Mavs Tuesday Donuts: Daddy Dirk And The Spurs

DALLAS - Dirk's a daddy! ... Inside those Mavs locker-room issues ... A big rebounding number is coming ... Tonight the Spurs are in town and their good timing might be Dallas' bad timing ... A Nashie tribute ... Tuesday Mavs Donuts!



MAVS Donuts today presented by the gang at Red Rock Bar & Grill, our North Dallas hangout for sports and live music.

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Let's meet at Red Rock this week to watch the Mavs and March Madness!


DONUT 1: To a head

The Dallas Mavericks' inside-the-room issues -- first noted by our Mike Marshall two weeks ago in his "Cheating The Game'' piece -- came to a public head in that 98-92 Sunday loss at Phoenix.

Coach Rick Carlisle talked about a "no-show,'' the inability to "play hard all the time,'' and the possibility that his team lacks a basketball "soul.''

Let's first clean up that mess, and Rick's admission that there is a locker-room problem, by understanding the Four P's of Locker-Room Problems:

1) Purse-strings.

2) Personality.

3) Playing time.

4) Power.

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Which of those are impacting Mark Cuban's team, and his plan, right now? Read here. But do so with a caution: As rough at it appears right now -- regarding everything from the schedule to the in-question Dallas futures of Ellis and his status and Rondo and his "car keys'' -- winning changes appearances.

DONUT 2: Digging deeper

Maybe, our David Lord notes, this was always inevitable, with Monta being a scorer who needs the ball and a lot of shots. Or maybe it was due the closer he got to a new contract.

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Lord tends to think that Monta's focus may have great when he arrived, yet gradually shifted, and that the shifting was due to some changes in the Mavs' world around him. How did we get here? A Premium piece -- the smartest coverage you'll read on the subject -- about the Mavs and their Monta problem, which, in a sense, is also a Dirk problem.

DONUT 3: Sweet 16

Is your bracket busted? Or is there still some Sweet in your Sweet 16? We kick that around here and invite you to line yourself up for some sweet prizes in the Scout Bracket Challenge, where you can start fresh, here.

DONUT 4: Tonight's matchup

The Mavs are ... not hot. The Spurs? They are doing what they do, having won 10 of 12. It's a national-TV game tonight, a 7 p.m. tip ... and then on Friday the back end of the doubleheader, Friday at 7:30 at San Antonio, and we'll have that one on FOX Sports Southwest.

DONUT 5: Happy birthday (literally)!

Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki this morning became the proud parents of their second child, a son. Dirk took off from today's shootaround, of course, and Mavs fans really hope this baby grows up to be 7-feet tall, of course ...

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But seriously. It's a beautiful thing here, with Malaika having a baby brother. Congrats!

DONUT 6: The Greatest Day

It might just be the greatest day any front office ever had in any sport: June 24, 1998: the Mavericks acquire Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash in draft-day deals. Dallas received two terrible haircuts, two soon-to-be best friends, two guys who are the greatest basketball players in the history of their countries and two eventual MVPs.

Mavs management moved Dirk into the same apartment complex with Stevie, and they learned together, they partied together they shot together. Eventually they won together in Dallas. Little boys all over Canada and North Texas parted their hair in the middle and licked their fingers and practiced the free-throw motion before free-throwing ... Something that I don't think anybody else in basketball does today.

Steve Nash was a trend-setter. He was as electric as he was eclectic ... As happy talking about politics and music as he was about sports. He still is all of that in his retirement, so much bigger than basketball that a certain smart-ass from DallasBasketball.com truly regrets nicknaming him "Steve Cash."

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We need more like him. ... except that in some ways there are only two like him ... The two who came here on June 24, 1998, helping the Mavericks to the greatest day in a front-office's history and treating fans to thrills we wish, wistfully, would've never ended.

DONUT 7: Hook up with DB.com!

Keep it here on DB.com as we will keep you posted in a variety of ways from inside your team ... Here on the HOME page, and here on DB.com Boards ... Thanks for joining us as we launch our 15 season inside the Mavs!

Oh, and if you want to be a Mavs Insider with Premium coverage? Click here to take our free 7-day trial and then for 10 cents a day, you are among the most informed Mavs followers on the planet! Go Mavs and Go Premium!

And dig into Mavs vs. Spurs: Tonight's GameThread, too!

DONUT 8: Stat O' the Day

Dirk needs nine rebounds to become one of just players with at least 27,000 points and 10,000 rebounds, joining Kareem, Malone, Wilt, Shaq, Moses and Hayes ... and it would be really helpful of The UberMan went ahead and grabbed all nine of those rebounds tonight.

DONUT 9: The Brotherhood

One of the problems Dallas doesn't have: The Brotherhood of Monta and Rondo . Now, we've got to just make sure there are a couple of dozen people working together tonight and beyond who are all part of that brotherhood.

DONUT 10: The standings

The Mavericks are 44-27 and are presently the seventh seed in the West. They sit one game back of the Spurs (44-25), who are in sixth. There is hay to be made here, but ..

"They’re back to playing at a high level for them, and so it’s a very challenging game,” Carlisle said. “It’s a lot of the same problems. It’s a lot of great players, playing through the shot clock, guarding the three, guarding pick-and-rolls and all that. We’ve got to keep pace in the game and not turn it over. It’s always going to be tough playing against anybody in our division, but we’ve just got to pick up our level a little bit.”

DONUT 11: Injury update

The Dallas Mavericks will be facing Manu tonight and they won't have JJ Barea (ankle). Carlisle says Devin Harris (stomach illness) will play but adds, "You never know when there's going to be a run to the back."

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So mostly, the injuries Dallas is dealing with are mostly ... hurt feelings.

DONUT 12: The Final Word

“We’ve got to battle for 48 minutes and we’ve got to play like the playoffs are on the line, which they are.” - Mavs forward Chandler Parsons.


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