DONUT 1: A Winning Streak!
Streaks have to start somewhere, and for the Mavericks, the timing couldn’t have been better. On Friday, the Mavs came back from from their largest deficit of the season, avoiding an embarrassing loss at home against the Denver Nuggets in the overtime win. Fast forward to Sunday night, and the Mavs would take the momentum from that win into to a 128-101 obliteration of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Mavs came out firing on all cylinders in this one, lighting up the scoreboard with 39 points in the first quarter, their highest first-quarter output of the season. Dallas would shoot 64 percent in the quarter, including five-of 10-from long range in the process. Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons would both score 10 points in the quarter, putting the Mavs in a very nice spot for the remainder of the contest.
“The key to the game was the starters getting off to a great start in the beginning of the game and the beginning of the second half,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “Parsons had a huge impact game offensively, which carried us once Dirk got in foul trouble. We went to him a lot and he delivered. He played a really smart game. He really attacked well tonight.”
More on CP in a moment ...
DONUT 2: Lee Integration
David Lee is starting to fill in very nicely to this rotation for the Mavs. After a solid outing against Denver on Friday, Lee followed things up with another impressive performance of 13 points and nine rebounds, finishing the game as the Mavs leading rebounder in the process.
The addition of Lee has given the Mavs a more dynamic option behind Zaza Pachulia in the front court, and helped them to solidify a few issues on the boards as well. Lee doesn’t play great defense at the the 5-spot, but he is proving the be a much more reliable option behind Zaza than anything else they have brought to the table up to this point.
And let's give the Mavs some credit here. The front office recruited him post-buyout. The coaching staff integrated him into the rotation immediately. No, this isn't hitting a home run in Summer Free Agency. But it is so far a solid base hit.
DONUT 3: CP's Best
OK, let's get to the story of the night (and Matthew Postins' nice column on Chandler Parsons here): Man, did CP come to play in this one. For the second straight game, Parsons went beast-mode, scoring 29 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. CP is really starting to come into his own as a Maverick -- maybe relieving fans of their $21.1-million worth of future concerns -- and the Mavs need it now more than ever.
“It was going to take time. I’ve been talking about this all along. He’s come a long way,” Carlisle said. “I don’t think we’re completely out of the woods yet, but he’s right there. Now it comes down to the ability to sustain. We have some spacing between games right now, which is very helpful for him and some of our other veterans. We got to take advantage of it.”
Said Parsons: "I definitely think I'm playing the best I ever have.''
DONUT 4: The Other Wing
Not to be outdone, Wes Matthews also contributed a very nice game for the Mavs, scoring 15 points on 50 percent-shooting, including three-of-six from downtown. Sunday marks the fourth straight game in which Matthews has scored 15 points or more in a contest, while also shooting 48 percent from three over that timeframe.
Parsons and Matthews producing from the wings as a tandem is something owner Mark Cuban has talked about as his vision for part of this team's future foundation. It's been easier to visualize this weekend.
DONUT 5: Piling On
The second quarter would end with the Mavs equaling their highest first-half output of the season, a mark they set just over a week ago against the Sixers. The third quarter was the hammer for Dallas, as they outscored Minnesota 34-20 in the frame, and finally put the game out of reach. After a 17-point first half, the Mavs were led by CP’s 12 points in the third, giving him 29 for the game overall. And then would come garbage time, when Salah Mejri took the stage ...
And listen, this was a good win for Dallas, but let’s get something out of the way: Minnesota is not a very good basketball team. At 19-41, they are holders of the fifth-worst record in the NBA, and are sitting three-and-a-half games ahead of the Phoenix Suns for the third-worst record in the West.
Despite the terrible record however, Minnesota does have a very talented young core to build around for the future, led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. (Here, Shabazz Muhammad would lead Minny in scoring with 24 points, with Wiggins scoring just 15 and Towns adding just 12.) They have the big-man in Towns, they have the super-freak athlete and dynamic scoring threat in Wiggins. Both are budding superstars in this league, and if the Timberwolves brass can find a way to continue building their roster this way, there wont be too many more sub-.500 years in their future.
Or, both guys will find ways to exit Minnesota via their eventual free agency and the NBA will continue to have competitive imbalance on its hands.
DONUT 6: Perimeter Stuff
In the NBA, teams don’t usually get dominated on the boards and pull out a 27-point win, but on Sunday, the Mavs did exactly that. Minnesota would outrebound the Mavs 62-47 in the contest, with Dallas actually outscoring Minnesota in the paint 56-42 in the process. Stranger things have happened in the NBA, but when an offense as hot as the Mavs’ offense is right now, its very difficult to overcome that kind of barrage with hard work on the boards and some elbow grease.
Of course, the perimeter game is kind of a "thing'' right now in the NBA. Dirk acknowledged this is his mention of the recent work of the Warriors' Steph Curry.
"The kid is in his range as soon as he gets over halfcourt, and it's scary,'' Dirk said. "I've never seen anything like it."
DONUT 7: Streaking?
It's a modest thing, but this win gives Dallas three wins in the last four games in this home stand. The Mavs are desperate for every win the can muster at the moment, and this one went a long way in giving them the confidence they need to extend this streak to three games heading into Tuesday night’s matchup with an Orlando team that 32-28 Dallas (in sixth place but tied with Portland) should beat.
Of course, we look forward with some trepidation at the "shoulds.''
DONUT 8: Who Deserves 'The Dirkie'?
The Dirkie/Player of the game? Gotta be Chandler Parsons, right? For the second straight game, CP is our nomination for the coveted Dirkie with his 29 points, four assists and six boards ... without even stepping foot on the floor in the fourth quarter. That's a pretty darned good night in our book. But this is a democracy, so head over to the DB.com message boards and give us your choice for the Dirkie!
DONUT 9: Stat O' The Night
Ah, free-throw shooting. Some teams do it so poorly that the NBA might alter its rules to accommodate. The Mavs? They traditionally just make 'em. They were a perfect 21-of-21 from the line in the contest, and are beginning to show a marked improvement in that category over the last few games.
DONUT 10: Mavsellaneous
The Mavs out-assisted the Timberwolves 34-19, while forcing 15 turnovers to just eight of their own. ... The Mavs opened things up with a 21-7 run in the first quarter and never looked back, failing to relinquish that lead at any point in the game. ... This marks the third time in the last four outings in which the Mavs have scored over 120 points in a game, the lone exception in that stretch being a 116-103 loss to OKC. ... Baseball bigshots Ken Griffey Jr. and Michael Young attended the game ... The Mavs never trailed at a single point in this entire game, marking just the fourth time this season they have accomplished such a feat. ... The Mavs improved to 7-2 when shooting 50 percent or better. Here: 52.8 percent. ... The Mavs will return to action on Tuesday night, where they will get a second-crack at the Orlando Magic (26-32) at 7:30 pm at the American Airlines Center. ... Get more Mavs stuff by following Matt Galatzan and @FishSports on Twitter!
DONUT 11: Dwight In Flight
Dwight Powell is getting nudged out of the rotation ...
... But that doesn't mean he can't go over it.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"Once I had to chase that ball full court, I was done for the night. That was a long rebound and I didn't get it. I told coach I blew two hamstrings and I was done after that." - Dirk on a hustle play that didn't quite work out.