Fifty wins used to be a big deal for the Mavs.
I remember when they won only 15 in their inaugural season in 1980, and thinking 50 was unreachable. But it happened for the first time in ’87 and – upon Dirk Nowitzki’s arrival – it occurred 11 consecutive times from 2001-11.
For the first time since their championship run four years ago the Mavs have a chance to win 50, and they need to do just that to instill any confidence in then making noise in the playoffs.
Dallas is locked into the 7th seed in the Western Conference playoffs. With five games remaining over the season’s final nine days, they’re five games behind the Spurs for 6th and four ahead of the 8th-place Thunder. They’re not moving, headed for a first-round matchup with either the Grizzlies or Rockets, both of which won three of four against the Mavs this season.
To get to 50, they’ll have to win four of their final five. But it’s more than doable. And if this is a team that’s going to enter the playoffs with momentum and a legitimate shot to pull a first-round upset, it has to happen.
At 46-31, the Mavs finish against the all-but-eliminated Suns at home Wednesday, then road games against the long-ago-eliminated Nuggets, Lakers and Jazz. If this team has any fight left, it’ll have 50 wins headed into the season finale April 15 at home against the Blazers.
The Mavs haven’t won 50 games in a season or a playoff series since 2011. They have a to do both in the coming weeks.
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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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.