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Nightmare Stretch Ahead

Nightmare Stretch Ahead

If the last nine games were all about taking momentum into the All-Star break, then the next nine are all about survival.
The most wicked part of this 66-game regular-season schedule descends on the Dallas Mavericksstarting Tuesday when the New Jersey Nets come to town. The competition level isn’t terribly vexing, but the frequency of the games combined with the travel borders on insanity.Nine games. Twelve nights. Seven cities.Where this last stretch of nine games included just two back-to-backs and was played over 15 days, this one includes three consecutive back-to-backs separated by one day off between each set. Then comes the capper, the only back-to-back-to-back of the season — all on the road.

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

-Jeff Caplan-

Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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