The Dallas Mavericks Going Forward
*Photo via USA Today
On December 19, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Rajon Rondo in a trade with the Boston Celtics. The Mavericks were 19-8 at the time and many believed this trade would make Dallas a favorite to come out of the Western Conference. However the Mavericks have gone 25-18 since that trade and currently sit in the seventh seed in the conference.
Dallas has suffered many injuries this year including a variety of injuries to starting center Tyson Chandler. To provide some depth in the frontcourt the Mavericks signed former All-Star forward, Amare Stoudemire on February 18.
Anything can happen in the final weeks of the NBA season. The Memphis Grizzlies who are in second seed in the conference only sit five games ahead of the Mavericks. Dallas has a solid four game lead with twelve games remaining over the eight seed Oklahoma City so it is unlikely the Mavericks miss the playoffs. If they finish the season strong, Dallas could make a run at a higher playoff seed.
Unfortunately, the Mavericks have a tough remaining schedule. In eight of their final twelve games, they face playoff teams. They also have even balance of home and away game left with six each.
The one major thing Dallas needs to work on is team chemistry and learn to trust each other better. The Mavericks have plenty of playoff experience and talent led by Dirk Nowitzki to make a run at the NBA Finals this year. However if they don’t play well down the stretch it will be an early exit from the playoffs for Dallas.