The Dallas Mavericks are getting some relief after that dreaded and ugly stretch of nine games in 12 days.
The defending NBA champions, the league's oldest lineup with all its starters and two top reserves being at least 10-year veterans, have a chance to regroup. They are in a nearly two-week span without having to play on consecutive nights.
Owner Mark Cuban says the Mavericks now have a chance to prove themselves. In this unusual condensed season, he can dismiss the 2-7 stretch that ended with three road losses in three nights over the weekend.
Dallas was the first Western Conference team to play its 44th game, a desperately needed victory at home over Washington on Tuesday night. That leaves 22 regular-season games over six weeks.