In the tune of Kenny Chesney’s “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” Mavs fans for Life–in the wake of the Dallas Mavericks‘ Saturday game against the Milwaukee Bucks–can sing, “No Rick, No Dirk, No Problems…”
Despite Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle and starting power forward Dirk Nowitzki being sidelined because of sickness, the Mavs still rebounded from their road defeats earlier that week to take home a win.
This Mavs’ victory, in which assistant coach Monte Mathis filled in for Carlisle and Jae Crowder started for Nowitzki, was extremely meaningful for several reasons. First of all, it showed that the Mavericks could bounce back from a losing streak of two straight out of their last four away games. Next up, even without the heart and soul of their team, the Mavs still managed to beat the Bucks.
Well, let me rephrase that: “without two of the hearts and souls” of the Mavs. All of the active members contributed their combined hearts and souls to make this game tip in their favor. This included the heart and soul of Brandan Wright, who returned to play – backing up for another valuable Mav, DeJuan Blair, as center – after recovering from his shoulder injury.
Now the Bucks not only bear the bottom spot of the barrel for the Eastern Conference, but the NBA as a whole, as well…
I would say that Dallas did not have much of challenge when they anticipated taking on Milwaukee to begin with, but it cannot underestimate the capability of any of its opponents. For example, look at what happened in its two in-a-row versus the Denver Nuggets, who, prior to their pre-Thanksgiving meetings, was one of the bottom-ranked teams of the Northwest Division. Since their matchups, the Nuggets were grateful to pretty much take home their own form of gold by beating and passing up the Mavs in the Western Conference rankings.
Basically, the Mavericks must maintain consistency throughout all of the challenges they face in the games ahead and with the coming year. In the face of adversity, such as the loss of important keys to their success, they need to utilize who and what they have to the best of their abilities.