After a disappointing fourth quarter on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks start a three-game road trip Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. Sandwiching the NBA All-Star Game, the Mavericks played two games against the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Dallas beat the Indiana Pacers before the All-Star game and then suffered the loss to Miami.
Now Dallas will get a much-needed three-game road trip against teams in the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia has the second worst record in the East while the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are both sitting in the bottom five of the conference.
This is the type of road trip the Mavs need to start the second half of the season. Right now Dallas is sitting in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, and they have a one-game lead over the Golden State Warriors. This is the type of trip that could help Dallas gain some momentum for the last two months of the season as they head into the playoffs.
Dallas, Golden State and the Phoenix Suns seem to be fighting each other for the final three playoff spots. Of course, you can’t leave out the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently No. 9 in the chase. Dallas should have no problem winning these three games on the road, and if they want to be considered a legitimate playoff team, they need to do just that. The Mavs have played down to their competition at times this year, and they need to pick it up a little if they plan on doing anything in April. This is where the rubber meets the road for the Mavericks.