After reviewing the latest game the Dallas Mavericks had, it was a very good win over the Boston Celtics. Dallas started off with the lead and never let it get away from them. There were several ties in the game, but Dallas led to the end and secured the victory that they needed. As a side note, it was good to see Jason “the JET” Terry, but he was not able to be a big factor in the game, but he did get a standing ovation from the crowd, as well as Coach Rick Carlisle, but no wings on the runway!
Throughout the month of March, the Mavericks played 12 games and of those they went 8-4 where they averaged a little over 104 points per game, but allowed their opponents to average a little over 102 per game. Now some games they did have a bigger point spread, while others it was a little bit closer, especially in some of their losses, like against San Antonio where they lost only by 1 and to Oklahoma City where they only lost by 6. So as you can see, they can play tough and close to a lot of the best teams, but then you had the ugly loss recently to the Brooklyn Nets, well let’s just say we’ll put that one on the back burner.
So with Dallas sitting in the 10th seed at 33-36, they are just 1 game behind the Utah Jazz, who they play on Sunday evening, who is sitting currently in the 9th spot and only 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers who are in the 8th spot. Dallas has 13 games left in the season, 8 are at home and 5 are away and with that, 8 of the remaining games, are against contenders, so Dallas will have to be on their toes at all times in order to be successful.
Now what do they actually have to do to get to at least the 8th spot? Well of course they are going to have to win at least 10, if not 11 of their remaining games and look for some help from the teams above them in the standings.
With the Lakers and the Jazz just above them, they also have to look at Portland who is tied with them in the standings, but because Dallas has the tie-breaker scenario, they still have to make sure they are looking forward and keep them at bay.
The thing of it is, Dallas can do whatever they want to do if they put their minds to it and be able to fend off anyone, the question of the matter is, will they and do they want to? Well the want to is of course, yes; the will they answer is, of course yes if they will work together as a team and not let the small stuff get to them.
Against the Celtics, they were running on all cylinders. Brandan Wright was doing what we call the “Wright” stuff and even though he was on Kevin Garnett a lot of the game, as he said “he’s a Hall of Fame player and I respect him, but I’m still going to cover him and play him tough” and he did. Wright actually led the Mavericks and had his highest scoring game with 23 points and this was his 100th game as a Maverick and we hope that he continues with them. It seemed kind of funny where as just about 2-2.5 months ago that he was sitting there wondering if he was ever going to see the court again. It just goes to show you that hard work pays off and as Coach has stated, stay ready and he has and if has definitely paid off for him.
Now what does this all mean for Dallas? Well, it’s just those kind of games, those kind of players and plays that Dallas is going to need in order to pull off the mystery of the season and that is, will Dallas keep their streak of playoff seasons going? At this point, it’s all up to them and only them.
There is some speculation that Dallas won’t make it and that the roster will be overturned again; well anything is possible, but I don’t see the whole roster being overturned, but I’m sure some changes are going to be made and some changes will probably need to be made. Dirk is no 34 years old and he is going into the last of his current contract and even though we would love to see him retire a Maverick, is it fair to keep him here during a rebuilding time? Can he lead this team to the promised land of champions again? The answer we would all love to hear is yes, but the answer is strictly up to the team. Do they want a championship?
We all wished that the team would have been kept together after they won in 2011, but you had the lockout, a lot of stuff got lost in the cracks of bargaining after the contract was agreed upon and needless to say, some very key players were lost to other teams and we can’t fault Mark Cuban for everything because some of this was out of his hands and control and who knows if it would have been in Dallas’ favor to keep those players? One will never know, just like this past season,would it have been favorable for Dallas to land Deron Williams and or Dwight Howard?
The season started off with a sour note when it was announced that Dirk would have to have surgery on his knee and would be out for a while and when he did return, it took a while for not only him to get back into the flow of things, but also for the team to acclimate to him and that made things bad on both sides of the fence for this team. They had already gotten into a flow of things without him and then when he came back, some things had to change in order for Dirk to be of any help at all and they were mid-way into the season.
Those changes were made, even though it took a while and even though Dirk’s overall numbers are down, over the last 4-6 weeks, he has steadily increased his numbers and he is still a factor and a force to be reckoned with and any team and Coach will tell you so. The proof is in the pudding, as we say; Dirk is still adding numbers to his scoring which is pushing him just that much closer to Patrick Ewing on the all-time scoring list and once he scores that 24,816th point, he will move into 17th place on that elusive list. Now I know Dirk doesn’t care about those lists and individual accomplishments, not now anyway, his primary concern is getting his team back to the playoffs and hopes of winning another trophy.
The way he does that, is to have more touches on the ball; whether it’s him taking the shot or passing it off to a smaller guard to get into the paint and score, he is still a threat no matter what anyone says.
So here’s to the rest of the season and with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!