By Geoff Case
The Dallas Mavericks won’t simply quit and with Dirk Nowitzki slowly morphing back into his All-Star self they keep pushing to make that 8th seed in the Western Conference. While the odds are stacked against them, fans can be prideful that the Mavs refuse to quit. Honestly, it’s one of the best examples of how Nowitzki has grown as a leader.
The Mavericks are currently 11th in the Western Conference, four games behind the eighth-place Lakers. The schedule could help Dallas gain ground in the playoff standings. The Mavericks play again on Wednesday night in their first of six straight much needed home games. A big streak is on the line as the Mavericks have made the postseason 12 years in a row.
”We still believe,” point guard Darren Collison said. ”We still believe we can make it. There’s no quit in us. We believe that every game from here out we can get a win. We’re talented enough. We’ve got the players to do it.”
The biggest issues……
That mind-set is one that seems to have trickled down to every spot on the roster. While the effort is there, consistency has been the problem with this team. They are horrible in close games and can’t seem to maintain an edge on the glass during crunch time. They are sorely missing the two-man game of Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki that was a staple for easy offense in the fourth quarter. While OJ Mayo’s skill set is very comparable to JET’s the turnovers have forced Rick Carlisle’s hand in moving away from this model. What has been almost embarrassing for the Mavericks is that they do not have a point guard who can simply get the ball to Dirk in the post. That alone sent the Mavericks wavier wire searching for much of the season picking up Derek Fisher who left after a few games and then settling on Mike James. Point guard will be a point of emphasis for the Mavericks this offseason.
3/20 – Brooklyn Nets – Darren Williams’ squad, the Brooklyn “Nyets” come back to Dallas boasting a 39-28 record. A far cry from the powerhouse GM Billy King envisioned this offseason. Regardless this should be a great match-up.
3/22 – Boston Celtics – Jason Terry returns to the AAC with his new squad. The two teams are stocked full of feisty veterans and the Celtics are reeling after a loss to Miami.
3/24 – Utah Jazz – The Jazz are trying to get back to .500 and have a powerhouse tandem in the paint with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Look for the Jazz to exploit the Mavs inside.