|Thursday Mavs Donuts: In The AAC Basement|
The Rangers' stretch-run struggles? The Cowboys battling through camp injuries? Soccer in Mexico, Olympic hangovers in London and politics in Washington? Sure, you care about those things ... but not nearly as much as you care about what is transpiring right now down in the Mavs' AAC basement. Let's go down the down staircase in Donuts:
DONUT 1: Basement Ball ...
Dear Everyone, let's just take a second for a break from Cowboys training camp and the stretch run of the Rangers and the whatnot of sports and beyond. There is plenty of stress to be had from those things in the coming months. For now, behold a photo from the Mavs rookie 's twitter account.
That's right. Dallas Mavericks Basketball.
DONUT 2: Who is in the basement? ...
There is approximately a month and a half until Mavs training camp convenes for the beginning of the 2012-13 season. With no ongoing lockout shenanigans taking place this year, we find ourselves in the dead middle of the NBA offseason dog days. Despite that fact, all is not quiet in the Mavericks practice gym. Newcomers Crowder, OJ Mayo, and Jared Cunningham were spotted on the American Airlines Center practice court in order to get a jump on what will be an extremely unfamiliar preseason for all of them.
Oh yeah, surely hoping not to be passed up by the young whipper snappers, there was a Mavericks veteran on the court getting some work in as well: Dirk Nowitzki.
DONUT 3: Ah, The UberMan ...
Dirk's presence, although not out of character, raises a couple of interesting points.
Why isn't the superstar out escaping the NBA, enjoying the heart of the offseason with his new bride while he can? Well for one thing, maybe deviating from his normal offseason workout routine was something the Dirk Nowitzki of last season would have done. Self admittedly, Dirk partied a little too hard and too long last offseason after his championship. Amidst the uncertainty of the lockout, Nowitzki came in less-than-sharp for the few 2+ months of the season. Dirk obviously got on track as the season progressed, but had to answer questions, most notably from Charles Barkley, about his age and inevitable decline along the way. It's just one practice in mid-August, but maybe Dirk is already showing signs of being as hungry as he was pre-championship and eager to prove critics wrong about losing some of the greatness in his game.
Either that or I just miss basketball so much that I'm overreacting to a maybe-innocuous photo of Dirk sitting on a bench after a workout in August.
DONUT 4: USA! USA! ...
To seemingly mixed reviews, the Team USA Men's Basketball team went on to win the Olympic gold medal that they were heavily favored to take home. Throughout the tournament, you didn't have to look very far in order to find one complaint after another about Dream Team 6. Or whatever they were called.
They were so good it wasn't fair when they beat Nigeria by 83 points.
They weren't trying enough and embarrassing the country when they only beat Lithuania by 5 points.
They were being cocky by pulling their "best" players when the Championship game wasn't completely secure.
They ‘should've acted like they've been there before' when they celebrated like 20-somethings after winning the gold medal.
Here's the deal. Don't hate the team just to hate it. At the end of the day, you'd much rather have your country win it all than lose, wouldn't you? Just try to calm down and enjoy the great basketball being played in front of you by some of the most talented people on earth. And if you were one of the Americans hoping they would lose or who was appalled by them celebrating something they worked their asses off to achieve ... I might gently suggest it's time to reassess some things about your unfortunate world perspective.
DONUT 5: Quick thought ...
After watching LeBron James in the Olympics, it's very clear that "nerves at the end of the game'' are no longer an issue. He is visibly in a good place. So, with LeBron comfortable mentally, matching what he can do physically, is the rest of the NBA now at his mercy?
DONUT 6: Quick Thought, Mavs-Related ...
Quick thought to make the Mavs fan sad: Tyson Chandler just completed a three-year run of a World Championship, NBA Championship, and Olympic Gold Medal. At least he accomplished that second achievement in Dallas ... so we're good, no?
DONUT 7: South Powder ...
Fresh off of his own Olympics appearance for Argentina, Carlos Delfino agreed to terms with the Houston Rockets. Joining the likes of combo forwards Terrence Jones, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, Royce White, Gary Forbes, and others, Houston is officially rivaling the Denver Nuggets for a monopoly on swing players. So far for Houston, it's Jeremy Lin and miles and miles of swing players. ... along, of course, with GM Morey's own Dallas-like dream of powder usage.
DONUT 8: 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 9: Follow Fish and the Mavs Twitterverse! ...
DONUT 10: Mavnalysis coming...
Watch for the coming story as Fish and Chuck Perry put together a Mavsnalysis about where the Mavs currently stand in the Western Conference.
Chuck and Fish have their own deep thoughts on where the Western Conference is headed, but I have some advice for those teams with playoff hopes in the West this season: Do everything you can to stay out of the 7 or 8 seed or you will see your season come crashing to a halt at the hands of the Lakers or the Thunder. There just seems to be no way to avoid that fate based on the moves made by Los Angeles and the yearly improvement that Oklahoma City seems penciled in for every season now.
Let's see if Mavnalysis allows the Mavs a 6-and-up future.
DONUT 11: Jorts! ...
With the addition of Delfino, the Rockets were forced to release former Kentucky Wildcat F/C Josh Harrelson, aka "Jorts". In the same way MFFLs fired up the #DeronToDallas and #ScolaWatch twitter campaigns, count me in as the official president of the #JoinUsJorts movement.
If you're not with us, you're against us.
DONUT 12: Want more Mavs? ...
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!
DONUT 13: The Final Word ...
According to a number of reports, Andrew Bynum arrived in Philadelphia wearing Lakers sweats after being traded to the 76ers.
Bynum is still young and has plenty of time to "get it," but as of now he doesn't and in regard to his level of maturity, never has. Unless he agrees to an extension during the season, Bynum will be another big name that will hit free agency and inevitably be linked to the Mavericks since they will have the cap space to pursue him. With Dwight Howard, I always felt the baggage was worth the talent. Although there is still time for a change in opinion, I'm not so sure with Bynum.
Speaking just for myself, I'm going to keep an eye on Bynum's potential maturation into a grown-up before I allow Fish and D-Lord and the gang to begin their investigation of 'Drew-to-Dallas possibilities.