Mavs Donuts: 5th Place + The Chemistry Set
The Dallas Mavericks have already endured "Hell Month'' but that doesn't mean they now skate (get it? Ice joke) toward a top seed in the playoffs.
The 38-20 Mavs are winners of eight of their last 11 and in their inactivity last night scooted up to fifth in the West. Dallas (which didn't practice on Monday due to the inclement weather but will have the usual 10 a.m. shootaround) plays host to Toronto tonight (a 7:30 tip at the AAC) and then are at Atlanta on Wednesday (I'll be part of the FOX Sports Southwest TV coverage beginning at 6 p.m.)
That's the top two teams in the West, back-to-back ... an oddity because the last time the Mavs played the top two teams in the Eastern Conference back-to-back was 20 years ago ... April 1995.
You know what a watchful eye we keep on Mavs chemistry. It's a foundation piece of a Cuban-run organization. It's worth our constant study as it relates to Rajon Rondo , on the court and off. It's now part of our Mavs Microscope as it relates to Amare.
We think we know it when we see it. We also think we sense it when somebody is faking it.
LeBron -- for all his incredible strengths so highly image-conscious -- looks like he and the Cavs are faking chemistry.
Our man Tyson Chandler takes it to to evaluate the NBA's toughest bigs to guard. It's X's-and-O's depth with clarity. Well, done, TY.
It will shock Charles Barkley -- brain-cramped comedic star of "Revenge of The Nerds 5'' -- to learn this. But right down the street from where he sits in a TNT studio to not watch the games, his hometown team the Atlanta Hawks have moved into the NBA elite and to what do they credit their improvement?
The Hawks' wise dependence on the "secret sauce'' of analytics. I'll be darned.
In the end, what happened in the West as it relates to the trade deadline? Portland gets big help on the wing help with Arron Afflalo. Houston, counting its moves back to Josh Smith (he does help, right?) adds rotation players Pablo Prigioni and K.J. McDaniels. Way before the actual deadline, Memphis adds Jeff Green. Using that same wide frame, Dallas getting Rajon Rondo (in exchange for Brandan Wright) and then stealing Amar’e Stoudemire (essentially B-Wright's 4/5 replacement) should earn the Mavs high grades in Asset Management.
But maybe the big winner: OKC, dumping a stiff in Perkins and a malcontent in Jackson and fortifying its bench.
One team that did nothing? The Warriors. Their logic?
“Why would we make any moves?” guard Klay Thompson said. “We only have nine losses. We’re the deepest team in the league, in my opinion.”
We mention OKC above. A better bench but now no Kevin Durant for a week; he had a second procedure done on his foot to relieve some discomfort associated with a screw. And we know Dwight's not healthy in Houston and Blake's not healthy in LA and Anthony Davis is out for a couple of weeks with a re-aggravated shoulder sprain (along with New Orleans teammates Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday being out). Throw in Chris Bosh sitting out the remainder of the Miami season after a blood clot was discovered in his lung. ... and you see why nobody is going to feel sorry for the Mavs as Chandler Parsons misses these next two games before a further evaluation on his left ankle.
Coop relays to us this nugget: The Mavs' 97.1 defensive rating in the last 12 games is second in the NBA (behind only Memphis' 93.4).
Remember the formula handed us by Rick Carlisle himself: Top-10 defense, or else. ... and maybe, just maybe, it's happening.
Our Mike Marshall with a terrific study of Rajon Rondo's numbers ... and how he needs to get this Mavs train rolling.
North Texas' most-honored movers ... Apple Moving DFW,, the best in the business!
Meet the family at Estilo Gaucho, selected as one of the top 100 steakhouses in America ... where every occasion is a special occasion!
Thanks to Red Rock Bar & Grill, our north Dallas hangout for live music and sports!
Meet LS Wealth Strategies, with Woody and Bill helping to guide my family and available to do the same for you!
Oh, and guess what? Our gang has opened a bar! It's called "THE MAVERICK''! Sports, live music, specialty burgers, all with a Texas flavor ... at 121 and Hebron ... swing on in!
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The more you look at Monday Mavs Donuts and Richard Jefferson's non-counting dunk on Sunday against Charlotte, the more you see:
Get a load of the Charlotte bench's reaction as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's teammates cringe in amazement and sympathy.
"I was disappointed like the other 19,200 people. ... It sure did piss a lot of people off." - Rick Carlisle on the negated Richard Jefferson dunk.
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