Just like that, the Mavs have their first three-game losing streak of the season. And now for the good news …
As if losing to the lowly Denver Nuggets – again – isn’t hideous enough, it’s what’s next that has Mavs fans fearing the wrong type of madness in March. After getting fat and happy against the NBA’s losing teams, Dallas now faces a three-game gauntlet against some the best – Portland, Indiana and Golden State.
If the Mavs don’t play with more energy and intensity than last night, their streak could be six in a snap.
How desperate was head coach Rick Carlisle for a Mile High answer after watching his team casually stroll to a 17-point halftime deficit? Bernard James started the third quarter. Yes, the same Bernard James that just last week was recording a triple-double in Frisco with the D-League affiliate.
The lethargic Mavs allowed 68 points to Denver in the first half and – though playing with more spirit in the second half – never got closer than six until a meaningless garbage-time push for the 115-110 final. The Mavs didn’t rebound. The Mavs didn’t hustle after loose balls. Dirk Nowitzki impersonated a traffic cone as the likes of J.J. Hickson waltzed around him for a dunk. Afterward Carlisle bemoaned that he should’ve yanked his starters after three minutes.
How bad was the loss? The Nuggets had lost six in a row and 11 of 12 and hadn’t won a home game in exactly one month.
Denver now has 26 wins this season, three against the Mavs.
The Mavs have 20 games remaining and they remain in a fight for a playoff spot. It’d be a shame if they missed the post-season because they failed to beat a team that won’t sniff a .500 record.
“Are we worried? Sure,” Nowitzki told reporters after the loss. “Are we going to do anything about it? We’ll see this weekend.”
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.