Dallas Mavericks: 7th Place and Moving on Up!!

Kyrie Irving has had the hot hand as of late. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Do the Mavericks have a chance?
The Dallas Mavericks have 4 wins in their last 5 games. The Mavericks pulled off one of the best game winning shots in recent memory when Kyrie Irving’s left-handed floater beat the defending champions Denver Nuggets at home on Sunday night. The 4 wins have allowed the Mavericks to jump into a three-way tie for 6th place in the Western Conference. The Mavericks leap-frogged the Suns one spot (who are still sitting in 8th place) after Monday night rankings. Dallas has some nice wins over Denver, Golden State, Chicago and Detroit. The only loss came at the hands of Oklahoma City without Luka that night by 7 points. Rebounding has been this teams saving grace and Achilles heel. When the Mavericks are firing on all cylinders they can beat any team in the league, but when they struggle, they drop very winnable games to teams with no business being on the same floor as them. There are 14 games left until the playoffs and the Mavericks will need to win at least 8 games to get near the 5th or 6th seed. Playoff positioning is important for the Mavericks over the next 3 weeks.

Can Dallas make a move for a higher seed heading into the playoffs?
Dallas has only 2 games this week and winning both of them would help the Mavs move a bit closer out of the 7th place dungeon and into the 6th spot. The first game will be against the San Antonio Spurs on the road this Tuesday. Then they host the Utah Jazz at home on Thursday. These two games will be the start of the last 14 games of the season. I can’t stress this enough for the Mavericks to get healthy and play aggressive down the stretch. This part of the season is where champions are born. Time to make a run. Keep an eye on PG Kyrie Irving, G Dante Exum, C PJ Washington. For Tuesday’s game, Guard Luka Doncic will be a game time decision due to a sore hamstring. Look for G Tim Hardaway, Jr. to pick up the slack in the scoring department.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central

Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs
Date: March 19
Time: 7:00 PM
TV: Bally Sports
Dallas has a three game win streak over the Spurs this season. This will be the last and final game of this series against the Spurs and it’s on the road. Dallas will need to control the boards and keep rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama who averages 10.4 boards a game. Now is the time that Dallas will need to play veteran Markieff Morris to keep him in check. I’m taking Dallas by 13!
Final Score: Mavericks 121 – Spurs 108

Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks
Date: March 21
Time: 7:30 PM
TV: Bally Sports
This will be the first of two games against the Jazz over a 4 day span. Dallas will host Game 3 of this game series. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday when Dallas will play the Jazz on the road. Dallas will need to control the boards and get the ball up floor for easy transition buckets. This should be a walk in the park for the Mavericks, but Utah is a very crafty team looking to spoil all playoff hopes for every team in the Western Conference at this point. I’m taking Dallas by 15! This should be a statement game for Dallas.
Final Score: Jazz 99 – Mavericks 116