Mavs Donuts: Luka & J-Rich - 'The Mesh' & 'The Best'

Dallas Mavs Donuts: If You Believe Chemistry Matters, You're Enjoying The Pairing Of Luka Doncic and Josh Richardson - 'The Mesh' & 'The Best'
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DALLAS - If you believe chemistry matters - and if you're MFFL you know this franchise does - you're enjoying the evolving pairing of Luka Doncic and Josh Richardson. 'The Mesh' and 'The Best' examined in Thursday Dallas Mavs Donuts ... 

DONUT 1: READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UP We cannot be certain how it got this good, this quickly. But Josh Richardson, who has been around the NBA block and is therefore a fine judge of such things, is ready to testify on the long-time Dallas prioritized subject of "chemistry.''

“This is probably one of the closest teams I’ve been on in my time in the NBA,'' J-Rich said. "And I’ve been on some good teams.”

How can this be? No summer. No usual training camp. Two preseason games together? (Though maybe huddling up in Milwaukee for a few days in a row helped).

Could it be because the leadership foundation is so solid?

"The best of the best,'' J-Rich said of a group led by Luka Doncic ... and following the Mavs' trade with Philly to bring him here, now includes Richardson.

DONUT 2: BETTER THAN CHEMISTRY Of course, almost nothing beats talent. Richardson's D in the two preseason wins over the Bucks was top-notch. And those of us who predicted that he'd likely revert back to being a 15-points-per-type scorer while playing alongside Luka are being vindicated.

“Richardson played terrific in both of these games,” coach Rick Carlisle said of the vet who scored 23 points in Monday's win. “I love the way he’s shooting the ball, I love the way he’s picking up the reads out of our system ...

“And more importantly, he and Luka really have a nice feel for one another and really play well off of each other.”

DONUT 3: RICK'S VISION Immediately following the Nov. 18 in a draft-day trade that sent Seth Curry to the 76ers, Carlisle revealed that he'd long envisioned how a player like Richardson might blend with a player like Luka. Outside of the rehab of Kristaps Porzingis (hopefully his knee will allow him on the floor in a few weeks), this issue looms largest when it comes to Dallas achieving its true-contention goals.

Rick said they "have a nice feel for one another.''

“And more importantly, he and Luka really have a nice feel for one another and really play well off of each other.”

DONUT 4: QUOTABLE And what do J-Rich and Luka say on that same subject?

Josh on his meshing with Luka: “What are you going to say about that guy on offense? He can do literally everything.''

Luka on his meshing with Josh: “He’s an amazing player. We’re only in preseason, but you can see it. He brings a lot of stuff. He can shoot, he can dribble, he can guard anybody, and he brings a lot to the team. I’m really happy and we’re really happy to have him.”

DONUT 5: THE OTHER BIG GERMAN This season isn't going to be all about star-quality guys, of course. There will be a next level of major contributors. And maybe that group should mimic Maxi Kleber.

“Give Maxi a lot of credit,” Carlisle said. “He’s worked extremely hard to develop all these skills and to adjust to what the NBA game is all about from the European game.''

And where has that adjustment placed "The Other Big German'' in the coach's eyes?

Said Rick: "There aren’t many 6-10 guys that can guard perimeter players and protect the rim. This is very unusual. Or drive it and be able to make plays and shoot threes with range.''

And therefore, Carlisle believes Kleber is "one of the better'' two-way big men in basketball.

DONUT 6: THE PREVIOUSLY BIG GERMAN Luka played with Dirk Nowitzki for a year, so he surely borrowed some tricks.

But then, who in the basketball world hasn't done so?

Doncic's attempt at a "One-Legged Euro Lean-Back'' the other night in Milwaukee? It looked good to us. But to Luka?

READ MORE: Dallas Mavs' Luka Doncic Borrows Dirk's One-Legged Euro Lean-Back

"Slow,'' he said in self-review. (Read above.)

DONUT 7: STRONG, SILENT TYPE The Mavs wanted to add to their roster some "dawgs.'' They've done that.

That doesn't mean they wanted to add jackasses.

Which brings us to top rookie Josh Green, he of the always-running motor ... but no motormouth.

“He doesn’t say nothing, man,” Carlisle said. “He just plays hard. He’s got a great background of fundamentals, he’s had terrific coaching. ... He’s really beyond his years in terms of his grasp of today’s NBA game - real smart. He gets things the first time.”

We don't know exactly where Green fits into the rotation. And we wonder if his offensive game will limit his minutes until he learns more (though he had 10 points in 19 minutes on Monday). But this level of Rick praise, combined with what we know about "The Maverick Way'' (which means, "The Dirk Way,'' which means, "Shut up and win''?

It makes Josh Green a fit. Soon.

DONUT 8: GOOFY X 2 Coaches like to talk about "five guys on a string,'' meaning everybody on the floor is working in unison. Have they really already achieved that this early on?

“They’re doing extremely well, given the circumstances,” Rick said. “It’s just an unusual situation not having the summer league, not having a period of months to know what’s going on, maybe look for a place to live, that kind of stuff. But all things considered, these guys are all doing well.”

Richardson and Doncic believe they're even beyond that.

“I think we have similar personalities,” Richardson said of he and Luka. “We’re very goofy off the court, but on the court it’s business once that game starts.''

DONUT 9: MAVS FUTURE EVEN BETTER THAN BUCKS? Giannis has made his choice. Good for him.

READ MORE: Mavs Dream Dies; Giannis to Sign Bucks SuperMax

READ MORE:Do 'New-Look' Mavs Have Brighter Future Than Giannis' Bucks?

But above, the DBcom podcast crew at Step Back Mavs'' harbors a belief ... that Dallas' future is brighter than the Bucks'. Listen in and enjoy!

DONUT 10: FAT LUKA? The Mavericks’ star is allowing himself to have some fun with the issue of him looking something short of his optimum fitness, saying, “People on Twitter say every stuff. I’m not in my best shape. I will get there for sure. But I’ve never been a muscular guy, you know. What can I say?”

READ MORE: Mavs Talk: 'I'm Not In My Best Shape,' Says Luka

And we can have some fun with it as well. But, the truth is: Luka, at 21 and with aspirations to follow Dirk's 20-years-plus path, will need to borrow some pages from somebody like Nowitzki when it comes to getting the most out of his body.

READ MORE: Is Mavs Star Luka Doncic The NBA MVP Favorite?

Doncic can win an MVP, at 21, while not being "muscular.'' But this will be a long career haul, requiring more than just brilliant talent.

Luka, like Dirk, is always seeking to "be better.'' Cure the free-throw problem now ... and next, get to work on this one.

DONUT 11: WHAT'S ON TAP The preseason finale is tonight against Minnesota at American Airlines Center. No decision has been made about the regular-season home opener on Dec. 30 in terms of fans, but no fans will be allowed in the building tonight.

There will be limited media availability as well - but will be at the AAC and we invite you to come along for the ride!

DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD “This is like getting put in a microwave and having to get heated up real quick.'' - Carlisle on this accelerated season.