DONUT 1: The roadie ...
In the other two losses on this four-game roadie, the Dallas Mavericks had people and circumstances to blame for blown chances, if they chose. In Monday's crushing 112-91 loss at Oklahoma City?
No circumstances. No blame. No chance.
DONUT 2: Shoulda been a split? ...
The Mavs opened the roadie last week with a 106-104 loss at Portland on Jan. 29, a game that turned on what the NBA later conceded was a blown call. (Oh, and Dallas' blown 21-point lead). Then came Thursday's heated 100-97 loss at Golden State, a game in which coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavs got "screwed.''
Dallas managed one win on the trip, 109-99 over the Suns. And then came Monday's debacle.
"The first two games were murder,'' Shawn Marion told reporters. "This should have easily been a 3-1 trip. Instead, it was a 1-3 trip. It would have been OK if it was a 2-2 split.''
Of course, such an accomplishment would suggest that Dallas is a .500 team. This is not that. This is 20-28.
DONUT 3: OMG the standings! ...
Correct me if I'm wrong because I cannot bear to look again, but the Mavs appear to be closer to 15th place than eighth place.
Eighth place is 5.5 games away. Last place is 5.0 games away. Now don't make me look again.
DONUT 4: A lack of competitiveness? ...
Rick Carlisle first passed on the question of the Mavs' level of competitiveness. But then he took a stab at it.
“I’m going to have to defer on that until I see the film,” he said. “What I did see is a lot of untimely turnovers that led to big problems. When you put these guys in transition with catastrophic turnovers, they’re going to make you look bad. I think that was it more than anything. ... But obviously when you get down 30 in a game, you’re not competing well enough. There’s no question about that.”
DONUT 5: Quoteboard ...
"I remember we used to respond like that.'' -- Dirk, reflecting on how OKC bounced back from a previous-night loss.
DONUT 6: 500 on hold ...
Carlisle remains one win shy of his 500th career victory. And yes, smart guy, I do believe he will achieve the milestone with the Mavs some time in the 2013 calendar year.
DONUT 7: Two champs ...
Marion led the Mavs with 23 points and shot 10 for 14 from the field. He is among the few Mavs who, on a nightly basis, are putting out and producing. On this night, if you take away Marion, Dallas shot 26 for 73 (35.6 percent).
Nowitzki's "deer antler spray'' did not work. He missed the two previous games with a strained right thigh muscle and looked sluggish while shooting 3-of-11 for 10 insignificant points.
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DONUT 9: The NBA highlight reel ...
Such as it is:
DONUT 10: Trash talk ...
Kendrick Perkins has a rep for trash-talking and Jae Crowder is a rookie. When they went jaw-to-jaw in the second quarter, it was a Mavs positive that the kid didn't back down from Ol' Toilet Face.
“He was trying to intimidate me,” Crowder said to reporters. “I guess he didn’t think I would say anything back being a rookie. But he wasn’t going to say anything to the extent to get another technical.”
O.J. Mayo was the third man in, and then came the zebras, who assessed a T to Perkins.
A good moment for Jae.
DONUT 11: A dead rivalry ...
It was only 10 meetings or so ago when we wondered whether Dallas and OKC could forge a regional I-35 rivalry. We even called it "The Red River Shootout.''
But for a moment there, it wasn't quite a rivalry because OKC wasn't quite good enough.
And now it's not quite a rivalry because Dallas isn't quite good enough.
“They took a huge step,” Dirk said. “They went to the Finals last year, and to me, they were actually the favorites to win it the way they ran through the whole Western Conference. Now they’re more experienced. Going through tough times, you learn from losing tough games. They got a really tough team.”
Presently, it's Dallas going through "tough times.'' But not seemingly with the same sort of soon-to-come payoff at stake.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
The embarrassment of the night had to do with Dirk Nowitzki. No, not his 10-point output, but the Oklahoma newspaper's review of it:
They named him "Not Star of the Game'' and wrote:
Nowitski’s never been known as a hustle player, but his effort has been noticeably lackluster when facing the Thunder. He rarely broke out of a light jog during Monday’s beatdown.
The UberMan is a non-hustler who spells his last name with an 's' in the middle of it? C'mon, Oklahoman, use some Windex on that glass house.