DONUT 1: What If No Rondo?
We have been down this road before, in noting that Dirk Nowitzki was a driving force in the fateful acquisition of Rajon Rondo, the hemorrhoid who quit on the Mavs in the playoffs. (See that discussion anew here.)
But what if?
Our "Locked On Mavs'' podcast guys kick it around above. Me? It's not just about assets gained and lost. It's about an opportunity lost, and an energy that was sucked from a franchise ... and the long climb to get our collective breath back.
DONUT 2: The Anti-Dallas
“I thought they played it like a playoff game.’'
That’s Rick Carlisle’s summation of the Milwaukee Bucks’ work in their 88-74 Saturday night preseason win over the Mavs in Madison, and knowing the coach as we do, he’s not taking a jab at the Bucks’ approach. And he’s probably not taking a jab as his own team’s, either.
Remember what Rick said going into this game? That the Bucks are the “Anti-Dallas’’ because they are “young and fast (while) we're old and experienced’’? That’s sort of how this one played out, with the preseason debuts of new center Andrew Bogut and first-string point guard Deron Williams being overshadowed by a fairly explosive Bucks squad that is now 2-0 this preseason.
DONUT 3: Preseason Schedule
We've got the entire Mavs preseason schedule (click here for the games and for the DB.com discussion) and we've got the Mavs regular-season schedule and analysis here, including the Top 12 Anticipated Moments. ... It gets triggered this week with a Tuesday night visit from OKC, a 7:30 tip at the AAC ... and DB.com will see you there!
DONUT 4: Meet Dorian Finney-Smith
That's what Dorian Finney-Smith (see DB.com’s fun video visit with the ex Florida standout above) thinks he brings to the Mavs, and he remains a candidate for that 15th-man job ... as well as someone the D-League Texas Legends covet. Let's get to know him a bit above.
DONUT 5: Dirk's A Guard-Helper
Our own Jonny Auping is here on RealGM writing about how Dirk Nowitzki is a combo guard's best friend. Good stuff from Jonny, as always.
DONUT 6: Sixth-Men?
In our "Mavs Player Review/Preview - '6th Man' Justin Anderson?'' we're trying to be careful to not make assumptions. Heck, we even put a question mark'' after the sixth-man idea.
As you click on the article here, ask yourself this: Are we being to presumptuous? Has Simba really come this far this fast? It is completely a sign of him "arriving'' ... or is it in part because the Mavs roster has this void that he is now required to fill?
And now we accelerate a related thought: Given what Justin is doing, given what Powell is doing, and given our increasing excitement over Seth Curry (see all our coverage of his work here): Is Dallas' bench its own "Anti-Dallas''? Young, energetic, electric? A group that can do more than just "provide a spark,'' but rather, carry this team through its Dirk-less periods on the floor?
DONUT 7: Is America Finally Skipping Skip?
DONUT 8: Bogut's Upside
Andrew Bogut's career averages: 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks.
Zaza's numbers in Dallas from last year: Pachulia averaged 8.6 points and 9.4 rebounds.
Toss all those numbers into the 2016-17 gumbo and ... Bogut might post some numbers here.
"I really like what he brings on both ends,'' Dirk said. "He’s a great and really smart defender, a rim protector, and on offense he can share the ball. He sets unbelievable screens. I mean, playing with him for the last two weeks, it’s no wonder Steph (Curry in Golden State) was always open. I mean, he’s so smart that he just picks the right angles and the right spots to set guys great screens, so he’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with.”
And having said all that ...
DONUT 9: Quotable
"Ugly. Ugly for us. Thank God it's the preseason right now. It's not the result we wanted. For me individually, running amuck a little bit in my first game out there. So it's good to put the first one behind me. I'll put some work in next week and keep progressing." -- Andrew Bogut on the Mavs at Bucks.
DONUT 10: A Break
The Mavs need all the breaks they can get in order to be a playoff team -- and in Gordon Hayward's injury, they just got one.
Hayward is arguably Utah's best player and now he's on the shelf due to a broken finger. It could be a month or so for him, and in addition to head-to-head meetings -- Dallas and Utah play on Nov. 2 and on Dec. 16 -- Hayward's absence can have a big impact on the standings.
Utah is good, and young, and deep. Rodney Hood might step right up as a go-to guy. But again, Dallas needs all the breaks it can get to compete in the rigorous West. And no Hayward is just that.
DONUT 11: Labor Peace?
Can this be real? Can it be this easy?
NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed a report regarding optimism of the NBA and NBPA agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement within the next few weeks.
“In terms of our present bargaining discussions with the players, I’d say they’re going very well and there’s been a great sense and spirit of cooperation across the table and desire to move forward,” Silver said. “There’s a sense from both the owners and the union management that there is a lot at stake here and I think everyone’s feeling the pressure from all the constituents involved in this league for all the jobs that we provide that it’s incumbent upon us to work something out and get a deal done.”
The NBA's current CBA was forged in 2011 and was a 10-year deal but included an opt-out clause for either party after five years. The health of the NBA -- as Rick Carlisle discusses with me here in Mavs Premium -- is such that there is less reason than ever to kill the golden goose.
Good for Silver. Good for all of us.
DONUT 12: The Final Word