The Dallas Mavericks are in jeopardy of having their 12-year postseason streak snapped. With 14 games left to play, the Mavericks sit 3.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot.
Blame can be placed on many things as to why the Mavericks are currently sitting on the outside looking in. With Dirk Nowtizki missing almost two months of the season and the Mavericks getting out-rebounded on most nights, the finger-pointing this summer should be interesting.
Perhaps, though, the blame should start with the inability of the Mavericks to close out games down the stretch. On Feb. 27 against the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas had a 13-point lead at halftime before being outscored 24-5 in the third quarter en route to a 90–84 loss. Four days later, the Mavericks were outscored 44-17 in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets.
Over the past seven days, Dallas has had opportunities to win games in which they lost. Down by one to the San Antonio Spurs, the Mavericks had the ball with 8.7 seconds and the chance to win the game. With a national television audience watching, Vince Carter missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game for the Mavericks.
Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas had the lead in the fourth quarter but was unable to hold onto it as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went on a scoring frenzy. Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas held a 10 point lead after the first quarter only to watch it slip away.
Not only did that game slip away, but so are the playoff hopes for the Mavericks.
Dallas is set to get Shawn Marion back Friday against the Boston Celtics. Marion has missed eight games and although he can put points on the board, it’s his defensive intensity has been missed. Dallas will be glad to have him back. Hopefully, for their sake, it’s not little too late.