By DaVince “Dino” Wright
Dallas has 13 games left this NBA season. Over the past month Dallas has dropped from 5th place (where they sat practically all season) to 8th place and have been leaped frog by Golden State, LA Clippers and the Timberwolves. How did this happen? Well, I’m glad you asked. Dallas has a horrible habit of not finishing teams off in the fourth quarter and as mentioned in several articles, rebounding. It’s no surprise that Dallas has been making a huge push for Luka to win the MVP this year, but that hasn’t panned out like they’ve wanted. Dallas is big on individual accolades instead of the team’s toughness and their playoff record reflects that over the past 6 years. The season when the Mavericks won the NBA Championship, the team was tough in the paint and on the wings and ended up in 5th place in overall rebounding. Which is more important a team championship trophy or an individual MVP trophy. Luka will win it one day when he learns to pass the ball and play some tough defense. I guess I am being critical, but if the success of the Mavericks team is on his shoulders then Luka needs to work on his overall game instead of a fine-tuning his three-point shooter. Dallas is now on a 3-game losing streak and both Luka and Kyrie missed back to back games against the Grizzlies then at home. Dallas will need to beat San Antonio and Memphis on the road this week to avoid fall into the NBA play-in games with the playoffs looming.
3/15 – 7:30 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs – TV: Bally Sports Southwest
This should be a very easy game for the Mavericks on the road in San Antonio. The way that this team has played in their last 3 games makes me uncomfortable picking to win against the Spurs. Especially with Luka Doncic already declared out for the game. Dallas has been dropping winnable games against sub .500 team this season. ESPN has the Mavs with a 74% chance of winning, but when the ball is tipped off the Mavericks might not show up! I’m taking Dallas by 10! No! Let’s make it 8 on the road in San Antonio. Final Score: Mavericks 108 – Spurs 100
3/17 – 9:30 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers – TV: NBA TV
Will the Mavs be able to avenge their last epic melt down against the Lakers and right the ship towards post season success? Will LeBron James make it back from injury? Luka? I think the Lakers are in the heads of the Mavs right now. I don’t see the Mavericks making this their statement game as the season winds down. Perhaps the Lil’ Mavs surprise us with a blow out win and get lucky like the Irish! Final Score: Mavericks 96 – Lakers – 94
3/20 – 7:00 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies – TV: NBA TV
Dallas is 1-2 against the Grizzlies this year. This will be their final meeting of the season heading into the playoffs. Dallas has a chance of breaking even against the Grizzlies with their leader still away from the team. Dallas will need to start off hot, not by shooting 3-point shots but by getting into the paint and creating free-throw opportunities all game long. Memphis has a 56.2% chance of closing the Mavericks out, but Dallas will need to get into the paint and rebound. I’m taking Memphis by 12. It’ll be ugly for the Mavs again. They have to fight and find a way to win! Final Score: Mavericks 119 – Grizzlies 131