It continues to be billed as 'the slowest trade deadline ever.' Nonsense. The motives were different…
Mavs At Rockets Preview
The Dallas Mavericks remain five games back of the Houston Rockets for that eighth playoff slot in the West, and we've already crunched the painful numbers: History says Dallas needs to win as many as 20 of the final 24 games to get the job done.
"We can't afford any losses," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We have 24 games left, and we need to take one game at a time. It sounds lame and stupid, but that is how you have to look at it. We can't look at the big picture because we're too far down."
OK, but to start, Dallas needs to win two of the two games facing it in the next four days.
Sunday, it's a 6 p.m. tip at the Toyota Center in Houston, and Bob Ortegel, Dana Larson and me have the telecast starting at 5:30 on Fox Sports Southwest. Then comes a mini-break for the Mavs before the rematch -- Wednesday back home at the AAC.
Maybe it's helpful that the Mavericks have won the first two meetings against the Rockets this season. Maybe it's meaningful that Dallas has won nine straight games against the Rockets.
It needs to be meaningful now, with the best and maybe only way to close the gap of playoff contention being to take down a foe that ranks ahead of you.
Houston has become James Harden's team, and he is a challenge to the Dallas defense, as you might recall from last year's playoffs. The Mavs, meanwhile, have enjoyed the return of Dirk Nowitzki, who is averaging 19.9 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last eight games.
Oddly, Dallas is just 2-6 when Dirk scores 20 or more.
The Mavs are 26-32. The Rockets are 32-28.
"Houston is a team we're trying to catch, but we need to move up regardless of who the opponent is," coach Rick Carlisle said.
Yeah, but Houston is the team they're trying to catch. And the next two games in the next four days will go a long way to determining the likelihood of doing so.
DallasBasketball.com Recommended Stories
2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season, so here's our first crack at a mock draft. Hey, Oakland Raiders, you're on the clock!Read More
Updated 2017 Top 50
In early July, Scout.com introduced a 2017 top 15. After spending time watching sophomores during the July evaluation periods and in the fall, it's time to extend that list to a top 50. DeAndre Ayton,…Read More
Fish Backwaters to Beat Tough Fall River Bite
If you're having a tough time catching bass this fall on your favorite river, you might want to read this tutorial from Bassmaster Pro Stephen Browning. Browning has won a lot of money fishing rivers…Read More
Mad’s World: Giants Ride Bumgarner To Title
It's a rare series when a starting pitcher truly has the biggest influence of any player on the field. But in the 2014 World Series, San Francisco Giants' left-hander Madison Bumgarner clearly was the…Read More
How the CFB Playoff Will Look in December
With the first rankings released, we project the rest of the season and predict the final four...Read More