Let’s not diminish the Mavs’ surprising 9-4 start. For a team I picked to finish around .500, it was down right shocking and impressive.
But, as the competition increases, it’s also becoming clear that it was a helping of Fool’s Gold.
The six-game winning streak against the likes of the Lakers, Sixers and Jazz is a distant memory, replaced by losses to the Kevin Durant-less Thunder and last night’s thumping at the hands of the Zach Randolph-less Grizzlies.
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And it won’t get any easier tonight, when the Mavs will lose at San Antonio to punctuate an 0-3 road trip. If this was a measuring stick, the Mavs are – as expected – well below the West’s best.
“We’ve got to get better,” Dirk Nowitzki said in Tuesday night’s post-game locker room. “We knew that during the six-game win streak. We’ve got to keep working. We’ve got to get better defensively, work together, end the possession with rebounding and then we can get our flow game working. We gave up 117 in OKC and 110 to a slow-paced team in Memphis. It’s just not good enough.”
Before the season the Mavs would have gladly accepted being 9-6 after 15 games. But the more they play the best in the West, the more they begin looking like the .500 team we all anticipated.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.