Jan 20, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Luol Deng in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks Notebook: Crucial Week Ahead


 

Monta Ellis makes All Star case in 102-97 road win over Cleveland Cavaliers

Watching this team is like riding a roller coaster except the Mavs make me considerably more nauseous. As Dallas has proven time and time again, a double digit lead is never safe. No matter how much time remains or the margin of the lead. After being down 22 points at the half, the Cavs came within 3 points of tying the game in the final seconds. Fortunately, a couple of Monta Ellis free throws sealed the victory. Ellis (22 points, 8 assists) held his own against Kyrie Irving(26 points, 9 assists) as the Mavs moved to 25-18 and are now 11-11 away from the American Airlines Center.

 

More Eastern Conference foes ahead

Dallas plays three more teams from the Eastern Conference to finish out the week. We take on the Raptors (20-20) in Toronto on Wednesday, the Nets (17-22) in Brooklyn on Friday, and the Detroit Pistons (17-24) at home on Sunday. Since none of these teams are Indiana or Miami, I think all of the games are winnable. None of these opponents even have winning records, which shows you how miserable the East really is. This week’s matchups feature huge opportunities for the Mavs to improve their playoff position.

 

Cuban gives Stern a proper farewell

Last week, owner Mark Cuban reiterated his claim that he wanted one more fine before longtime NBA commissioner David Stern’s retirement on February 1. This weekend, his wish was granted after the league made him fork over $100,00 for confronting officials on the court after Dallas choked away the game against the Clippers on January 15. Cuban, like many Mavs fans, had plenty of reasons to be angry that night so I don’t blame him at all for his actions. Our owner has now paid fines totaling $1.9 million along with the matching donations to the charities of choice. Critics always says he’s crazy, but I really just think he’s an enthusiastic philanthropist.

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