Friday Mavs Donuts: Getting Over The Sting

Stinging questions from Oakland ... Two big games in Frisco this weekend ... Who hugs Dalembert? ... Higher usage for Dirk, please. ... Have you pulled up a chair for the Mavs Podcast yet? ... Friday Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: The Oakland sting ...

Yes, the sting is wearing off.
That was a 2-2 road trip that included real challenges at New Orleans, Portland and Golden State ... and then something less than that in a loss at Sacramento. ( Check out the results of all those games, with analysis, here in Archives.

The sting is wearing off but the questions -- the ones coach Rick Carlisle and staff took Thursday to mull over and will ideally address at practice today -- linger ...

DONUT 2: Ask away! ...

*Veteran center Samuel Dalembert increasingly appears to be a sensitive soul, the sort who solicits a hug from second-year man Bernard James after Sam misses a layup. Is Rick interested in hugging him as a way of motivating him?

*Should Marion be leaving his feet to defend Steph Curry's pump-fake game-winner with 1.5 seconds left? And while he's this team's best defender, is switching Shawn to a waterbug scorer the option Dallas would use if it has to do over again?

*Against a waterbug, is Shane Larkin ready to supplant Jose Calderon as a perimeter defensive option?

*Is there a problem with having Monta taking that last shot? Nah. Hey, we didn't have a problem for a play being designed for him in Portland when the ball went through the net, did we?

But involving Dirk (say, via a screen) probably gives Ellis an even better shot. Causes movement in the defense. Draws defenders away from Monta and toward the threat of Dirk.

Wasn't there time to do so?

And, after all is said about this, should we be a little patient with the Dirk/Monta chemistry desires? Ellis is still learning to play with Dirk, and he's already light year's ahead in that chemistry compared to the guys who worked in combo with Nowitzki last year, right?

*Does Dallas seem to have a devil of a time holding onto a lead (in this case, an 18-point bulge at one point) or does that apply to every team in a league where "the other team always makes a run''?

DONUT 3: And finally ...

On the Mavs' final desperation possession, needing to travel the length of the floor in 1.5 seconds, ah, don't you wish Rick still had a timeout?

And short of that, don't you wish the officials hadn't gotten so caught up in the excitement that they forgot to notice that Dallas deserves a free stoppage in action?

Yes, an officials' timeout. As a result of several Warriors sprinting to the playing floor after Curry's make. That's a live-ball situation. They can't be on the floor.


But there is Nemanja Nedovic, still wearing his warmups, throwing himself a celebratory party.

By rule, a T should've been assessed. Best-case scenario, Dirk makes the free throw and then Dallas gets to set up an offensive charge with 1.5 seconds remaining from the same inbounds spot as before. (Again, no Mavs timeout, so no advancement to the forecourt.)

It's not why Dallas lost; a few people accosted me on Twitter for the Mavs being "whiners'' when it fact the guilty whiner is me. ... wishing the rules had been enforced properly so the Mavs' last-second desperation chance wouldn't have been quite as desperate.

DONUT 4: Mavs Podcast! ...

Our Mavs Podcast gets you through the week, with ... Mike Marshall and Kevin Turner leading the conversation on the special here on iTunes and up and running below as well ... I'm there as well and we invite you to pull up a chair to the hoops roundtable and let's kick it around ...

The Mavs Podcast, y'all!

DONUT 5: Want comforting? ...

Call it "comforting" or call it "maddening." But as I went to bed last night (early because that game and postgame TV deal was exhausting) the Mavericks were on pace for 47 wins and if the season was ended immediately they'd be a lottery team.

DONUT 6: I'll take the blame ...

Coach Carlisle said the mistakes at Golden State were the fault of the coach. But as a part of the Fox Sports Southwest team that brought you the game, I feel personally responsible for the turnover issue.


Those 141 turnovers ... those are on me.

DONUT 7: 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!

Oh, and thanks for that biggest-in-Texas 200-inch TV screen, too!

DONUT 8: Higher usage, please! ...

Watching Golden State, it really does appear to be largely a free-lance offense with Curry, especially, allowed a green light.

His creativity off the dribble, especially, makes him a vastly different player than The Uberman, who needs the ball fed to him before he can create.

But as we're all trying to de-code what Dallas does in the clutch and what it should do in the clutch (alongside begging Vince to quit shooting), know this: In the fourth quarter in Oakland, Curry shot 11 times. Dirk shot four times.

This is a misuse of one of the greatest high-efficiency/high-usage players in NBA history.

DONUT 9: Fish and Frisco! ...

I'm proud to remind you that in addition to the work we do with Dallas Mavericks here, on FOX Sports Southwest and on 105.3 The Fan, I'm teaming up with the Texas Legends this year to serve as the color analyst for the D-League Mavs affiliate 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 assistant coach Travis Blakeley offering insights from the bench.
The assignment is a perfect compliment to what we do here on We'll get a close-up look on what's going on "down on the farm'' for the Mavs ... and we'll present that look to you live on TV.

This is where Ricky Ledo is learning to play and where a couple of other Mavs kids might end up as well. It's a great place to hang out with the gang, to take the family, and to watch the development of the next generation of Mavs.

We've got telecasts tonight and Saturday night live from Frisco. For ticket info go to the Texas Legends website and if you are in the neighborhood, please come by and say hello!

DONUT 10: Early voting ...

In early All-Star Game balloting for the West, Dirk is 10th among West forwards. And Ellis is in the top 10 among guards, too, right?

No, he is not. But Kobe is. Lin is. And Nash is.

Yet another lesson in just how seriously to take this process.

DONUT 11: DH vs. VC ...

Devin Harris comes back and takes Vince Carter's touches -- not all of them, just some important ones -- and all is right with the Mavs world, I think hopefully.

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
The Rangers swear their Rule 5 drafting of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is not a "gimmick.'' It is with no disrespect that I say: I've spent a lifetime covering the Mavericks and the Cowboys. I understand attention-grabbing gimmickry when I see it ... and I see it here.

I just don't know why the Rangers bothered with Wilson when Tom Brady (long ago an Expos draftee as a high-school catcher) and Peyton Manning (who batted .333 as a high-school sophomore) were still on the board.

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