DONUT 1: Choppy Seas
No smooth sailing this weekend for ex-Mavs point guards Jason Kidd (for whom we harbor no ill will) and Rajon Rondo (for whom we do). Kidd, the 2011 championship pointman here and now ruthless coach of the Bucks, is undergoing hip surgery today. He will be out indefinitely, and another old Dallas pal, Joe Prunty, will replace him.
Said Kidd of the ailment, that bothered him during his playing time in Dallas but was managed thanks to medicine: "Some would say it's the 55,000 minutes that I tried to play. A lot of wear and tear on my body. I've been blessed not to have too many surgeries. This is just one that has taken away from me being able to sleep and function."
Another guy who can't sleep at night, assuming he has any conscience, is Rondo, the hemmerhoidal "leader'' of last year's Mavs, who this year is putting up nice numbers in a vacuum in Sacramento ... but that doesn't mean we can razz his failings. For instance ...
Should that could as a pass? A shot? Can we simply call it a "Rondo'' and all of us understand?
DONUT 2: Dwight Flight?
All you have to do to know that there is dysfunction in Houston is to watch their bench during pregame warmups and introductions. Led by James Harden and Dwight Howard, there is a disjointed nature to everything they do.
So ... what if Dwight wants out? Should Dallas -- which wanted in so badly last time he was a free agent and ended up a bridesmaid -- want in?
If Howard opts in with Houston, his salary is slated to be $23.2 mil. If he opts out? Our David Lord says Howard’s max starting salary next summer projects to be about $30 million. ... which would equal about $128 million over four years in a new city. Dallas or wherever.
The downsides of such a pursuit are many. Howard is 30. He's often hurt. He's playing poorly. And he's a goofball, a central reason the Rockets are in disarray.
The upsides? Well, $30 mil will soon become the going rate for such talent. And it can be argued (as Mark Cuban has before) that championship contention generally means the employment of multiple superstars. And don't the Mavs employ the best and brightest and most advanced-thinking team of medical and pscyhological experts, soon to be housed in a new state-of-the-art "biotech destination'' headquarters?
As much as Mavs fans have come to dislike the Howards and the DeAndres and their ilk ... can anybody think of a better way to vault off the "Treadmill of Mediocrity'' than to pursue stars, no matter their warts?
Oh, and as long as we're trying to add actual sense to Mavs trade rumors and speculation ... regarding Miami's Hassan Whiteside to Dallas for Zaza ... why pay twice for Hassan? That discussion is here.
DONUT 3: At the Butcher Shop
"This is when you become a true professional," coach Rick Carlisle said of overcoming adversity. "Everybody does fine when everything is good. Everybody wants a nice-cooked steak, but nobody wants to see you chopping up the cows in the back.The last five or six months, Parsons has been in the back butchering the cows. That's the kind of work he's had to do."
DONUT 4: Injury Update
Carlisle is trying to not be too revealing here, but it's pretty clear that Devin Harris (hamstring) will continue to be questionable "at best" for the 6:30 Tuesday tip in Toronto. It'd be nice for the 15-12/fifth-in-the-West Mavs to "get healthy'' on this roadie in more ways than one ... though Toronto is 17-12 under old friend Dwane Casey and the next game is at lowly Brooklyn (7-20) but comes on the second night of a B-2-B.
Another trickle-down of Devin hopefully returning to health soon? It can deepen the bench, as can ...
DONUT 5: Time to Start?
Chandler Parsons is talking about being able to p[lay 30 minutes a night now. I'm in. He's also talking about returning to the starting lineup. I'm way in on that.
"I'm comfortable either way,'' CP said as quoted on Mavs.com. "But I think we'll go back to a normal rotation, probably, by the end of this month."
It's not an indictment at all of the work of Raymond Felton with the first group, though I guess I do view it as an indictment of "SmallBall'' to say that Dallas' greatest chance at firepower-fueled starts, finishes and wins simply must include Chandler Parsons.
DONUT 6: This Week At The Maverick Bar
We'll have the Mavs and Stars games all week and the Cowboys game and NFL games on the weekend, along with live music ... and the centerpiece is the 200-inch TV screen, and 30 more brand-new HDTVs to show you all the games all the time ... plus the best burgers in town ... C'mon by The Maverick Bar!
DONUT 7: Down On The Farm
I was told a very special guest would be in the Texas Legends audience on Saturday and indeed, there was coach Rick Carlisle getting a first-hand look at Nick Van Exel's squad, which runs from the exact same playbook that Rick uses downtown.
That's a helping hand for guys like Justin Anderson and Salah Mejri, who are learning about the NBA-level pro game when they get assigned. It's also a help to young vet Jeremy Evans -- who initially volunteered for assignment on nights when the Mavs are in town but not playing -- and Dallas brass sees advantages there because not only can Evans work up a sweat (as he's not much in the varsity's rotation) but can also work on his development as a perimeter shooter.
Oh, and I just discussed this morning with Rick the subject of the Legends and Evans and more ... I'll have that in Mavs Premium in a bit.
DONUT 8: Over-The-Hill?
Does Deron Williams have "over-the-hill sustainability''?
Our Jonny Auping lays out the thesis here in his piece on "Deron and Dirk and Their "Over-The-Hill'' Sustainability: "The lesson here is that Nowitzki can always make the game easier foryou than you can for Nowitzki.''
DONUT 9: Sam To China
Once upon a time -- twice upon a time, really -- Sam Dalembert was going to be a Dallas answer at center. Then Zaza lapped him. And McGee's promise crushed him. And even Salah Mejri overtook him (even though most of Salah's work now comes blocking shots in Frisco) ... So now?
DONUT 10: Find Us!
DONUT 11: Mavs AM Practice
You can catch up with Mavs Premium on DB.com this afternoon after Dallas completes its morning workout and then travels to Toronto. We're writing this from the basement at the AAC right now ... (with Evans as a centerpiece) ... stay tuned!
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"It's rewarding, but it's not the end of the road. It's not even close to the end. Until I'm out there playing 30 minutes, it's not the end.'' - JaVale McGee.