Mavs Donuts: To The 'Machine-Like' Spurs
DONUT 1: A busy week ...
The Dallas Mavericks were coming off two disappointing home losses to the Clippers and Knicks, but they weren't given much time to think about either game. Starting with Tuesday's visit from the Lakers, Dallas is in the midst of playing four games in five nights including a weekend back-to-back home-and-away against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Before the game, Rick Carlisle claimed that the Mavericks didn't have the luxury of thinking about how to manage all four games in such a short amount of time.
"The challenge is to deal with the first one first," Carlisle said. "We haven't played well the last couple so this is important tonight. We have to work at playing better on both ends."
Coming into Tuesday night the Mavericks had lost four straight home games.
And now, after a 110-97 win over the Lakers which we chronicle in unmatched depth here in Your All-Access Donuts?
"The important thing is to find a way – and we did,'' Carlisle said. "Now we've got to get on the plane and play a 6 p.m. game (today)."
We'll have the telecast on FOX Sports Southwest at 5:30, Fish joining Dana and Bob on the pre- and postgame shows.
DONUT 2: The official highlight reel ...
DONUT 3: But the big story ...
... Is the shoulder injury sustained by Shawn Marion.
Late in the second quarter, Ryan Kelly curled under the basket to leave space for Pau Gasol to go one-on-one against Dirk Nowitzki along the left baseline. Shawn Marion followed, attempting to spin around Pau to clutter any passing lane. As he spun, arms going up, Marion's feet first clipped Gasol and then Dirk's calves and shins.
Marion's legs caught, his body spun, his arms stayed over his head, never coming around to cushion the fall. Instead, momentum caused him to fall with the full weight of his upper body on his right shoulder, his head whipping to the right, perhaps also coming into contact with the floor.
"I actually tripped him, unfortunately. I was playing defense,'' Dirk said, then deadpanning, "I shouldn't have played defense."
After taking several moments to rise, Marion walked with Mavs trainer Casey Smith, directly to the locker room to get X-rays on his collarbone … which turned out to bring about as good of news as possible: right-shoulder contusion.
He would not return.
Wayne Ellington would start the second half in Marion's place. ... and figures to move up the totem pole for a while.
Any time missed by Marion is bad for the Mavs, and Tuesday being the first game in a four-in-five-nights stretch including San Antonio Wednesday, it's worse.
"He's banged up," Rick Carlisle said of Marion. "X-rays were negative. He's not going to travel with us tonight (to San Antonio), and we'll hope that he feels better tomorrow or the next day. We'll see."
What we might see with Trix, given the nature of shoulder contusions, is as much as a two-week absence.
In just over 15 minutes, Marion contributed eight points, 4-of-7 field goals and seven rebounds.
DONUT 4: Monta Basketball ...
Through three quarters Monta Ellis was 2-of-11 for six points with three turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Lakers crept within five points of coming back when Ellis decided to score 10 straight points and put the game out of reach. He shot 5-of-7 from the field in the fourth quarter and had zero turnovers.
"It was a key stretch of the game," Carlisle said. "Monta had a rough game up to that point offensively, although he had quite a few assists. We really needed a spark. He made plays…It was great to see a guy staying the course."
DONUT 5: Heavy-lifter ...
Dirk Nowitzki finished with a game-high 27 points, hitting 12-of-20 shots, to go with seven rebounds and four assists, doing much of the heavy lifting for the first three quarters, when he had 23 of those points, hitting 10-of-15 shots.
DONUT 6: Invince-able ...
Against the Lakers, Carter outscored the entire Lakers bench 19-16, though that only included three players.
Carter finished with those 19 points by hitting 7-of-12 shots, including 3-of-5 behind the arc, and added five rebounds, one assist and one steal. The Mavs are now 7-1 when Carter hits at least half of his shot attempts … compared to 4-7 when he converts 30 percent or less of his shots.
Vince's Video Visit:
"Everybody was locked in tonight,'' Vince said.
And on the subject of San Antonio, where the Mavs quickly turned their locker-room attention to?
Vince: "They're like a machine. You just have to try to figure that machine out and hope they're off."
Ah, yes. No respite from thinking about tonight. eh?
DONUT 7: Stat of the Night ...
Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis: 17 assists
Los Angeles Lakers: 21 assists
We love to see the Mavericks' backcourt playing defense (such as it is), but when they are distributing the ball the Mavericks offense performs as well as any team in the league. The fact that Dallas shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor is partly due to the nine assists of Ellis and eight assists of Calderon.
And of course, the team's grand total of 32. ... which is 29 more than it had in the first half of that "Cesspool Game'' against the Knicks.
With 32, the Mavs had their third highest assist total of the season … their top game also came against the Lakers (34), both wins.
Dallas is now 4-1 when totaling at least 30 assists.
DONUT 8: Enough shoelaces ...
Before Tuesday's game, Shawn Marion was (ironically) tying his shoes in the locker room when he told the media how silly it was to talk about the "controversial" incident of Knicks guard J.R. Smith untying Marion's shoes during a free throw of last Sunday's game.
"It was just joyful play," Marion said. "Y'all just take everything out of proportion."
Marion shook his head at the notion that Smith should be suspended for the incident. But the NBA is issuing a warning, and the Knicks don't think it's so funny, and the dude apparently has a shoe(string) fetish as this isn't the first time he's played with another man's foot.
But knowing Marion, we're not surprised that he can laugh off quirkiness. Trix is a little quirky himself, you know.
DONUT 9: Who Deserves 'The Dirkie'? ...
Nowitzki and Ellis are among the candidates for Who Deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here and discuss the game as well on DB.com Boards!
DONUT 10: Quoteboard ...
"I think the last two games we got outside ourselves and we weren't moving the ball enough. So throughout yesterday's practice and shoot around today coach expressed us to continue to move the ball and cut and move. And we did that and got open shots and luckily tonight they went down." - Monta Ellis.
DONUT 11: A Defensive Backcourt? ...
The Mavs backcourt has been excellent on offense this season. Defensively they have been, well, as we hint above, not excellent.
Both Ellis and Calderon were very active on the defensive end Tuesday night, taking advantage of the young, inexperienced guards of the Lakers. Together they combined for 10 steals (five a piece). Their active hands led to a number of fast-break opportunities for the Mavericks.
The fact remains that Ellis and Calderon both struggle with keeping defenders in front of them, but Tuesday night they proved that effort and well-timed defensive gambles can help make up for those inadequacies.
"It was another key to the game," Carlisle said. "If guys are getting steals and not swinging and missing then, hey, it's great."
Not surprisingly, given the 10 steals from Ellis and Calderon, the Mavs scored 25 points off of 20 Lakers' turnovers … tying for their second most this season, second only to the 30 in a win over Golden State Nov. 27th.
DONUT 12: The Redheaded Stranger ...
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was hanging around the Mavs locker room with Carlisle and no we don't want to hear any of your stupid jokes.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
We've got tons more Video Visits and analysis from inside Mavs HQ here in Your All-Access Pass, including, as always, Dirk and his familiar blue towel (and this time, working a little blue, too.)
As Dirk said in the above Video Visit, "We needed to stop the bleeding somehow.''
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