Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on February 7, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.
The Mavs are rebounding. The Mavs are playing decent defense. The Mavs are getting vintage play from Dirk Nowitzki and positive production from reserves Devin Harris, Vince Carter and Brandan Wright.
But mostly, let’s face it, the Mavs are on a “schedule streak.”
Dallas easily dispatched the Celtics in Boston Sunday night, running their win streak to five games. The Mavs, on their best roll since 2012, are a season-high 10 games over .500 and they’ve jumped to a tie with the Phoenix Suns for 6th place in the Western Conference. All is good.
But is it Fool’s Gold?
“There are some signs of encouragement,” Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle after the win in Boston. “But we’re at no point to let our hair down and relax.”
Why? Because the Mavs’ hot streak has been built against the NBA’s coldest teams.
Tuesday’s visit to the Charlotte Bobcats (22-29) will cap an 11-game stretch against eight sub-.500 teams, including seven from the decidedly inferior Eastern Conference. The combined record of the opponents? 241-315, for a lowly .433 winning percentage.
The Mavs’ record in the 10 games so far is 7-3, going 6-1 against the losing teams and 1-2 vs. the winners. The most promising sign is that the Mavs – contrary to befuddling early-losses – are building big leads and managing to keep them. Their last four wins have come by 17, 14, 22 and 11 points, allowing Nowtizki some precious rest and providing Mavs’ fans with ammunition to believe this team has turned the corner.
After concluding the soft stretch against the Bobcats, the Mavs play the best two teams in the East – the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat – sandwiched around the All-Star Break. Check back in a week to see if they’re legit.
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.