DONUT 1: Good practice
Dirk Nowitzki is done.
As an international player, that is.
In the EuroBasket tourney, Germany lost a series of tight games and lost a chance to advance to the Olympics. And at the end of last week, Dirk received the sort of attention he deserves with a warm standing ovation for the man who is in the conversation as the greatest international player ever … and responded with his own tears, just another sign of how this is a unique player and a unique person and none of us are likely to see anything quite like him again.
Yeah, as Fish noted on Twitter when it happened, we all got a little teary-eyed here, too, because we know this was just Euro-practice for what we’ll all have to experience far too soon somewhere in the States, sometime at the AAC.
UPDATE: Or ...
Our David Lord passes along this note:
Dirk and Germany may not be done for this Olympics after all. Another possible avenue. Sounds like Germany has a good chance - but not a guarantee yet - of being invited by FIBA to participate in the Olympic qualifier tourney next summer, as a wild-card. This according to the very credible David Pick.
So if Deutschland - and Dirk Nowitzki - are high on the FIBA list for a wild-card to host and compete in Olympics qualifiers?
Maybe we get another chance to get dusty.
DONUT 2: Zaza as a No. 2
So, as it turns out upon further examination, just because Zaza Pachulia isn't exactly a household name ... there's no reason for Mavs fans to turn their heads in disdain.
He's coming off one of the best years of his career and brings some things to the table that, of course, won’t look much like what Tyson brought because of, you know, the verticality thing.
Oh, but he can shoot reliably. He can bang. (You can see all of this in videos from our original story on the cheap trade.) And as a No. 2 center, this can really work.
Now, the matter of a No. 1 center is another thing altogether.
DONUT 3: The Dallas bench
Dallas’ bench, beyond the collection of vet centers, looks something like this:
J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, Justin Anderson, Charlie Villanueva, Jeremy Evans, Maurice NDour, Brandon Ashley, John Jenkins, Jarrid Famous.
Not familiar with some of those names? That’s OK. We’ll all get there together. But here’s what I see tucked in there: the Mavs are clearly relying, at least at the backup 3/4 spots, on long, athletic wings to wreak havoc on the glass and, maybe, as roll-men. … and some guards who can feed that.
That may be one good way to catch up to where Dallas was at the end of the season with Al-Farouq: See if Anderson, Evans (the ex Jazz jumping jack) and NDour can do some of those things — and get those things going early in the season and not just late.
DONUT 4: The All-Time Mavs 5
Matt Galatzan with a fun look at the Mavs’ all-time best fivesome … Let the arguments ensue!
DONUT 5: Year 16!
Media Day is fast approaching ... as in less than three weeks from now (Sept. 28, 1 p.m.) And yes, DallasBasketball.com will be all over it, down in the AAC basement with video, one-on-one interviews, exclusive insights and coverage that has us hoping you’ll join us in the ride for our 16th season as a go-to spot for Mavs info!
DONUT 6: Arguing with Ironman?
Wesley Matthews is ready to chisel in stone a comeback by opening day. Seriously. He is saying it to anyone who will listen. The Mavs, as an organization, don’t seem to be asking him to back down from it. And now that we’ve gotten to know “Ironman’’ just a little bit …
“It’s impossible to prove everybody wrong,’’ Wes said of his critics. “So my mentality it to prove the people that believe in me right. That’s my family, my support system back home and that’s Dallas.
“(The Mavs) believe in me … they said, ‘You’re our guy.’ So I’m going to prove them right.’’
Who among us wants to argue with him, or even bother to doubt him?
DONUT 7: Play to Pay
Chandler Parsons isn't going that far, but all signs appear to be pointing towards a similar recovery time frame. It appears a disaster has been avoided here, and I don’t want to take this for granted:
There was so much doom and gloom about CP when he went down, when the surgery was performed, and when the details of the nature of the surgery weren’t openly released or discuss (beyond some speculation that’s never been established as factual).
I think soon we’ll start moving the bar of conversation on Parsons, from the issue of “play’’ to the issue of “pay’’ — as in, what sort of contract will it take to keep him here as he enters free agency in the summer of 2016?
DONUT 8: Stay in touch!
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*We've now got a DB.com Mavs APP for your iPhone and the reviews are in ... and glowing!
DONUT 9: Rebound-crunching
Consider this a plug to my upcoming story on how the Mavs might just be able to piece together a decent rebounding team in 2015-16 …
Dallas has had two glaring weaknesses of late: perimeter defense and rebounding. We’re crunching the numbers and what they show so far is that at least one of those may still be a struggle next year, but the results most certainly won't be as disastrous as some have predicted.
Stay tuned. We’re crunching ...
DONUT 10: MontaBall
Monta Ellis was great for the Mavericks in so many ways, and I think he should be remembered that way.
But there are two lingering things that went unfixed in his Mavs stint; poor man-on defensive and limited/erratic shooting range.
And this is another reason to be excited about Wesley Matthews — even an 80-percent version of him.
An 80-percent version of Wes is, to me, a massive upgrade in both categories for the Mavericks.
Since 2009, Matthews ranks third in the NBA in made 3-pointers (behind Steph Curry and Kyle Korver) and has the size/length (6-5, 220 pounds) to be a tenacious on-ball defender.
This isn’t a diss of Monta (and I'm even leaving out that moody ending to his time here); it’s just a pair of facts, and why Dallas fans will, I think, end up thrilled with Matthews as a Mav.
DONUT 11: Upside for the Kid
The upside for rookie Justin Anderson has been well-documented on the DB.com Forums. His 3-and-D capabilities should be very useful in Dallas' system this season and he should see a decent amount of playing time if Matthews' return is delayed, but also off the bench once Ironman returns.
Also, Justin happens to be a really nice guy, it seems, based on his work with the Fort Worth Boys and Girls Club and his playful fight with “Mavs Man’’ over jersey No. 1.
That playfulness works in the AAC locker room. Always has. And that investment in the community works, too, because it’s how the community ends up investing back in the player.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
”Trump gets to win points because he can call all politicians stupid. And just using the word ‘stupid’ wins him points.’' - Mark Cuban on Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign rolls into the AAC on Monday night.