All-Star Weekend has come and gone, the NBA trade deadline is later this week (Thursday at 2:00 p.m. CT), and there are only 26 games remaining for the Dallas Mavericks to avoid their first losing season since 1999-2000. With a current record of 22-34, the Mavs definitely have their work cut out for them. Even if they just want to break even at .500 on the year, the Mavs must post a record of at least 19-7 in these remaining games. Lets take a quick look at who’s left on the schedule.
|Date||Opponent||Season Series W/L|
|Friday, February 24||@ Minnesota Timberwolves||Tied, 1-1|
|Saturday, February 25||vs New Orleans Pelicans||Tied, 1-1|
|Monday, February 27||vs Miami Heat||MIA leads, 1-0|
|Wednesday, March 1||@ Atlanta Hawks||ATL leads, 1-0|
|Friday, March 3||vs Memphis Grizzlies||MEM leads, 1-0|
|Sunday, March 5||vs Oklahoma City Thunder||OKC leads, 1-0|
|Tuesday, March 7||vs LA Lakers||DAL leads, 3-0|
|Friday, March 10||vs Brooklyn Nets||Tied, 0-0|
|Saturday, March 11||vs Phoenix Suns||Tied, 1-1|
|Monday, March 13||@ Toronto Raptors||Tied, 0-0|
|Wednesday, March 15||@ Washington Wizards||DAL leads, 1-0|
|Friday, March 17||@ Philadelphia 76ers||DAL leads, 1-0|
|Sunday, March 19||@ Brooklyn Nets||Tied, 0-0|
|Tuesday, March 21||vs Golden State Warriors||GSW leads, 2-0|
|Thursday, March 23||vs LA Clippers||Tied, 1-1|
|Saturday, March 25||vs Toronto Raptors||Tied, 0-0|
|Monday, March 27||vs Oklahoma City Thunder||OKC leads, 1-0|
|Wednesday, March 29||@ New Orleans Pelicans||Tied, 1-1|
|Friday, March 31||@ Memphis Grizzlies||MEM leads, 1-0|
|Sunday, April 2||@ Milwaukee Bucks||DAL leads, 1-0|
|Tuesday, April 4||@ Sacramento Kings||Tied, 1-1|
|Wednesday, April 5||@ LA Clippers||Tied, 1-1|
|Friday, April 7||vs San Antonio Spurs||SAS lead, 2-1|
|Sunday, April 9||@ Phoenix Suns||Tied, 1-1|
|Tuesday, April 11||vs Denver Nuggets||DEN lead, 2-1|
|Wednesday, April 12||@ Memphis Grizzlies||MEM leads, 1-0|
The Denver Nuggets, who are the current 8-seed in the Western Conference standings, have a record of 25-31. That means Dallas is only 3 games back of the final playoff spot in the West. It is very likely that the Mavs could make the playoffs while still having a losing record. That’s just how crazy the bottom half of the West has been this year. As many injuries as the Mavs battled through up to this point, along with establishing team chemistry with the new younger players, it’s incredible that the postseason is still well within their grasp. This is a testament the leadership that’s been provided by Coach Rick Carlisle, along with Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, and the young, ever-developing Harrison Barnes.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Mavs’ front office decides to do at the trade deadline. The biggest name out there has already been dealt, as the Sacramento Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans shortly after the All-Star game ended. Where does this leave the Mavs as the deadline approaches? According to Mavs’ insider, Mike Fisher, it turns out that Dallas did actually attempt to contact the Kings about Cousins in the final hours before he was dealt, but they were told that the all-star center was not going to be traded.
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) February 20, 2017
There has been a lot of talk about Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut being traded, due to the team’s recent success without them and other teams’ needs for depth at those positions. If new players are brought in this late in the season, there’s always that possibility that it could mess up what chemistry the team has already established. However, Mark Cuban has been quoted, saying that they will be “opportunistic” as the deadline approaches. Whatever happens, rest assured that the Mavs 2017 first-round pick won’t be going anywhere unless a superstar becomes available (I’d be willing to give up the pick for a guy like Andre Drummond). I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that I feel like Dallas will end up trading for Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor. Judging by the weak return the Kings got in exchange for Cousins, I think Dallas could acquire Okafor without giving up a 1st round pick. Anything is possible this time of year, as the Kings and the Pelicans recently demonstrated for us. Hopefully the Mavs can find themselves a great deal out there.
As bad as a losing season sounds, the fact that the Mavs organization has avoided that situation in nearly 2 decades is remarkable. We, as fans, have truly been spoiled over the years, which makes the struggles of this season even harder to watch. I’m not going to make any predictions, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Mavs found a way to dig deep and turn this season into a winning one, despite the steep odds they now face.
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