They are struggling to stay over .500 and their main go to guy, right now, is O.J. Mayo. That is not a bad thing, but nobody else is being as consistent as Mayo is it has been hard for the Mavs to win important games.
There is still no real timetable when Nowitzki is going to return. Even when he does come back to the team nobody knows how long it will take him to get his “game” back. Also, the Mavs may be in too deep in a hole even when he comes back.
Starting Thursday night, the Mavericks play six straight games against teams over .500. They face the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City, Denver Nuggets and then the Spurs again, in that order. Those six games end the 2012 calendar. Plus, their second game in 2013 is against the Heat again (January 2nd).
With that said, are these Mavericks even playoff bound or are they destine to miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. The last time the Mavs missed the postseason was the 1999-2000.
The way the season is going and the way the teams out in the Western Conference is shaping up it looks like it may be hard for the Mavs to contend. Look at the West. Two teams, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors, did not make the post-season last year, but are on the path to make it this season.
The Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers look like they are becoming one of the new powerhouses of the West. The defending Western Conference Champions, Oklahoma City, are on the road to another Finals appearances. Lastly, the Spurs are just as dominate as ever and may be on the path in getting their fifth championship.
That leaves two spots open. It seems like the Mavs will have to fight five other teams to get to one of those open slots.
This means that the first time 13 years the Mavs could miss the playoffs. Will they? That is the question. I believe that if Nowitzki returns in time before the Mavs fall in a deep ditch, then they will make the post-season.
However, if Nowitzki is not 100% himself and takes him awhile to get back into a “superstar” mode then I say the Mavs will miss the postseason this year.
I believe it will take awhile for Nowitzki to get his “legs” back in gear. I believe that the Mavs will be far in the standings where Nowitzki will not be able to pull them out of. That is why, Mavs Nation should just be prepared that their team is not playoff bound this season.
That is because I think those two spots will belong to the Rockets and the Lakers as they have the talent and man power to get those playoff spots. That means that this will be the year the Mavs will miss the postseason for the first time in over a decade.