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Are The Mavs The New Team To Beat Out West? | The Sports Report Girl

Are The Mavs The New Team To Beat Out West?

So they got whipped in New York. Big deal, that loss snapped the Dallas Mavericks’ 13-game winning streak, which tied an NBA high this season.

And if the playoffs started today, they would be the third seed, which means home court advantage in the first round only. But who’s playing the best ball right now? Who got the biggest facelift since the All-Star break?


Up until February the assumption was that the Western Conference was the Los Angeles Lakers’ possession with the Denver Nuggets as the sole threat.

Not any more.

Not when an already strong team adds two starters, one of them actually being a competent center in Brendan Haywood. The other, Caron Butler, can fill it up any night. But he doesn’t have to, not when your team has a seven footer who can glide to the basket or knock down threes with assassin-like precision.

That’s Dirk Nowitzki, a matchup nightmare for any NBA team.

Nowitzki is still a hungry player. He hasn’t tasted victory in the NBA finals. His general, point guard Jason Kidd, didn’t deliver the elusive title Big D has coveted.

Now the Mavericks may have the talent to compete with the big boys. They defeated the two teams that were in the finals last year, the Lakers and Orlando Magic, during the 13-game streak.

The Lakers and Nuggets have more household names on their teams. The Mavericks don’t have a Black Mamba or Mr. Big Shot. No one-name players such as Nenê. Or even a player who you can simply mention their first name. Carmelo. Pau.

Well, maybe not Pau. But Gasol does sell jerseys.

What Dallas has going for them is the calendar. It is the team playing the best ball right now. Stack wins toward the end of the season and sprint to the playoffs, that’s the formula to a championship.

The Mavericks’ loss to the Knicks, denying Dallas a would-be league high of 14 in a row, topping Cleveland, was by 34 points. Sure, it looks bad on paper, but what looks good on paper is that the Mavericks trail the Lakers by only three games in the standings.

There is still a good month left of basketball. Maybe not enough time to catch the world champs, but certainly enough time to keep the Maverick sprint going.

Will the Mavericks’ streak go for naught as the Houston Rockets’ was last year? Houston won 22 games in a row and played the Lakers in a rough, seven-game series only to lose.

That Houston team had Ron Artest and a bunch of gritty players that might not start on most teams. This Dallas team is sniffing the Lakers and should have the confidence to beat them as they split the four games they played this season.

WAnd when late May comes around, it’s no longer a given that the Lakers and Nuggets will match up.

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