Jan 7, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) and power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) and point guard Gal Mekel (33) rest on the bench during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Lakers 110-97. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks Week in Review: Mid Season Report Card

The Mavericks finished this week 3-1. Let’s take a look at their Mid Season Grades.

Offense- Dallas came into this year with no one doubting their ability to score. They have backed that up. Ranking in the top 10 for scoring has kept the Mavericks in most of their games.

Dirk’s resurgence has been spectacular while averaging 22 points a game.Why is he not being mentioned for comeback player of the year?

Monta Ellis  has proved to be worth the contract. He has been proficiant with his shot and a surprisingly willing passer.

Grade: A-
Trending: Neutral

Defense-As advertised. The perimeter defense is almost embarrassing. The center  is inconsistent so it makes perfect sense why this defense  lacks any resistance.

Once surprising note has been the large number of steals this team gets. That leads to easy points and keep the pressure on.

Grade: D

Bench-The Mavs bench was not much to write home about early in the season. With the additions of Devin Harris and Brandon Wright playing productive minutes on both ends of the court, this group has turned into one of the best in the league.

While Vince Carter is the only true scorer coming off the bench, his pick and role with Wright has been extremely effective.

Grade: B-
Trending: Neutral

Coaching: Coach Carlisle has been his steady self. Carlisle has dealt with inconsistency all year and has managed to get his team 10 games above .500. Mark Cuban has always preached about  a team’s culture as an important factor and his coach has proved him right.

Grade: B+
Trending: Up

Most Surprising: Monta Ellis has been extremely proficient. His shooting percentage, his speed, and his willingness to give up the ball have been a pleasant surprise. You can almost hear Dirk taking a sigh of relief when Ellis takes over a game.

Most Disappointing: Father time may be catching up with Shawn Marion. The defensive stall worth has been unable to stay on the court and productive for any length of time.

The Mavericks may make the playoffs, but they won’t have a prayer unless Marion can regain his health to be a factor.

Let’s look ahead. Can this team make the playoffs? Yes. as long they have one more 5 game winning streak. In my previous article (click here), I highlighted the importance of at least two 5 game winning streaks in a season.

The Mavericks have one under their belt. The need one more and they need to have at least 5 more victories against high seeded playoff teams to solidify their standing.

I do not see any major trades for the Mavericks. They are getting production from their stars, bench, and role players. No reason to break that up.

The second half begins and this team is 10 games above .500. They have a shot. Let’s see what they can do with it.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports?  You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Justin on twitter @justinsopinion

Tags: Devin Harris Dirk Nowitzki Monta Ellis Rick Carlise Vince Carter

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