To be a Dallas sports fan, these days, is to know futility.
The banged-up Stars have ridden inconsistency, injuries, exhaustion and whatever else to the outer reaches of the playoff picture.
The Mavericks are about the same, only they, in all likelihood, will make the playoffs. Currently sitting in the eighth spot in the West, they are just good enough to do so, but (probably) not good enough to move up in the standings and avoid what, in all likelihood, will be a merciless beating at the hands of the Lakers.
Crucial in all of this are the Phoenix Suns, who have allowed the Mavericks to stumble towards the finish line with (relatively) little doubt concerning their playoff destiny, however bleak that destiny may be.
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The battle for the eighth spot in the West has ceased to be a battle, and now resembles two old, weak curs fighting over a dirty pork chop.
There will be a winner, but it won't be because of any obvious, laudable merits.
While the Mavericks were losing narrowly to Denver and being brutally whipped by the juggernaut Cleveland Cavaliers this weekend, the Suns were busy being swept on a three-game road-trip.
When Phoenix lost to the pitiful Sacramento Kings on Sunday, it seemed clear that the Mavericks would make the playoffs, probably stumble into a series with Los Angeles, and probably be ousted shortly thereafter. It will be a playoff berth minus the hoopla and exaltation that usually comes with it.
Pardon my overwhelming negativity.
This isn’t to say that Dallas has been consistently bad this season; there have been highs and lows and not much in between; and therein lies the problem, friends.
The Mavericks haven’t been consistently anything this season.