Mavs Donuts: Climbing Cuban's Stairmaster

Friday Mavs Donuts: We're climbing The Stairmaster and talking analytics with Cuban - via a Video Visit ... Jazz at Mavs tonight and wouldn't this be an OK time to rest Marion's groin? ... What NBA ownership has to do with a concert by The Eagles ... 'Be Ready' rears its head ... Nutritious Donuts inside!

DONUT 1: Team Tank? ...

The Dallas Mavericks tip off tonight at 7:30 at the AAC against a living, breathing example of a TeamTank.

Not that they actually admit it. But their youthful roster and their 1-12 record say enough.
How can the Jazz be as crummy as possible without trying to look like they're trying to look crappy? Well, they can announce that shooting guard Gordon Hayward will be a game-time decision tonight due to a bruised right kneecap.

Hayward got hurt during Wednesday's 105-98 loss at New Orleans (yes, the Jazz will be playing on the second night of a B-2-B) when he bumped knees with a Pelican.

I suspect if this was Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Hayward's tragic encounter with a Pelican would not prevent him from playing. But this is not Game 7 of the NBA Finals. This is Game 14 of Tankarama.

DONUT 2: The Matrix Updated ...

Shawn Marion is hitting 47.8 percent of his 3-pointers this season … including 7-of-12 from the corners (for 58.3 percent). ... and, obviously, including the corner trey that countered as the game-winner against the Rockets on Wednesday ... something he was happy to discuss after the game.

"If I get some open looks, I'm going to knock it down," Marion said. "There was a point in my career where I stopped shooting them. When I came here, I didn't really have to do that. But it never went away. The only way you can make them is to shoot them."

In that game, Marion sustained a right groin strain, however.

"Hopefully, not serious,'' coach Rick Carlisle said of the injury. "But if something happens and he can't go (tonight), everybody's going to jump up one spot on the food chain. And the next guy is going to have to be ready at every position.''
If Marion is absent, Jae Crowder could jump up in the rotation and into the starting lineup. More might also be asked of Vince Carter and Wayne Ellington.

"One player out of the rotation can completely change how a team looks and functions and we have to be ready for those situations," said Carlisle.

Ah, "Be Ready.'' We all remember it well.

DONUT 3: So having said all that ...

Would Dallas miss Marion? Certainly. The Matrix is averaging 12.7 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game while taking on the opponent's most difficult offensive guy, virtually regardless of position.

But having said all that ...

Utah is Utah. If there is ever a night for Carlisle to believe that his team's talent, depth and "Be Readiness'' should be enough to swarm a visitor even without Trix, this is that night.

DONUT 4: In ownership news ...

Our David Lord is (apparently) in charge of the Music Department, and writes:
About six weeks ago, the AAC hosted the opening two concerts of The Eagles' "History of the Eagles" concert tour to much acclaim, and the tour will continue into 2014. We mention it on a basketball website not because it began at the Mavs home, but due to another NBA-related link.

The opening band for the Eagles at these concerts has been a bluesy group called "J.D. and the Straight Shot." Their namesake and front man is J.D. Dolan. You probably know him better as James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks.

The tour tonight is in Orlando (in the Amway Center, home of the Magic) and tomorrow night is in Miami (in the AAA, home of the Heat). If you're a music buff or simply full of curiosity about what an NBA owner can do playing in a band, here's your advance notice that the tour will wind it way back to Dallas in the spring.

DONUT 5: In other ownership news ...

How about we climb the Stairmaster with Mark Cuban and talk basketball analytics?

Want Mavs analytics done right? Our Michael Dugat is your man with 'The Unrestricted Area.'

DONUT 6: Join Boards! ...

Membership is free and the discussions are hot!

We invite you to be part of the Mavs conversation on the best discussion forum in the NBA, The Boards! We're in our 14th season of slicing and dicing Mavs issues ... and more!

Also part of the fun around here: The Mavs Podcast! ...

The goods are to be found on the Mavs Podcast here on iTunes and up and running below as well ... In this episode, we find Roddy B. Politely eating lunch alone in his BMW. With a cast on his hand.

Pull up a chair to the hoops roundtable and let's kick it around ...

DONUT 7: Another bogus trade rumor ...

No, the Mavs have not been in discussions with the Rockets regarding Omer Asik. We covered the reasons why a few days ago and while the rumors keep flying, the status is unchanged.
Now, we can still have fun talking about Asik's potential fit and value to the Mavs ... so we do just that here.

DONUT 8: Dear Lamar: Seek Help ...

How is Lamar Odom holding up? Not well, according to this TMZ-obtained video which seems to show Lamar incoherently rapping shirtless about his use of drugs, his ability to make money without the NBA, and his cheating on wife Khloe Kardashian.

DONUT 9: MFFLs Vs. Dwight ...

Why did Dwight Howard get fined $25K for his Mavs misbehavior? MFFL is why.

DONUT 10: Who's in Frisco tonight? ...

I'm proud to announce that in addition to the work we do with the Mavs, I'm teaming up with the Texas Legends this year to serve as the color analyst for The Texas Legends on 20-plus televised games.

Presented by Veracruz and shown on KTXD 47, the telecasts will have an interactive flavor and feature R.J.Choppy as the play-by-play man, yours truly on color and Legends staffer Travis Blakeley offering insights from the bench.

Our first game? Tonight, the D-League opener, at home in Frisco, against the hated Fort Wayne Ants. For ticket info go to the Texas Legends website and if you are in the neighborhood, please come by and say hello!

DONUT 11: When in Dallas ...
In what is a cool field trip, the Jazz landed in Dallas on Thursday and made their way to the JFK Memorial at the Sixth Floor Museum.

In something even more cool, a reader forwards a photo from 50 years ago today, just before the the presidential assassination, when a familiar face appears in the crowd.

My phone is ringing right now. I assume The Warren Commission would like to speak to me.

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

On Wednesday, Howard complained about a call. Vince Carter called him a "crybaby.'' Vince says that was in response to Dwight calling him the same thing early.

Fight! Fight!

Not exactly.

Dwight and Vince are former Magic teammates and are friendly. I still maintain that the needling -- "overblown'' as Vince says it is -- is an attempt to get into each others' heads. ... no different than what you and I might do to each other in a pickup game or on the golf course or while playing video games. (If, you know, I actually played video games.)

"The emotions are a big part of the NBA game, for some very specific reasons," Carlisle said. "Of all the major pro sports, we have the smallest playing area. Our fans are closer than any other sport and our game is more emotionally charged. All the animated things that happen are one of the great attractions to NBA basketball.

"Consistent to that, the team that can handle those emotions the best on a given night is going to enhance their chances to win that particular game.''

So you needle and you jaw and you poke. And maybe if the needling, jawing and poking hits the mark, you win.

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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