Unlike this last stretch of nine games that featured almost exclusively winning teams — and Dallas went 7-2 to go into the All-Star break with a 21-13 record — this next nine-game stretch is a near-opposite. Six teams are below .500 with only Memphis and Oklahoma City — both road games — sporting winning records. The New York Knicks, who come to the American Airlines Center on March 6, are 17-17 heading into tonight’s game at Miami but are 8-2 with Jeremy Linat the point.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a lot of games in a short period of time, and there wasn’t a player in the Mavs’ locker room following Wednesday night’s disappointing home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers who wasn’t aware of the upcoming nine in 12.
“It all really boils down to how we play coming back after the break,” Vince Carter said. “This first part is over, we’re where we are, but this is where it all counts, in my opinion, now after the All-Star break. Hopefully we come back out ready to go. Nine games in 12 days is brutal, but it happens.”
THE NEXT NINE
Tuesday vs. New Jersey Nets
Wednesday at Memphis Grizzlies
March 2 at New Orleans Hornets
March 3 vs. Utah Jazz
March 5 at Oklahoma City Thunder
March 6 vs. New York Knicks
March 8 at Phoenix Suns
March 9 at Sacramento Kings
March 10 at Golden State Warriors
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