The Mavericks spent this past week treading water. For a team that is 6 games above .500, that is ok. Let’s break last week down.
01/17- The Mavericks won a game against the surprising Suns on the road. That win could mean a lot come playoff time.
01/18- Your Mavericks decided to mail it in and were embarrassed by the Trailblazers.
01/20- The Mavs continue their steady dominance of the Eastern Conference by easily defeating the Cavs.
01/22- Dallas suffers another last minute choke and drops an easy game against the Raptors.
All told, they went 2-2 this week. Nothing special. Dallas continues to get very little from Samuel Dalembert and they are still unable to hold late leads. If they make they playoffs, that will be the reason why they are ushered out.
I have a rule for any playoff team in the NBA. You must win 5 games in a row at least twice a season. It is an arbitrary number, but I have always believed that winning 5 sends a message. It tell your opponent that your team can get hot and stay hot over 20 quarters of play.
It says that your defensive effort can extend over 20 quarters and that different players on your team have contributed to those wins.
I believe the Mavericks need to win 5 games in a row to show me that they are serious about making noise this year in the playoffs. The most they have won is 4 and they haven’t done that in months. This whole bit of going 6-4 is just a facade. It wont lend itself to anything if they can’t get on a run.
The playoffs are about runs. That type of success needs to be achieved during the season a couple of times during the season so that the team understand what it takes.
Dallas did take a page of out the Spurs playbook and gave Dirk Nowitzki a rare and I mean rare night off. That should help down the stretch. The return of Devin Harris could bring a defensive boost to the back court. It may also give Monta Ellis the break he will eventually need during the home stretch.
So what am I saying? This week the Mavericks weren’t great. They were just ok. Imagine if they could win 5 in a row and then go back to their 6-4 ways. Things would start to look a lot better.
So it begins again on Friday.
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