Mavericks On The Loose, Again

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With the trade winds blowing in Los Angeles and attention focused seemingly everywhere else, the Dallas Mavericks have quietly gotten back to the business of mowing down the competition.

Winners of 10 straight games, the Mavs have clearly recovered from that little mini-tailspin last month (they lost six in a row and seven of eight) when both Caron Butler and Dirk Nowitzki went down with knee injuries.

They have won 11 of their last 12 games, the only blemish during that stretch being an 82-77 setback in Chicago Jan. 20. Included in that march are wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Hawks, Knicks and Celtics. So it’s not like they’ve been fattening up on just losing teams.

The Mavs have regained that early season swagger they showed when they rolled to a 24-5 start right after Christmas and announced themselves as a legitimate challenger to the Lakers’ three-year stranglehold on the Western Conference title.

Of course, they’re still chasing their Southwest Division rivals in San Antonio.

The Spurs became just the seventh team to start a season 43-8, and still haven’t won over their own coach. “There’s still some teams playing better than we are,” Gregg Popovich told reporters after the game. “We’re not the best team in the league. Just because we have the best record doesn’t mean we have the best team. To be the best team, we have to get better defensively.”

There is no confidence crisis in Dallas. The Mavericks know they are good. They know they have as good a chance as anyone, provided they remain healthy enough, to challenge for the top spot in the West.

Dirk is playing ridiculously well, even on a knee that isn’t 100 percent, and they have the legitimate inside presence they’ve lacked in the past in Tyson Chandler. With the prospect of Roddy Beaubois returning in the coming weeks, they’ll actually get a perimeter scoring boost to go along with quality play from veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

Depth is obviously not going to be an issue, even with the injuries the Mavs have suffered this season. Shawn Marion‘s shined his role as the utility man, whether he’s coming off the bench or filling in for someone in the starting lineup. And you could do a lot worse than Brendan Haywood for your backup center.

We discussed it here before and we’ll bring it up again now: this Mavericks team is on to something. They’ve got everything in the potential champion’s notebook — talent, seasoning, depth, star power, quality coaching, top-flight organization and some intimate knowledge of what it takes to reach the top spot.

36 Comments

  1. John Paul says:

    stop saying that warriors vs mavs series. the big reason why the mavs lost agaonmst the warriros is that Don Nelson is the coach of the warriors that time. He knows Dirk well. Idiots. Go mavs!

  2. zephnik says:

    @BullsFan22
    True that!! LOL!

  3. Jack Bonin says:

    Mavs will win the title this year. Then I can tell all of you I told you so.

  4. boss lei says:

    leys go mavs………. its for them to reach the peek of the mountain………… they can win the championship this season.. dirk, the MVP>!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. BullsFan22 says:

    Typical Mavs. Start strong, slow December, then have another 10-12 win streak, continue strong until the end of the regular season only to deceive in the playoffs. They still haven’t recovered from the 1st round spanking they received from the Warriors in 2007!

  6. ism says:

    It’s actually quite simple. As a German I am a Mavs fan, but leaving all preconceptions aside, everyone should agree that:
    1. The Mavs are quite clearly one of the best teams in the league, and given their current roster (depth&defense) they may prove a better than ever playoff team.
    2. Time will tell. Any team up there can fail, any team can succeed. Saying “We will win!” makes you a sheep, not a better fan.
    3. It shouldn’t be too important how many how big stars you have – remember the 03/04 Pistons with Billups, Wallace, Big Ben, Prince vs. the 3-time champion L.A.???????
    4. Time will tell. Any team up there can fail, any team can succeed.Saying “We will win!” makes you a sheep, not a better fan.

  7. Marshall says:

    The Mavs don’t have Parker or Ginobili, but before those two became who they are they started out as, oh hell name any two Mavs and there go.

  8. awesomeman says:

    I hope caron butler comes back in the playoffs to feel the TITLE SENSATION.

    Go Mavs. I think they can do it this year.

    Why couldnt they?

    I have no reason to doubt they can beat San Antonio this year, they have a much more athletic front court with Chandler, a beast low post defender. To me, its a tossup.

    LA is going to have a hard time against both of these teams, so dont expect LA 100%.

  9. Srbija do Tokija says:

    Ajmo Pedja Srbineeee…Pedja bomba!

  10. Wilbert says:

    Wow Sekou, im really surprised you didn’t mentioned JJ Barea in this article, i think he has been quite a factor in this winning streak, and he hasn’t get the credit for what he has done, im puertorican and im really proud for the way he has been playing lately, so i think mr. Smith you should give him some recognition

  11. andy says:

    mavs are playing great right now.. i just wish they had a healthy caron butler. if they did? i think they’d have the best chance at winning it all this year

  12. Frank says:

    JJ Barea has done a very good job coming off the bench and providing energy to the team. Check his ppg avg in the last 10 games. Good, underrated player.

  13. BNT says:

    They are gonna poop out in the first or second round of playoffs again.

    -bitter mavs fan

    • Scott says:

      Then Cuban will relive the memories of the Mavs-Warriors and have a heart attack hahahaha….yall been too good for too many years without winnin it….

  14. Atom says:

    Fittingly, it’s highlights of the NBA Finals warmup game at the start of the post.

  15. Captain Insano41 says:

    Gabriele your callingRon Artest a second start,and I see you put Manu &Parker as the 2star,that cool but don’t tell me Tim Duncan is the leader because his point have dropped average around 10- 12 point a game.the mavericks have as better “Star” Primary:Dirk,Kidd,secondary:well you can put JJbarea,Jason the Jet Terry,TYSON CHANDLER who I would put primary but hasnt been with the team that long.Shawn MArion,Peja S,Brandan H,Roddy B.that pretty much the whole team that are as valuable,and better than any other team GO MAVS!!!!

    • Klynester says:

      Tim Duncan is the leader and star of the spur, regardless of the point production, being a star of the team doesn’t mean you have to lead them in points. Duncan is still the backbone of the Spurs attack and defense, The decline in points started after other players contributed and became consistent, Let’s see Dallas with Dirk only averaging about 10-12ppg if they would still be in the same position as they are now, they do have other great stars I agree but can they be at the same level as they are now without Dirk? 1 proof is last month when they struggled after Dirk got injured.

  16. Jerome says:

    I think the Mavs are the only team that can challenge the Lakers because the Spurs are too short to win a 7 game series with the Mavs or the Lakers

    • Nikki Nicole says:

      it dnt matter whos in front ,,,3’s count more than 2’s…….GO SPURS BABY!!

    • Klynester says:

      Wait for Duncan, come spring time he will prove why he is arguably “the Best power forward ever to play the game” 7 game series? remember last year Mavs?

  17. Geovanny says:

    Think some recognition should have gone to JJ Barea. There are some good points coming from that little man.

  18. Viper139 says:

    The only thing really missing right now is somebody who really can break down the defense and get to the basket. But that one should be Roddy upon his return to play.
    Then it really will become difficult to deal with Dallas – with or without trade. And if Peja returns to form – him and Stevendson really are difficult to ignore on the perimeter. Terry and Kid take days off from time to time, but that makes it 4 outside weapons (even Cardinal is hitting …). So the inside with Dirk and Chandler always will demand double teams – giving the outside guys room to shoot – this could really get interesting come playoff time.

    GO MAVS…

  19. Rodolphe says:

    Gary, you forgoten L.A cause we gonna be the champ again

    no dallas or spurs no chance

    • Fact Not Fiction says:

      If Lakers pull into the number two spot they can take out Dallas. I don’t see it happening though with the tough schedule ahead for them. Lakers without home court advantage haven’t done well in the playoffs. But we shall see.

  20. 123 says:

    haha celtics tryin to pull a jrich grant hill buzzer beater alley oop.

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Diaby mo, Sekou Smith. Sekou Smith said: Mavericks On The Loose, Again http://wp.me/pPQKk-2R9 […]

  22. Peter2010 says:

    Melo & Nene to Lakers, AB & RA to Den. Then,
    Kobe + Melo + Pau + LO >>>>>>>>> PP + RA + KG + RR
    HaHaHa………
    Lakers all the way……….

    • Scott says:

      Nuggets won’t give away Nene, they’re looking at including either JR Smith or Kenyon Martin in the deal as a salary dump to clear up cap space….i wouldn’t trip about that trade though

    • Sunsman says:

      Why bring this up? This was discussed just the other day on another blog. This time talk about Mavs and their chances. Next thing you know we’ll have people talking Lebron/Kobe cr@p again.

  23. Gabriele says:

    I do believe that Dallas is lacking only one aspect to be a legitimate contender of the title: a second star.
    Even though the roster is deep, the mavs don’t have parker and ginobili… or gasol-odom-artest.

    Right now Dallas is number 3 in the west behind San antonio and Los Angeles.

  24. Gary says:

    San Antonio will play Dallas for the west finals.