Mavs Donuts: Are They Failing 'The Eye Test'?

January was never going to be easy. We warned you about this. Four home games in a calendar month and the fact that the Mavericks are essentially playing without a backup center (and all the issues that creates) seems to have taken the wind right out of the Mavericks sails. Mavs Donuts as we look at a five-game downtrend:

DONUT 1: The Big Lead

This must be what sportswriters in San Antonio feel like. And by that I mean drunk on tequila and constantly disrespected. This is when writers really earn their pay or Marlboro miles or whatever you get paid in don’t judge me.

January was never going to be easy. We warned you about this. Four home games in a calendar month and the fact that the Dallas Mavericks are essentially playing without a backup center (and all the issues that creates) seems to have taken the wind right out of the Mavericks sails. Every back-to-back feels like more of an injustice than the last. As Hank Williams Jr. once said, ”The hangovers hurt worse than they used to.” Nothing is coming easy for the Mavericks at this point in the season but this is the time when the weak will let it slide and allow a two-game skid to turn into a four0game skid. If the Mavericks are anything they’re ornery as hell.

DONUT 2: Nothing normal

This won’t be a normal straightforward game recap because this wasn’t a normal game. If you’re looking for that I can probably do that here pretty quickly….

Ty Lawson

Dwight Powell what the what?

Oh, hey Aminu is alive.

Ty Lawson

Transition defense is allergic to the mountain time zone apparently.

Dwight Powell chewin up yo bones and spitting em back in yo face.


Ty Lawson

JJ Hickson is the worst.

Nurkic fouled Greg Smith shooting a jumper hahaha

Barea doing arts and crafts in the paint.

The Nuggets are really bad except Ty Lawson.


My God the Mavs are within 6.

Ty Effing Lawson

Mavs are within 3 what’s happening is this one of those strokes?

Devin for the tie…

Devin for the…...crap.


Hope that -- and Nuggets 114, Mavs 107 -- works for you.

DONUT 3: No cookie cakes, but ...

Expecting the Mavericks to compete in this game was even far fetched before their arsenal was limited. We all saw what Monta looked like in the brief amount of time he did try to muster up the magic. He was just tired and he didn’t have it. Imagine how Dirk and Tyson would have looked.

In the past it seems that Rick would only sit Dirk in such occasion as if he was above everyone else in the maintenance hierarchy. It was a big deal that all of the old folks eventually got some rest. It sends a unified message.

The guys that did end up playing should be mildly applauded (let’s not start ordering cookie cakes or anything) for the effort they left on the court. It was sloppy and never really smoothed out but they played with a lot of stones while being constantly chopped down by Ty Lawson and his witchcraft. ... see the highlights:

Around the 3:30 mark left in the fourth Chandler Parsons followed a layup with a fadeaway two and the Mavericks pulled within three points. Devin Harris had multiple good looks to even the game but the Rocky Mountain air just changed the flight trajectory of the ball and the Mavericks gutty performance fell short.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of in this loss. The interesting part to me is why Rick did this in the first place. He probably knew that this game was going to take another Herculean effort to even compete and if you fail with your best on the court it’s a disappointment. There’s no way around that because the Mavericks are better than the Nuggets. But instead of the burden of disappointment, Rick played the card of opportunity to be pleasantly surprised. If you can’t win straight up, then compete with your backups and avoid that slap in the face. People want to compare it to Pop but I don’t really feel it was a Pop move. Pop has some formula of resting his players that Galileo came up with and no person nor entity is going to keep him from that. This was more about saving some dignity and not showing a team that you have to face again here shortly your cards.

In the end if they split with Denver on Friday night and the long-in-the-tooth crowd gets some rest, isn’t that an overall positive?


Dwight we hardly knew thee.

It really is a shame that we won’t get to see Dwight Powell play for the rest of his natural life. He looked like a really-fun-albeit-lost-at-times big with potential to be something that’s currently indescribable by this tiny sample size. He’s not what the layman would refer to as a “defender” just quite yet but that takes time. He did show some sparks including a good outside stroke and a dunk that made Kenneth Faried regret his whole life. Powell would total 11 points and 5 boards before he’d foul out in the fourth quarter.

But really. Are we going to see him again on Friday or no?

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Greg Smith is struggling. (See below.) TY is precautionary'ing his knee. Jermaine O'Neal is in Stage 5 of his three-Stage decision-making process.

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There really needs to be a CSI: SVU on what exactly Al-Farouq Aminu did to get shunned for half of a season. Prior to this game he had seen just 62 minutes in the last 13 games. I’m sure Rick has his reasons but sometimes you just need a guy on the court that has a little wiggle and doesn’t make offense look so much like chess. He just goes and he typically draws a foul when he does or at least sucks a defense in. I just hope when this thing is over that Rick hasn’t made him bite off his own tongue. Aminu reached the 10-point plateau for only his sixth double-digit game of the season.

DONUT 6: Thanks, y'all!

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DONUT 7: The Eyeball Test

Five to forget?

Over their last five games the Mavericks just simply haven’t passed The Eyeball Test. They’ve been on the ropes in the games they’ve won and anchored to the ocean floor in the ones they’ve lost. There’s really no way to sugarcoat this information but over the last the five games the Mavericks have been a bottom-10 offense in the league. Here’s a simple chart to help understand what’s been happening.


That’s a simple chart. But it's not a simple fix. Read on ...

DONUT 8: No simple fix

The explanations vary from "growing pains'' to just another layer of the Rondo onion getting sauteed into the Mavericks playbook. Maybe the second 10 games with a new team is more difficult than the first 10. The expectations are greater and the learning curve is assumed to be just that, a curve. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a constant process of learning then adjusting and rinse and repeat for the first year-plus. You can talk yourself into the comforting ideology that they still have a very good record and they’re taking care of the teams they should beat but if you’re watching the games you know that the victories are taking such an incredible toll on the squad and they need to snap out of it before January starts to get the better of them.


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DONUT 10: Standings talk

Just looking at the standings, it’s incredible that Dallas and Houston have been able to reel in Memphis after the start they had. With all the valleys and the growing pains the Mavericks have been going through is reassuring to know that they’re still fifth in the West (the best conference basketball has ever seen) and one well-timed hot stretch away from taking control of the Southwest Division. I personally would absolutely love/hate a first-round matchup with the Rockets. Let’s just hope Oklahoma City gets the 8 and ruins this angel dust that the Warriors have been living on.


Here’s the song thing:

DONUT 12: The Final Word

"I like Powell. He showed some toughness. He's athletic. And he can shoot.'' - Rick Carlisle.

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