Mavs Donuts: How To Heal The Divisiveness
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It's not just Dallas Mavericks fans who view the presence here of Rajon Rondo as a divisive issue. And it's not just coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo who viewed it that same way -- at least for a moment during that ... in-game tug-of-war that resulted in a one-game suspension of the four-time All-Star point guard and much hang-wringing and teeth-gnashing over whether the blockbuster trade was at all wise. (Hint: It'll be especially unwise if Dallas and Rondo don't get together on a summer free-agency agreement to keep him in Dallas.)
No, the Rondo divisiveness extends all the way to his former home in Boston ... with a stabbing ... at a Celtics game ... involving two gentlemen who were both wearing Rondo jerseys.
The fine medical staff at a Boston hospital (and the cops) are cleaning up that mess. In Dallas, meanwhile, Rondo-on-Rondo seems like a conflict in the process of being solved.
"He's really developed a good sense for our team -- when to just push it, when to get into something," coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday's 129-99 monster win over the visiting Clippers. "He really understands the guys that he's playing with."
He does? Wait ... when did this happen?
Rick has acquiesced here, and it's happened so quickly that I suspect this whole damn thing was planned by the ol' psych major.
"It's tough to give a guy the keys to the car when he first gets there,'' said Rondo, who now at least is in possession of a copy of Rick's keys ... and has been made to feel like he's the QB around here. How and why Rick has given the keys to Rondo -- and my conspiracy theory on how Carlisle orchestrated this whole deal (in a sense, even the "dust-up'') is here in Mavs Premium.
After losing by 30 on Monday to the Cavs (in that "cheating-the-game' debacle) the Mavs' effort against the Clippers was something to behold. This marks only the second time in franchise history that Dallas has followed a 30-point loss with a 30-point win (February 1989 was the previous occasion) and you'd like to stay off that roller-coaster -- and might, if you click as Dallas did Friday. The Mavs trailed 24-21 after the first quarter as they found their rhythm against a gifted LAC club ... and then the Mavericks outscored the visitors 108-75 the rest of the way.
"We know what type of team we are,'' said Amar'e Stoudemire, very quickly a motivational voice in the room. "We know what type of team we can be. It's just a matter of us showing it."
Courtesy of our man Mark Followill: After that Friday win, the Mavs are now a highly-lucky 8-4 all-time on Friday the 13th.
Eyeball the standings and look at the crunch: The Spurs, the Clippers and the Mavs are in a three-way virtual tie for third, all just 3.5 back of fourth-place Houston. (Dallas is technically in seventh -- and tonight's foe, the Thunder, is in eighth, just 4.5 games back themselves.)
Said LAC coach Doc Rivers, oh-so-accurately: "There’s at least eight teams that literally came into the year with honest thoughts of winning a title. And they’re (still) right."
We've got a LeBron James bet:
DallasBasketball.com guarantees he's a free agent in summer. Premium smarts here on LeBron's contractual future from David Lord -- and we promise it's not about LeBron-to-Dallas. Really.
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The Mavs played Cleveland with DeMarco Murray in the house and lost by 30. Then DeMarco moved to the Eagles and the Mavs played the Clippers with Darren McFadden in the house and won by 30.
McFadden is really Murray's Cowboys replacement; he's more a possible replacement for the knucklehead who keeps getting accused of stealing underwear and punching windshields. But at a good-luck replacement at the AAC? McFadden -- an offseason Dallas resident -- is a big winner.
"Sometimes you have to struggle to realize what you need to do to win. ... We have learned from horrible losses in the past. My hope is that we do it again.'' - Mavs owner Mark Cuban.
Every once in awhile, just to re-establish ...
Nowitzki has been held to 14 points or fewer in all six games this month. He's been essentially a 13-point guy. A few easy ones would be helpful.
The Dallas Mavericks' tests continue with a Thunder team battling New Orleans for eighth ... and riding Westy all the way.
The Thunder (37-29) is incredibly reliant on Russell Westbrook -- and he's been up to it with Kevin Durant out. He has six triple-doubles in his last nine games, a stretch over which he's averaging 34.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.1 assists. That performance marked the fifth time this season he's reached 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists - one fewer than the rest of the league.
"My job is to keep attacking," Westbrook said. "We know we have to come out and compete, come out and get a win. And we have to go get another one (tonight) in Dallas."
And while Rondo has "keys'' on offense, it's Rondo trying to guard Westy that will be key tonight.
Bennett Salvatore is planning to retire after this season, with his retirement and shirt-in-the-rafters ceremony reportedly scheduled to take place in the Miami Heat's home building.
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