The team is 36-38, three wins behind eighth-place Utah and three wins behind the Lakers.
The suspense now is whether the Mavs can reach .500, and shave.
This will be the first Mavericks team this decade that does not make the playoffs.
How they made it this far, and this relevant, in the Western Conference playoff race despite such a limited roster is a testament to their head coach, the coaching staff, and a professional group of basketball players.
Head coach Rick Carlisle won't receive much credit in what will likely be a losing season, but this may have been his best work as a head coach second only to coaching the Indiana Pacers' brawl team.
How he kept a veteran group of players that knew the score, and their chances, from the first game of the season until now is a tribute to his ability to coach players.
This was not an effort issue as much as it was a talent issue, and that ultimately falls on the owner and the GM. Once Mark Cuban's decision to gut the roster and try for Deron Williams blew up this outcome was all but a foregone conclusion.
Yes, the Mavs "powder is dry" but for whom? They have all of this money under the salary cap to spend on what?
Dirk Nowitzki has another year or two of top-tier basketball remaining. We aleady know this team should have won one more title with Dirk, but with each passing year it does appear one will be it. He's lucky - most NBA never get that.
Under Cuban, the Mavs have become interesting and relevant; he deserves the credit. He also deserves the blame for what has become a stale product.
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