DONUT 1: Mavslove
The Dallas Mavericks are being provided the only thing that is both a need and is attainable.
Said coach Rick Carlisle: "We need this (All-Star) Break. We need to get away. I told the guys to enjoy the Break, get away from this game and not think about it. We've played, I think, more games than anybody in the whole league. That's why we have such a long break. We've got to come back refreshed and ready to jump back on another run."
The Mavs are 29-26 and in sixth in the West, with an opening to advance with the news that Marc Gasol is out indefinitely for the Grizz with a broken foot. Tuesday's pre-Break finale, an OT loss to chasing Utah, doesn't help the situation. (See our coverage of that game here.) And really, the only thing that does help is ... to get away.
How far away? Geographic distance isn't the issue; it's about the calendar. Dallas isn't scheduled to practice again until the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 17.
"It's needed with the schedule we've had," Chandler Parsons said. "Guys are exhausted, guys are banged up. This will give us time to get 100 percent and everyone has to be responsible to get some cardio while we're gone. But it's good to get away."
DONUT 2: Family Guy
Mavs backstabber Derek Fisher, relieved of his duties as the Peter-Principled Knicks coach, is now free to go spend time with his family.
Or other men's families.
DONUT 3: Knicks Hierarchy
Meanwhile, it's nice of Fish's boss, Phil JackZen, to try to teach "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs''to the media, even if it comes across not as helpful but rather as an arrogant attempt from Phil to peddle some books and prove how smart he is.
As a contrast: I've discussed "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs'' with another high-profile team leader in pro sports but he opts to downplay his understanding of it because it might be too relevatory and too much of a distraction from what he thinks really matters about his team. So Jason Garrett stays "boringly robotic'' in public and keeps his Cowboys Hierarchy mostly behind closed doors.
But not Phil. He feels the need to tweet it ...
And thanks. But maybe instead of trying to instruct the likes of me on psychology, maybe, Phil, you should just focus on teaching something, anything, to your Knicks?
DONUT 4: Helping Flint
“I’m not really a political person,” JaVale McGee said. “But I think it was definitely a crime to change the water supply ... Basically killing people, to tell the truth.”
DONUT 5: SI's Top 50
I continue to argue that Dirk and Co. should be beyond needing us to "defend'' his greatness. Kobe has given him his props even if Kareem hasn't bowed to the One-Trick Pony. So, Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated either shows respect to Dirk (and Kidd) or shows disrespect, depending on how defensive you are about your Mavs and maybe depending on how biased you are about your Mavs. Is Dirk Nowitzki better than the 37th-best player in NBA history? Maybe Kidd should be higher .. or lower?
From my perspective, I'm so pleased that McCallum (as capable of compiling a Top 50 Players of All-Time list as anyone) plugged two Mavs in there that I'm not much for quibbling about where. These lists are obviously subjective and sometimes even arbitrary and aren't meant to be "official'' as much as they are meant to be "water-cooler fodder.'' So ... have at it! The Top 50 Players of All-Time, compiled by SI and ripped apart on DB.com Boards!
DONUT 6: Thanks, LS Wealth Strategies!
At least when I draw them, that is!
DONUT 7: Hardly Regal
The Kings are ... zany.
They are bad and they are dysfunctional (a commonly-used word in the Wacky West) and they are "leaky,'' too, with seemingly everyone in the organization having a media outlet available as their personal bully pulpit and/or confessional. There is a power struggle, and it involves Cousins vs. Karl but Rondo FOR Karl (because Karl lets that idiot do as he pleases) and seemingly Divac vs. Karl and players who may or may not supposed to be showing up to shootaround and an owner in Vivek Ranadive who seems driven by impatience over a franchise that hasn't "mattered'' since Chris Webber was there. ... So Karl is fired and then he is not.
As all this is hitting the fan, the Kings are in the midst of having lost eight of their last nine games, and what is most entertaining about it all, in a macabre way, is that I keep hearing from Sacto fans on Twitter at @FishSports that none of it is Rondo's fault, that in fact he's the "glue'' that is keeping it all from being even more awful than it is.
Folks, sometimes you have to actually experience a hemmorhoid to fully understand what a pain in the ass it is.
Sacramento, I hope you're sitting down. No, wait. Don't do that. That'll be painful for you, too.
DONUT 8: Quoteboard
"There’s pretty much not a worst way to go into the Break.'' -- Chandler Parsons, on the OT loss to Utah.
DONUT 9: The Do-Something Club
No, the Mavs aren't going to just "Do Something'' at the deadline. We can discuss all these remote possibilities on DB.com Boards (come get your free membership; it's a blast!) but we are wise to stay grounded in what will really happen in the next couple of weeks. For instance: Our exclusive breakdown of the four buyout possibilities (Johnson, Martin, Lee and Hibbert) and Mavs' thoughts there ... plus the desire for a Caron Butler reunion that ain't happening.
"Do Something''? It's the best we can do.
DONUT 10: A Lack of Ammo
Our David Lord does a brilliant job here (a must-read, trust me) with an exclusive breakdown of the Mavs' assets, cap situation and potential room for free-agent pursuits in the summer of 2016. One more time: We could shovel click-bait, headline-porn horsespit at you about this blockbuster trade on the horizon but as always, we simply want to arm you with both possibilities (as pipe-dreamy as they may be) and realities.
This is yet another story that does so in a best-in-the-business manner.
DONUT 11: The Maverick Bar!
It's the one-year anniversary of my bar/restaurant, The Maverick Bar, at 1616 Hebron in Carrollton, and it's a lunch, dinner and late-night celebration. 105.3 The Fan, the Mavs, the Cowboys, the Rangers, the Stars, the Legends and FC Dallas are always part of the party, with live music on the weekends and big-time ticket giveaways coming up on Wednesdays.
We've got 80 beers, 30 HDTVs, Texas-flavored gourmet burgers for around $6 bucks and a front-row seat for you ... Join me at The Maverick Bar and let's have some fellowship fun!
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"I think we’re still in a decent position. We’ve got a schedule coming up after the Break ... I don’t think there’s a lot of back-to-backs coming, so hopefully we’ll take care of home court in that stretch. And we’re already into March then, so the season is flying by.
"And hopefully we’ll stay healthy, keep competing and see what happens going towards the playoffs.”