesday.''
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