Mar 15, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Ian Mahinmi (28) dunks the ball over Charlotte Bobcats forward Derrick Brown (4) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Living In The Present: The Dallas Mavericks Have Everything They Need To Repeat

Mar 30, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

If you are a Dallas Mavericks fan, I want you to do me a favor. For the last 19 games of the season, no more talk of the offseason or Deron Williams. None. The Mavericks have more important things to worry about, and all of this talk about playing for next year is doing nothing but distracting the players. Whether it’s Lamar skipping games and asking for buyouts or Terry “auditioning” for 29 other teams, this behavior cannot be allowed to spread to the rest of the Maverick squad in this crucial part of the season.

The Dallas Mavericks are the defending NBA Champions damn it; it’s time they started playing like it.

Despite only going 2-7 in the Maverick’s recent 9 games in 11 nights stretch, they seem to have hit a stride here recently. Having won their last 4 games, Dallas is looking to go on a run. Four in a row without some of their best players mind you. No Marion, no West, no Haywood? No problem.

Mar 13, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois (3) drives for a layup against Washington Wizards power forward Andray Blatche (7) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Enter Rodrigue Beaubois; he is averaging 15.8 points a game and shooting an efficient 54.7% from the field in the 4 wins by the Mavs. The word efficient is the keyword there. We all know this kid is flashy and entertaining, but the team needs more than just a spark off the bench from him. They need consistency, something Roddy B has been lacking ever since he scored 40 points against the Golden State Warriors in his rookie year. With all of the injuries and his insertion into the starting lineup, we have seen a more of a playmaking type of style from the French guard. He’s creating opportunities for his teammates, he is not quick to shoot or drive like the fans are used to seeing; although, he will still do that on occasion.

And what about Brandan Wright? In Haywood’s absence, Wright has had to embrace the backup center role now more than ever. In Monday’s game against the Nuggets, Wright played his second highest number of minutes in a game this season (27) and went 7-9 from the field for 15 points. He brings an edge to this Mavericks team that they have been lacking since the departure of Tyson Chandler, combining a high basketball I.Q. with pure athleticism. Playing out of his position at the 5, Wright has shown his versatility; he will be given more playing time as a result. Rick Carlisle has a lot of options at the 4 and 5, a problem he hasn’t had since he began coaching in Dallas. It’s a good problem to have.

Mar, 5, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison (4) defends against Dallas Mavericks power forward Lamar Odom (7) during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

The amazing thing is that the Mavericks have rarely had the entire team healthy at the same time this season, yet they still find themselves sitting as the 5th seed in the Western Conference. Despite their lack of effort, conditioning problems, and injuries, the Mavericks are still in a position to make noise in the playoffs. You have to wonder if Lamar Odom sees all of this and thinks, “Hey, these guys are winning even when I contribute nothing. Imagine if I start producing, how could we ever lose?”

That is the mindset the Dallas Mavericks need to have. With the depth they have, and a superstar in Dirk Nowitzki who has been on a tear as of late, the only team that can beat the Mavericks is…well the Mavericks. If they are fully healthy heading into the playoffs, it honestly shouldn’t matter who they play. The next four games should put this to the test, as they are against Western Conference playoff teams starting with the Lakers tonight in Dallas.

So get your popcorn ready Dallas Mavericks fans, because the next few weeks can be the difference between a repeat – or a defeat.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Brandan Wright Dallas Dallas Mavericks Lamar Odom Rodrigue Beaubois

  • Dallas3026

    I can’t figure out what Odom’s problem is.   Carter hasn’t exactly been wowing me lately either.

    • DIbrahim

       @Dallas3026 Give it some time. Carter at SF is very intriguing to me. I know his strength is at the 2 and posting up smaller defenders, but I think he can be very productive at the 3. I want to see him get in the paint more, the Mavs have more than enough players wanting to shoot 3′s.
      With regards to Odom, I have no idea what his problem is either. If you watch the games, you see that he is simply missing shots. No matter what system you are in, when you’re open you shoot. He gets open a lot, but he missed so many shots that now you see him hesitate and look for a pass. Let’s see how he does against the Lakers tonight, maybe he will turn over a new leaf seeing as how even Fisher fell victim to the “Trade Buss”.

      • Dallas3026

         @DIbrahim I couldn’t even watch the end of the Laker game.  They certainly missed Marion.

        • DIbrahim

           @Dallas3026 Very Hard to watch. Guess I was wrong about Odom, I thought for sure he would turn around after seeing he wasn’t the only one to get the boot from the Lakers. Roddy wasn’t playing well either, and Kidd couldn’t stop Kobe at all. If it’s not the offense that’s clicking, it’s the defense. I don’t even think at full strength we would have won that game…Gasol and Sessions tore us up too.