As I sit at my desk mixing office work and contemplating what to write about the Dallas Mavericks, I’m reminded how fast time flies. I had originally planned to attend this 3-game stretch against Minnesota, Houston and Oklahoma City. It would have been my first time ever stepping foot on Texas soil, but the time is here and I’m still in New York.
Yeah, I’m bummed out a little, but in due time I will make my way to Dallas, TX and into the American Airlines Center for the one and only true Dallas Mavericks basketball experience.
The Mavericks are currently in a decent state as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. No, 15-23 isn’t a good record at all, but the Mavs are in positive spirits because they’ve strung together two wins and looking to make it three straight. Dallas has momentum on its side since pulling out the overtime victory in Sacramento and handily defeating the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night.
“This was definitely a good one to get and build on the momentum we got in Sacramento with a win,” said Nowitzki, averaging 27.3 points in his last four matchups against Minnesota. “And hopefully we can build on that.”
Dirk missed both games already played against the T-Wolves this season, two Mavs losses. Wolves’ big man Kevin Love reinjured the hand which kept him out early this year and will not play.
You have to sense that the Mavs are starting to come together and play better with their star in the lineup. Whether it was just Dirk slowly getting his leg back or the sets or the comfort level of his teammates, the results have looked much improved the last two games.
We know the defense still remains the main concern for this team going forward. The offense improves when your best player is on the court, but Dirk isn’t a defensive anchor by any means. Mavs also are among the league’s worst defensively while Chris Kaman is out there. No one questions Kaman’s offensive skills, but the center spot defense has declined drastically from Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood.
Former Mavericks guard J.J. Barea will play for the first time in the AAC after being inactive the previous two opportunities. Shawn Marion acknowledged the fact, but was all business in the process.
“We’re all bonded together for the rest of our life, but that (bleep) is over with. I want another one”
The Matrix habitually provides the media with real talk. How can you not appreciate the passion in his statements? Marion isn’t blind; he understands the Mavs are deep in a hole. That doesn’t keep his spirits down there as well. The culture in the Mavs organization continues to be winning and Marion’s accustomed to it.
Dallas needs to win, if not sweep the remainder of the homestand, to make a strong case for a turnaround and chance to claim one of the final playoff seeds. Eight games under .500 isn’t a pretty place to be, but with three more wins they’ll be at 18-23. It gives them a lifeline to survival. The West isn’t doing anyone favors.
The action starts at 7:30 p.m. CT and airs on FsSW/FSN.
Here we go, make it 3 straight wins Mavs!
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