DONUT 1: MAVS AT MEXICO CITY (THE FUN)
The NBA returns to Mexico City tonight as the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns duel for ... well, who is less crummy than whom.
For the moment, though, let's allow coach Rick Carlisle to kick off the festivities with some ambassadorship.
“We’re very much looking forward to this experience,” Carlisle says. “The people are delightful. The arena is beautiful.''
This is the 25th anniversary of NBA games being played in Mexico City. The Mavericks were involved in the first go-round, with the Houston Rockets, for a preseason game back in 1992.
So the atmosphere for the 9 p.m. (FSSW) tip will be festive. And the game, featuring the teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference, the 12-26 Suns and the 11-27 Mavericks?
"I think,'' Rick says," this will be a close game.”
DONUT 2: THE NEW CBA AND WHAT IT MEANS
We at DB.com take a great deal of pride in providing nalysis so deep that, if done right, we can tell you what's going to happen before it happens. Case in point: The DeMarcus Cousins "supermax'' plan in Sacramento, which our must-read interpretation of the new CBA helped us tell hopeful Mavs fans what was going to occur way back on Nov. 11.
David Lord's work here is brilliant in every sense, especially this one: Click that link and read that story and you'll have the essence of a blueprint for how the Mavs (and every other team, really) will have to build. And it won't be via big-fish free agency ... which might be a relief to MFFL who have long-observed that Dallas never could build via big-fish free agency, anyway.
DONUT 3: ASSISTANT GM DIRK?
DONUT 4: BOGUT SIDEBAR
After gifting the Suns and T-Wolves their 12th wins of the season in the last week maybe the Mavs are the worst team in the West when fully healthy.
Former NBA forward Lamar Odom -- one of the symbols of everything that is wrong with the post-title Mavs, a person who is ill physically, mentally and emotionally -- wants to coach in the NBA.
“Lamar would be great,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton as the result of a TMZ story. “Anyone who knows Lamar, when he’s right, he is one of the most likeable people they’ve been around. He has a great knowledge of the game and has a great way of communicating with people.”
I mean, if we're talking about offering help to someone in the form of a job in order to save his life, God bless that. But Luke's answer includes an important disclaimer about the troubled Odom we've come to know: "When he's right.''
And he's not. So .. No.
Jackson and Manny Harris are currently 1st and 2nd in league scoring. Jackson led all scorers with 32 points (18 from outside), set a season-high for the team with 13 assists, and added six boards. Harris led the team in rebounds (8) and tallied 27 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
And then there was Mavericks assignee Brussino. He went 6-of-8 from three with that effortless shot to finish with 25 points, and also had three rebounds and three assists. If you squint just a little bit you can imagine him making those same shots, maybe Peja-like, at the next level as a catch-and-shoot guy.
Hammons came off the bench -- because he was tardy to work, not a good look -- and was good for a game-high five blocks while also adding 13 points and eight rebounds. AJ also fouled out, but this wasn't a lethargic foul-out; his last two whistles came late in the game and were the result of him aggressively denying easy dunks to drivers.
“You never know who’s watching; you never know what kid is going to have a spark in his brain that’s going to push him to try and make it to our league one day. I feel like that’s why the Dirk (Nowitzkis) and Tony Parkers and Pau Gasols and Marc Gasols and all the other foreign players we have, I think it all came from the Barcelona trip back in the (1992) Olympics. A lot of kids watched that, and all of a sudden, years later we had a flood of Europeans. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase.” -- Tyson Chandler of the Suns on the importance of the NBA playing internationally.
“I’ve never played a game at this altitude,'' Rick says. "Denver is the highest ... And it’s a big factor there, so it will be an even bigger fact here. We’ll have to substitute a little quicker, use many players and try to get to the fourth quarter with some energy.”