Entering Friday's game at Memphis, the story of the night was easily the first return of OJ Mayo to…
Mavs Donuts: 'We Need Some Work' - Dirk
DONUT 1: FOREWARD ...
The Dallas Mavericks were hoping to get a booster shot of some sort from the return of Dirk.
Instead it was SA who made all the shots in a 192-91 blowout. The Spurs made a franchise record 20 three-pointers and ruined the season debut of Dirk. And what the Mavs did was, it seems, give something less than maximum effort.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle bemoaned his team's "lack of competitiveness, selfishness and a lack of commitment to each other."
Meaning, who? Meaning, everybody. Meanwhile, the Spurs got 25 points from Danny Green, 18 points and six assists form Tony Parker, and 17 points from Kawhi Leonard.
DONUT 2: HOW IT LOOKED ON TAPE ...
DONUT 3: THE RETURN OF THE UBERMAN ...
In his first game since undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery on Oct. 19, Nowitzki played 20 minutes, scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and collected one steal.
"I tried to give it a go,'' said Nowitzki, who was 3-of-4 from the field and showed no discomfort (outside of when he glanced up at the scoreboard). "I knew my minutes were going to be limited, but I just gave it a go.''
Dirk came off the bench with 6:28 remaining and immediately got into the action with a rebound. Soon after he dunked home a finish in transition.
Oddly, he wasn't at all the problem.
"As a team,'' Dirk Nowitzki said, "we've got a long way to go. ... 'We need some work. That was obviously embarrassing.''
DONUT 4: MAKING IT RAIN ...
Danny Green made seven of 'em. Nine Spurs made at least one. "It was just one of those games where everything we did worked," said Tony Parker, who made both of his tries.
"It was one of those nights where your opponent has a bad night and you have a great night," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team made 20 of 20 from the arc. "There's not much you can do when the other team makes 20 3's."
A sick sight: The SA shooting chart from the arc:
DONUT 5: FUNNY BUSINESS ...
The Mavericks committed 20 turnovers ... again.
O.J. Mayo was again a culprit with six cough-ups. And then of course the trio of PG candidates that Rick is waiting on did their version of "too little,'' too.
DoJo got the start, finishing with five points and two turnovers. Darren Collison was next, and he did score 15 points -- continuing to demonstrate that he simply must be the guy who wins the job. DC had two assists while committing two turnovers. Third-teamer Roddy B was lost and non-existent in 12 minutes.
"I'd like to get out of the point guard business," Carlisle said. "I'd like for a couple of our young guys to jump up and grab the starting spot and the backup spot and have one guy in reserve. ... And I think those guys have the abilities to do it. But it just hasn't happened yet."
Instead, what is happening is that Dallas is committing 20 turnovers on such a regular basis that it seems a cinch to reach eight games of such poor play ... which would tie a franchise record for futility.
Dallas is now at seven. And the Mavs' record when they give it up 20 times, as you might imagine, is 2-5.
This is the most games with 20-plus turnovers for a Mavericks team since the 1997-98 season … a season that stands as the fourth worst in franchise history (by winning percentage), as they finished 20-62.
Want to project to the level of the ridiculous? These Mavs are on pace for just over 18 games of 20-plus turnovers for the season.
Carlisle's Mavs ARE in the business of PGs who lead a team with an astounding number of turnovers. It's funny business.
DONUT 6: A PERSONAL ASIDE OR TWO ...
A personal aside or two, one about Dirk and the way he handles himself and one about DB.com and the way we handle ourselves.
Dallas being 12-16 is tough. Weird. This is our third decade doing this at DallasBasketball.com and I don't know that it's ever been quite this gloomy.
But we have the unique opportunity to wear all the hats we want to wear here: Journalist hats. Fan hats. Analyst hats. Homer hats. Our guidelines are largely our own.
This would be an opportune time for some to run. To cover the team less intensely, to care less deeply, to root less passionately. This would be an opportune time to run.
Have you ever seen me run? It's not my thing.
I'm not running.
Nor, by the way, is someone who does athletic things infinitely more gracefully than most of the rest of us.
Dirk can now run, too. But not in the wrong direction. So before you even start -- and we've known each other here for 14 years so I know some of you will start -- this is DIRK'S TEAM.
He's embarrassed by the performance in HIS team.
In sports, there are back-stabbers and mind-changers and ship-jumpers. And there's The UberMan.
This is DIRK'S TEAM. Running from that solves nothing. Keep that in mind, if you care to continue to pay attention, as he joins forces with the suits to try to get this thing fixed.
DONUT 7: WHO NEEDS TICKETS? ...
Our guy Ryan at MavCowTickets knows the ins and outs of the Mavs, the Rangers, the Cowboys, the arenas, the opponents ... the works! For the most personal service in the business -- with no stupid add-on costs -- check him out and tell him The Fish sent you!
DONUT 8: QUOTABLE ...
"At one point we were down 46 points. That's some bull----.'' -- Shawn Marion.
"Our basketball IQ obviously went down with J-Kidd (leaving). That's pretty obvious." -- Dirk.
DONUT 9: WANT MORE MAVS? FISH ON 'THE FAN' ... We've got the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
By the way, we take that same focus that we provide on the Mavs here on DB.com and apply it to the Mavs and the Cowboys on 105.3 The Fan. Listen live here for some Fish on Football and for breaking Mavs stuff, too ... throughout today and every day ... and we'll take you inside the teams in every possible way!
Oh, and this week, Fish co-hosts with Chris Arnold from 2 to 7 on Monday and then from 10 to 2 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!
DONUT 10: CDR DEBUTS ...
For most of Sunday, the "new guy anticipation'' was reserved for the Mavs debut of Chris Douglas-Roberts, the call-up from Frisco.
Obviously, a "new old guy debut'' usurped CDR's appearance in the game, which amounted to playing nine minutes and 3-of-4 on free throws.
"He's a guy who has proven he can score in [the NBA], but he did a lot of things (in Frisco), making plays for other guys, showed a real aptitude for the all-around game and defended well,'' Carlisle said. "I think he's a basketball player. He could play any of the perimeter positions for us."
Douglas-Roberts, a three-year NBA veteran, fills the roster spot created by the asked-for release of point guard Derek Fisher. (Carlisle, by the way, has nothing but good things to say about Fish and his desire to "spend more time with his family.'' I'll wait to pass judgment until I'm certain "family'' doesn't translate to "Lakers.'')
CDR was a D-League standout during his 11 games with the Legends, averaging a league-high 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists working under coach Eddie Najera.
"Offense comes naturally to me,'' said the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Douglas-Roberts, who might be able to do some point-forward stuff but as a former second-round pick isn't quite blue-chip enough to me to be considered anything more than a LIBB.
Of course, at this point, Lightning In A Bottle Boys might help bring a little excitement to a program that is dragging.
DONUT 11: FOLLOW THE MAVS ON TWITTER ... New to Twitter? Here's where to start!
DONUT 12: BERNARDED...
The Mavs have discovered a sure-fire way to keep Bernard James from Bernarding anybody: Render him inactive.
Don't get it. Don't like it. Don't understand it. Something behind the scenes that we don't know about? I'll find out. But, I mean, it's Sarge; what dastardly deed could he have done?
Don't get it. Don't like it. Don't understand it.
DONUT 13: THE FINAL WORD ...
The Mavs don't play again until Thursday. Under normal circumstances, a couple of holiday days off makes sense.
These circumstances, for this franchise, are not normal.
"I'd love to give them two days off but that ain't happening,'' said Carlisle, who will have his club practicing on Christmas Eve.