DONUT 1: Loving Harrison
"I love the way he played,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said of new Mav Harrison Barnes' work in Dallas' preseason win Monday over Charlotte, a game in which Barnes shot 1-of-10.
So ... huh?
There are two reasons for Rick taking this approach. First, he believes that Barnes didn't let the shooting woes carry over to any problems with the rest of his game, or with his effort.
"He drew three or four fouls on hard cuts, he had a lot of good looks, he was real solid on defense and he played two positions,'' Rick said in review. "He’s a really important part of what we’re going to be doing.’’
Ah, and the second part of that quote is the important one. Barnes is 24. He has a long-term deal here. (Don't obsess about the money; understand the length and the commitment made there.) Barnes' success in Dallas is directly tied to Rick, and Rick's chance at more success here is directly tied to Barnes.
Almost exactly a year ago, Rick criticized the physique of Chandler Parsons, causing the guy who has essentially been replaced by Barnes to post photos of his abs. Parsons was offended and Rick apologized. Remember "The Abspocalypse''?
There is no need for a repeat of any friction, even of the mildest sort. Carlisle needs to work with Barnes, not against him, and Rick understands about as well as any coach in any sport which buttons to push to develop relationships with people.
On Tuesday, there was Carlisle in the gym with Barnes, working on correcting a tiny flaw in Harrison's shot.
"It’s a couple of things we cleaned up today that he’s doing,’’ Carlisle said. "Just little mechanical things, so we worked on it today.’’
There is a time for a coach to teach and to express "love'' for a player. Carlisle has chosen this time to do exactly that with Harrison Barnes.
DONUT 2: Restaurant Week
Andrew Bogut knows his friends from his enemies.
The Mavs new center tells "Ben & Skin'' about his favorite thing about DFW and his least favorite thing, in a sense, about everything non-Mavs.
Why a thumbs-up for Dallas? "A lot of restaurants and cafes to choose from, so that really suits me well.
And, Andrew, your most despised opponent, the thumbs-down of the enemy? "Pretty much every team I play against.''
Oh, and the entire Bogut household seems to be acclimating well, too.
DONUT 3: Make Your 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. Dallas' next outing? Saturday night, 7:30, at the Bucks. (Devin Harris, rehabbing from toe surgery, would love to make his debut in his old stomping grounds of Madison, Wisc.) Just radio for that game, and then Dallas is back home next Tuesday with OKC at the AAC, with TV on FOX Sports Southwest and 103.3 ESPN Radio.
DONUT 4: Habla Espanol?
Carlisle says of rookie wing Nicolas Brussino, "We like his whole game. He's got basketball moxie ... (But) he’s got to get stronger. That's obvious."
One of the local newspapers also thinks it's "obvious'' that Brussino is locked in as Dallas' 15th man. The logic, such as it is? The native of Argentina this week began taking English lessons.
I'm not sure how that makes him an automatic Mav; he is, as DB.com has made clear, one of three candidates for the 15th-man slot. (Maybe if Kyle Collinsworth takes Spanish lessons, he increases his chances?!) But I'd love it if he sticks, I'll also like it if his path takes him to Frisco, and I look forward to talking to him in English due to the fact that I was the president of my high school Spanish club but that was many, many lost brain cells ago.
DONUT 5: Stat O' The Day
You do prefer to win these preseason games, as the 1-1 Mavericks did on Monday against Charlotte. (Click here for a full report.) But the true value is elsewhere, and the translation from preseason record to regular-season record simply doesn't exist. Dallas was a surpringly good 42-win team a year ago after having gone 0-7 in the preseason.
DONUT 6: Sixth-Man Simba?
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? Or, let's go all optimistic here: Peruse our recent coverage of Seth Curry here and let's start wondering if the Anderson/Curry tandem off the bench isn't a fairly top-notch energy combo, a great spark to get you through the dog days of winter?
DONUT 7: Quotable
Carlisle wants to make sure Mavs missed shots don't lead to a lack of Mavs energy.
"Otherwise,'' he said, "we’ll be as bad a team as everybody thinks we’re going to be."
DONUT 8: Congrats, 'Gana!
Old pal DeSagana Diop, who has spent the last couple of seasons teaching me a thing or two about basketball while serving as a Texas Legends assistant, has been added to Utah's staff as a coaching associate to Quin Snyder. 'Gana's a good and deserving guy. Congrats!
DONUT 9: Deron On Dez
Deron Williams, a DFW native, is a Cowboys fan and a Dez Bryant fan. So you can see how D-Will can empathize with Dez on so many levels as the star receiver battles through injuries.
“It’s been tough for him,’’ said Williams, who himself is coming off sports-hernia injury that essentially ruined his shot at a big contract this offseason, as he frankly alludes to in my 1-on-1 with him here. “It seems like whenever he gets ready to get healthy, and it’s just something. I can definitely relate to that. I wish him well. ... You never know with things like that. I just hope he’s smart about it and comes back healthy and ready to play.’’
DONUT 10: Thanks To Our Sponsors
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Carlisle traditionally declines to offer minute-by-minute updates on players' health. So his remark to the media this week on this policy would not be so notable except for Cowboys coach Jason Garrett's terse meetings with the media lately, maybe topped by RedBall's odd decision to release Dez Bryant injury info to the Bay Area media last week rather than the DFW media.
"Look, I'm not gonna tell you guys. I don't want a bunch of tweeting when guys are playing and stuff like that. That's not what this is about. Don't worry, no one will get burned on anything. I'll announce it all at once, like I always do. I'm not interested in screwing you guys. But that's not the story, who was playing when. The story is, guys are working hard and making daily improvement."
Rick isn't taking a shot at RedBall; the coaches are friendly. No, when it comes to Carlisle's dealings with the media, one should always assume his playful pokes are meant ... for the media.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"This week in practice we’ll see how it responds. To be honest, I feel good on the court, but we’ll see how the foot progresses. But so far, so good. … I’m still working, but it’s getting better.” - Devin Harris.