Well, was the Mavs' 94-89 escape job against the depleted Heat a cause for concern? Or just another indication that this team really seems to only get up for the games it wants to?
They've taken all three from Houston before the Rockets really went into their major tailspin in games that were built up as a battle between contenders. They've beaten the Warriors twice. They're 1-1 against the Spurs and they took down the Suns and Magic at home.
We'll see what kind of energy they put forth on Sunday at Minnesota. Remember, the Mavs are just 6-8 on the road after losing only 10 times all last season. The Timberwolves are awful, but they do play hard. Just look at the game at the AAC a while back. Al Jefferson is a stud, he just doesn't have much help...Expect a full-throttle effort back at the AAC on Wednesday against Detroit, winners of 11 in a row. The Pistons play host to the Celtics tonight. Then another road test begins Friday with winnable games at Seattle, L.A. Clippers and Sacramento. Those three teams are a combined 18-29 at home.
So, was that near-embarrassment Friday night just one of those nights where the Mavs obviously didn't care or is it real cause for concern?
-- Jeff Caplan