The Dallas Mavericks have lost three straight games. They allowed 41 points in the first quarter to the Denver Nuggets and seemed lifeless on the road Wednesday night. The Memphis Grizzlies are a game back of Dallas for the final playoff spot, while the Mavs seem lost right now. So, is it time to panic?
No. At least not yet.
Sure, the Mavs’ ugly game against a Nuggets team that isn’t very good is a red flag, but I’m not hitting the panic button just yet. There’s time for Dallas to get out of this slump that they are in, but that time is limited and the road ahead is tough.
The Mavs have to go up against Portland and Indiana this weekend at home, and then go on the road to play the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. Yikes. But, the Mavs have to win at least two out of those three games before any sort of panic. This will in no way be easy, and there’s a chance that the Mavs might wet the bed.
But something says that Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle won’t let that happen. Despite Dallas not showing up against Denver on Wednesday night, Dirk had a nice game with 27 and seven rebounds. His supporting cast? No shows.
The Dallas defense has also disappeared over this three game skid after playing decently well in February. Samuel Dalembert was benched in the second half in favor of the seldom used Bernard James. That should tell you all you need to know about how much of a spark the Mavs needed on the defensive end last night. Plus, Ty Lawson torched Jose Calderon for 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
So where does this team go from here? Well, they’ve beaten Portland, Indiana and Golden State at one point or another this regular season so it’s silly to say that they have no shot at winning any of these. Portland comes in winning six out of their last seven games. The Pacers have lost two straight games and will play the Rockets a visit on Friday, before coming to Dallas on Sunday. It’s hard to say who the Mavs have a better chance of beating this weekend, but they HAVE to at least win one. After that, they absolutley have to win on the road in Golden State. The Warriors are two games ahead of Dallas for the sixth seed in the West, so that game will have major playoff implications.
Winning at least two out of these next three games would be huge for the Mavs. Let’s not forget, they also have to play the Oklahoma City Thunder twice this month along with the Clippers later this month. Wins aren’t going to come easy anymore and the Mavs have to enter this weekend with a big sense of urgency.
It’s not time to panic yet, but by this time next week it might be a different story if the Mavs can’t do some damage this weekend.