Mavs Donuts: B-2-B Roadie + FOX Sports Go

The Mavs hit the road for a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday in Sacramento and Denver, respectively. Here's what to watch for ... and thanks to the FOX Sports GO app, here's how to watch, too. Mavs Donuts!



DONUT 1: The Big Lead

The Rajon Rondo era is a learning process, right? But unlike most learning processes, it’s a whole lot of fun. Rondo is like a little kid on Christmas morning who got way too many toys to know what to do with. He’s learning though, and watching him get used to the particular skillsets of all his new teammates is must-see TV. Oh, Charlie Villanueva likes to sprint to the corner on fast breaks? How about a cross-court bounce pass to him for three? Dirk likes to catch the ball just below his shoulders on a pick and pop? Sounds good. If you throw the ball in the air Tyson will catch it? Even better.

Watching the Dallas Mavericks grow into the team they will become by April is making for as exciting a regular season as Dallas as had in years. So having the ability to watch all of the games is crucial. ... and part of our fun.

The new FOX Sports GO app is a big win for Mavericks fans, especially for anyone who does a lot of traveling. Outside of a handful of nationally-televised games, local broadcasts are the only way to watch NBA basketball. FOX Sports GO allows you to stream games on your device even if you are out of town. You simply log on and click on whatever cable/TV provider you are a customer of and as long as that provider is in the Dallas area you will be able to stream Mavericks games. I got to experiment with the app at a recent Mavs game and it's easy, fun and ... if you take the Mavs as seriously as we do at DB.com ... important.

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You can also watch in your smart phone while you’re on the run or log on to FOXSportsGo.com and stream it live online. If you’re not watching for Rondo, at least watch to see the Emmy award-winning trio of Dana Larson, Bob Ortegel and Fish.

Mavericks fans are about as knowledgeable about their teams as any fans out there. But above all, they want to watch and enjoy the game. Fortunately, the FOX Sports GO app is another step in making sure you can do that. Get more info on how FOX Sports GO works here!

Now, to the Mavs week ... the next two games you'll watch on FOX Sports Southwest and maybe on FOX Sports Go ...

DONUT 2: Back-to-Back Challenges

Much has been made of the 26-12 Mavericks’ struggles against the top teams in the Western Conference this season. Yet Dallas still has the seventh-best record in the NBA and that is largely due to their ability to take care of business against inferior teams, even when those teams present sneaky challenges of their own.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s back-to-back road games against the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets are a great example of those types of games.

DONUT 3: The Bounce-Back Factor

Eight straight quarters of uninspired play resulting in two losses in early January are nothing to panic about. Really! Coming into Tuesday the Mavericks had lost two straight versus the Detroit Pistons, who were then the hottest team in the NBA at the time, and the LA Clippers, who have finally started to work out their kinks and begun to round out into playoff form.

There’s no reason to think these performances are indicative of the Mavericks’ future. However, they have to bounce back immediately. Not to prove to us that they are capable of a higher level of play—they had won six straight games before those two losses—but because losing streaks are fatal in the Western Conference.

Dallas is only a week or so away from entering the most difficult and strenuous part of their schedule. They can’t afford to wait until they return from this road trip to start winning games again.

DONUT 4: Comeback Against the Kings

The last time these two teams played each other was back in November when the Kings took a 24-point lead early in the game. But from the middle of the second quarter until the end of the third the Mavericks outscored Sacramento 58-28 and eventually won the game 106-98.

It was the first game the Mavericks had won against a Western Conference team with a winning record. Dallas stayed hot after that terrible first quarter and went on to win six straight games, including four huge blowouts of the Sixers, Wolves, Lakers and Pelicans.

In the third quarter of the victory over Sacramento, Dirk Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth on the all-time scoring list.

We'd like some more feel-good tonight against the 16-21 Kings, please, starting with "Mavs Live'' at 8:30 and the tip at 9 on FOX Sports Southwest.

DONUT 5: Rudy Gay, Mav Killer

Rudy Gay has had a lot of success against the Dallas Mavericks. He is a player often criticized by the analytics community for his lack of efficiency, but he has been a thorn in the Mavericks’ side for most of his career. Prior to their last match-up, Rick Carlisle compared Gay’s scoring ability to some of the best players in the game including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

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Gay followed up Carlisle’s comments by scoring 26 points off of 7-14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

DONUT 6: Boogie on the Boards

The last time DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins squared off with Dallas he had a relatively mediocre game at least for the high standard he has set for himself this season. That being said, he still managed 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

However, since the Rondo trade, rebounding has been the biggest weakness for Dallas. Dallas is very thin when it comes to capable rebounders and very few players are better equipped to exploit that than Cousins.

Last Saturday DeAndre Jordan grabbed 15 rebounds against Dallas. Against the Pistons three nights earlier Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe combined for 37 rebounds in Dallas.

Look for Cousins to have a high-impact game. Just how much he dominates will likely determine whether the Kings can upset Dallas.

DONUT 7: The Dangers of Altitude

After the Mavericks return from Denver on Wednesday night they will play the Nuggets again on Friday, this time welcoming them to the American Airlines Center.

Expect those to be two very different games.

It is never ideal to play in Denver (which enters the week at 17-20) on the second night of a back-to-back because of the Mile High altitude. Denver has a deep roster and plays at a very fast pace to better exploit that advantage.

Just last week the Memphis Grizzlies, a title contender that relies largely on its starting lineup, played in Denver on the second night of a back-to-back and were easily defeated 114-85.

Let's consider ourselves warned here. That's a 7:30 pregame and an 8 p.m. tip on FOX Sports Southwest.

DONUT 8: The Best-Kept Secret Rookie

You might not have heard of Jusuf Nurkic, but if you watch the Nuggets and Mavericks play on Wednesday you’ll probably remember him for the rest of the season. Don’t be shocked if the 20-year-old, 6-11 Bosnian brings home some Rookie of the Year award votes in April.

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The man (“kid” is not a word one would used to describe this human) is 20 and already has the size of Tyson Chandler. He started the season behind JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov, but McGee’s injury and Mozgov having been traded to Cleveland means the Mavericks will see plenty of Nurkic.

In his past nine games he has blocked 19 shots. Perhaps the Mavericks' best hope is to find ways to force him to guard Dirk one-on-one. For all the strength, size and toughness Nurikic has to offer, finding ways to stop Dirk from scoring is an overwhelming task for any rookie.

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DONUT 10: The place to kick it around!

The place for Mavs fans to congregate and talk about all these games and all these issues? On DB.com Boards! C'mon in and sign up for your free membership today!

DONUT 11: Rondo’s Aggressiveness

Last week we wrote about the need for Rajon Rondo to be aggressive with his shooting.

In last Saturday’s loss to the Clippers Rondo was very aggressive and the results weren’t pretty. He shot 1-11 and scored just two points.

As ugly as that sounds, Rondo needs to match that aggressiveness in the next two games. Sacramento and Denver are both undisciplined teams defensively, but they are also young and athletic. They will crowd the Mavericks’ scorers and if Rondo is hesitant to shoot than Dallas will have a lot of trouble getting open looks.

Rondo’s scoring has often been said to be tied to his confidence shooting. The trend of aggression needs to continue because it will yield more positive results than negative ones over the course of the season. The ball will move with much more fluidity. When Rondo’s fingerprints are all over a basketball game it is usually a good thing for his team.

Look for Rondo to take at least 10 shots in each of the next two games. It may sound ridiculous to make a prediction based on such a simple measure, but I would be willing to bet that against these two teams if Rondo reaches 10 shot attempts in each game then the Mavericks will head back Dallas with two victories.

Of course, it will help a lot of Rajon makes some of those 10.

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DONUT 12: The Final Word

"I still don't understand how that's not a catch. Heartbreaker. Great season, Dallas Cowboys!'' - Dirk Nowitzki.



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