DONUT 1: Where Does Dirk Rank?
These sort of lists like the "Top 100 Players In The NBA'' piece published by SI.com (and discussed in depth here on DB.com Boards) are, to me, supposed to be about fun more than facts. ... "P.E. Class'' more than "Science Class.''
But writer Rob Mahoney's involvement in the SI project raises the level of Mavs-related interest and raises the bar on these types of projects, too. So go get it, and let's kick it around. Where does Wesley Matthews rank in the NBA? How about the departed Chandler Parsons? The newcomers? And most of all, the old-timer, Dirk Nowitzki?
It's "P.E. Class'' ... with a little bit of "Basketball Science Class'' thrown in.
DONUT 2: Speaking of The Top 100 ...
Our guys Marshall and Kemp add to the discussion in a "Locked On Mavs'' podcast ... click and listen!
DONUT 3: Dirk's Racquet
Nowitzki, by the way, can also play tennis. And he's about to show off that skill by hosting the inaugural Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, at the SMU Tennis Center. Among those scheduled to participate: Andy Roddick, Ben Stiller, JJ Barea, Harrison Barnes and more.
Some of those guys can actually play. And some cannot, as Dirk himself tells "Ben & Skin'' this week.
On JJ Barea: “JJ, his mom use to be a tennis coach. He can barely look over the net, but he fights. He’s pretty skilled.
On Harrison Barnes: "I asked him if he’s interested in playing … He said he played a little bit in college. But now he's nervous. We hit a little bit on the court, and now I’m thinking of taking him off the (promotional) flyer. He’s really bad.''
DONUT 4: New Digs
Here's an update on the Mavs' new practice HQ ... and yeah, it's possible the facility is up and running in time for Sept. 26 Media Day ... where the DB.com 75-Member Staff will be taking up lots of space!
DONUT 5: Dirk on Barnes
“I think the sky’s the limit for him,'' Dirk told "Ben & Skin'' of Harrison Barnes. "He’s an athletic guy, he’s got a lot of potential. What I love most: I hear he’s an absolutely workhorse, in the gym all day and all night, goes back every night to shoot with the development guys, back in the morning to work with the coaches. A guy who puts in the work usually succeeds.
"I’m pulling for him. I really like him. Good kid, mild-mannered, soft-spoken, wants to get better. I texted him this summer, and said, 'Get ready for a big year, I'm ready to support you on the court and off the court, whatever you need.' I’m looking forward to getting to know him better and hopefully play well together.’'
DONUT 6: Dirk On KD
“A shocker,'' Dirk called the move of Kevin Durant to Golden State. "I thought, actually, he was going to stay with OKC, especially after they had a great run in the playoffs. A huge splash, a team that won 72 frickin’ games is getting one of the best players we have in the game. They’re going to be fun to watch … a tough lineup to guard. … They got all the talent and skill level in the world.’’
DONUT 7: Dinner With Simba
Before Justin Anderson attempts to feast on the NBA competition in 2016-17, the dynamic Dallas Mavericks swingman is going to dine with us -- and with you! -- at a specially-designed six-course dinner menu with wine pairings overseen by Texas Land & Cattle Executive Chef John Imbriolo and inspired by "Simba'' himself.
Mavs fans, and fans of fine dining, can join DallasBasketball.com at the party on Monday, Sept. 19 at the Texas Land & Cattle in Dallas at the Uptown location on Lemmon Ave. Justin considers himself a "big-time foodie'' and here, the culinary influences from Justin’s childhood states of Virginia and Maryland, and his newly adopted home of Texas, will be featured on the menu. The folks from Texas Land & Cattle say, "From coastal favs to Texas spice, each course is also paired with the perfect wine.''
Justin -- who we write about here as a promising Mavs sixth man this season -- and our partners from ScoreboardTX invite you to click here for more information and to reserve your table seat for dinner with Simba and friends. Seating is limited. ... DBcom hopes to see you there!
DONUT 8: Stat O' The Day
Our buddy Bobby Karalla notes that the 2015-16 Mavs played the most "clutch minutes'' at 224, and that was thanks in large part to Dallas' involvement in 12 OT games. The Mavs had the No. 2 "clutch rating'' in the game at +16.0.
This adds up to a relative success. The dozen OT games is a franchise record and is two short of the NBA record (Philly in 1990-91). Dallas' eight OT wins is one shy of the NBA record (Sacto in 2000-01). Additionally, this is sort of a trend; the 12 is a franchise record, and Dallas was 6-0 in such games in 2014-15. That means over the course of the last two seasons the Mavs have a 14-4 record in OT.
This is, mostly, a Rick-and-Dirk thing. And it's good.
But imagine if it was just a tick better?
I'm not being cynical here, or negative here, when I ponder just how close the Mavericks were last year to picking up one more win here and one more win there ... and whether this season, close games can be about more than Rick and Dirk (and, before that, Kidd). What if close games on a team that features Matthews and Bogut and Barnes can win on the defensive end? How many more wins above, say, 42, can this team collect because it's now not only "clutch'' on offense but also might have a stoppers' mentality on the other end?
DONUT 9: Sam in Trouble?
Not a good look for old DB.com pal Samuel Dalembert, the ex-Mav who is facing battery charges after Florida authorities say he hit his girlfriend and her cousin.
A Boca Raton police report says police responded to Dalembert's home over the weekend after a 911 hang-up. The woman and her cousin initially told police there wasn't a problem ... but at some point, Dalembert was arrested on two counts of battery as the result of him allegedly learning that his his girlfriend was leaving town with their two children.
A sad deal all around, as these matters always are. A near-tragic situation, as these matters often tend to be. And another opportunity for me to plead with anyone reading this to, when faced with such a circumstance, to seek an intellectually and emotional sober moment and to WALK AWAY.
DONUT 10: Devin and D-Will's Health
DallasBasketball.com talked with both Harris and Williams about their training camp readiness, part of a "Locked On Mavs'' podcast here. ... which also details the Dallas offseason and its "Biggest Upgrades and Biggest Downgrades.''
DONUT 11: 'Notch It Down'?
Rick Carlisle tells Mavs.com that Dallas wants to "notch it down'' in terms of Dirk's minutes this year.
“We’ve got to try to notch it down a little bit,” Carlisle said. “You know, I’d say mid-20s. … It would be good to get him to 26 (minutes per game). You know, it’s tricky, because if you play him too few minutes, he’ll never get into the flow of the game. And he’s very much a rhythm-and-flow player, so I have no concerns that we won’t be able to continue the transition and just try to lighten the load a little bit. It’s a deep roster, and there’s a lot of talented guys. There’s a lot of guys that can score. Our shooting, I think, is better in a lot of areas, and so we’ll be fine there.”
It all sounds so ... rosy.
And so ... familiar, as Dallas has been talking about this concept for almost a half-decade now.
Two years ago, they really did nudge Dirk under 30. And so we had a mathematical solution!
But then last year, he vaulted back up to 31.5 minutes per game.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"We do it all for Deron. In terms of chemistry for our team, it gets the new guys jump-started, even though we have to dress like fools.'' -- Devin Harris, to DB.com, on the Deron Williams Dodgeball Tournament, with the story -- and the silly photos -- here.