Friday, December 05, 2008
Allegedly new coach Rick Carlisle has done some re-jiggering on offense for this time, but I doubt that by itself can explain the recent success the Mavs are enjoying. Last night they got their second win of a seven game home-stand against the Phoenix Suns. Anybody looking for those epic contests between the Mavs and the Suns of the last few years was disappointed by last night's game, as the Mavs easily rolled over a Suns team that is looking pretty lifeless to this point in the season (after another fine game from JJ Barea, of all people.) And after an atrocious 2-7 start, the Mavs are now 10-8 (8-2 in the last ten games) and only a game and a half behind Houston and half a game behind New Orleans in the Southwest, and ahead of San Antonio (though to be fair Houston and San Antonio have both struggled with injuries to star players.) In the Western Conference as a whole that's good enough for the 7th seed, and only three games behind Portland at the three seed. Of course it's still only December. Some of those injured players are on their way back (Ginobli and Parker for San Antonio, for example) and those teams now struggling may turn it around before long. Still, 10-8 is happy land after that disastrous start and if we're being honest, not really a bad place for the Mavs to be (we just weren't expecting them to be so down and up about getting there.) I'm not crowing about a shot at the Finals, nor do I think this team structurally is capable of getting there in its present condition, but this season may now be a little more watchable.