Truly, there has not been much to cheer for as a sports fan in Dallas in recent months, other than the Cowboys. However, even their season came to a grinding stop on Sunday.
The Mavericks have certainly seen their fair share of difficulties over the previous months as well. Injuries have plagued them since November, with multiple key players missing games including; Dirk, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, and Deron Williams. In addition to that, the team has seen one of the toughest schedules comparatively for their first half of the season. The combination of these factors have led the Mavs to their current 13-27 start.
There are, however, signs of life within the organization. With the last two games accounting for over 15% of their regular season wins, and the health of key players back in order, the Mavericks could be in store for another late season push towards the playoffs.
As shocking as this may sound, the Mavs are only a mere three and a half games out from the playoff-minimum eighth seed. With over half the season left to play, those games may be closer than many realize. There is a very real chance that this Dallas team can scrape together enough wins to get them to the playoffs once again. However, whichever team reaches the eighth spot in the West will likely have the unfortunate task of taking on the powerhouse Warriors in the first round, which could very likely lead to their doom.
Perhaps the greatest sign of life for this Dallas team is the return of the aging Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk had 17 points in limited minutes against Minnesota on Sunday and shot the ball very efficiently at 50%. The team will need his veteran expertise and efficient play throughout the remainder of the season if there is any hope of reaching the post-season in 2017.