DONUT 1: BIG 3? The Dallas Mavericks don't have a "Big 3.'' But for one night, anyway, they had a third member of this young team replicate a former Dallas legend.
"We haven’t seen defense like that,'' coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday's 123-116 win at New Orleans, "since Jason Kidd was here.''
DONUT 2: DELON AS KIDD Whoa. The comparisons of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis to Mavs icons Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash? Sure, I get those. But young journeyman Delon Wright is now a Jason Kidd Starter Kit?
The point is a lovely one, though, given Wright's night. Dallas' big offseason acquisition from Memphis (where he was but a part-time starter, as was the case before that in Toronto) was superb in many ways, as he finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. The 6-7 guard did all of this while coming off the bench and did it on both ends.
DONUT 3: THE WRIGHT STUFF Said Wright, who dealt with a hamstring injury for part of the preseason: "I've been waiting to have one of these type of games ... This was like, 'Finally, I felt like myself.''
DONUT 4: 2-0 START The Mavs are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2004-’05 season and Doncic’s (with a triple-double) and Porzingis (with a stat line featuring five blocks) are the central reasons. But none of this Friday success would've happened quite the way it did without Wright’s play, which included five steals
"The play at the end where he stole the ball on the rebound,'' Carlisle said, "really was a microcosm of the night that he had.”
DONUT 5: 'OKG' Wright's career numbers are not eye-popping. The ... -year-old entered the season with NBA averages of 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. But the Mavs envisioned him as an OKG ("Our Kind of Guy''), as a grinder, and as a defensive force. That force was needed when the Mavs fell behind 41-27 after the first quarter.
“I’ll start with just talking about the growth of a young team and what this game is really all about,” coach Rick Carlisle said afterward. “Giving up 41 in the first quarter was certainly unacceptable, and then our guys all got together and dug in the remaining three quarters.
“The two 23-point quarters (allowed to the Pelicans in the second and fourth) basically defined the game for us. I’m proud of the team.”
Added Wright: “We gave up, I want to say, about seven easy layups in that first quarter. But we were able to get some stops after that.”
DONUT 6: LUCKY LUKA Doncic totaled 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He also banked in a 3 with 1:23 remaining in the game that looms large.
“I was lucky,” Doncic said.
DONUT 7: LUKA VIDEO VISIT Our man Dalton Trigg was assigned to travel to the game and along with other media members was in the locker room to talk to Luka and the fellas.
Luka now has the most triple-doubles before turning 21 in NBA history. The numbers: Luka Doncic 9, Magic Johnson 7, LeBron James 5.
DONUT 8: KP AND HELPERS KP scored 24, and Dallas got big help from Jalen Brunson (14 points, eight rebounds), Maxi Kleber (eight points, 10 rebounds) and Seth Curry (eight points, all in the fourth).
“Seth Curry was great,” Carlisle said. “He delivers in different ways. He was very good defensively. People usually just want to talk about his shooting and his float game and his playmaking, but he really held his own on defense.''
DONUT 9: THAT DEFENSIVE PLAY But this one wasn't decided until (wait for it) ...
... Wright pickpocketed the Pels with 18 seconds left and Dallas up five.
DONUT 10: QUOTABLE "Delon Wright may not have been the guy Mavs fans wanted in free agency. But he may be the guy this team needs. What a fantastic night.'' - Chuck Cooperstein
DONUT 11: WHAT'S ON TAP Well, coldies were on tap during this game as a big crowd hung out at The Maverick Bar for our "Blog-and-Pod'' Party.
The coldies are always colder with a win ... Which Dallas will be seeking on Sunday night in a 6 p.m. tip at the AAC when the Blazers roll into town.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD "Everybody that stepped in there ... did something positive, once we got through the first quarter.” - Carlisle, on a list of "everybodies'' that on one night includes a Kidd-like Delon Wright.