The Mavs have looked flat-out bad in two straight losses, one to Utah on Wed. night and another to Cleveland last night. In both games they jacked up jump shots and three pointers that wouldn't fall, and demonstrated an inability to stop the other team from scoring in the paint, recipes for consistent losses. It's hard to know what's going on with these guys right now. I had thought they were starting to gel and play quality defense again, but a few days off and they revert to their early season ways. We're over a third of a way into the season now. The rest of the season is shaping up to be long and unpleasant, but Avery says it's just a matter of "peaking" at the right time. A trade is unlikely, as long as the Mavs show glimpses of promise frequently enough to fool Mark Cuban into thinking he has a real championship contender on his hands.
The Cowboys are likely to sit or shorten the time on the field for their star players, against a Washington team that needs a win to get into the playoffs. This is also not a recipe for a victory, but the game is irrelevant. In other football news, the amateur-ish and struggling NFL Network (which NY Times writers Richard Sandomir described as a network that viewers are only aware of "because they cannot see it") has deigned to permit NBC and CBS to broadcast the Giants-Patriots game on Saturday night. But the Giants, who have secured a playoff spot and are entertaining fantasies of a run to the Super Bowl, are also likely to sit most of their starters, whereas the Patriots appear determined to play whoever is necessary to get their perfect record, making an upset Giants victory highly unlikely. So if you were looking for late-season drama, the NFL is sorry to disappoint. Hang around for the playoffs.