The Dallas Mavericks had hopes of walking away from Thursday night’s game a lot lighter in the face, after Dirk Nowitzki and company had decided in early February that they were not going to shave until they reached the .500 mark again.
After Tuesday’s thrilling overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Mavericks were one win away from that mark. O.J. Mayo‘s barber was even present for the game on Thursday to do the honors.
There was only one problem with this idea — someone forgot to inform the Indiana Pacers of this master plan. Dallas came into the game needing a win to keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won the previous night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Playing to an even draw in the first half, the Pacers outscored the Mavericks by 25 in the second half and doubling them up in the third quarter.
The game was ugly for the Mavericks. Dallas’ starting backcourt of Mayo and Mike James went a combined 3 of 17 in the game. Dallas was out-rebounded by the Pacers 55-34 in the game and 15-7 on the offensive boards. Dallas only had 34 points in the paint while giving up 50.
These are things that have to change if the Mavericks hope to catch the Lakers for the final playoff spot. Perhaps Shawn Marion said it best when he was asked about the teams adjustment that needs to be made before Saturday: “show up.”
If the final playoff spot is a goal, then that is exactly what they have to do. For now, though, they will have to wait at least two more games to shave the beards. Interestingly enough, game two happens to be against the Lakers.