Check out the standings today? How strange does it look to see Dallas down in fourth place? Now, the Southwest Division is by far the toughest division in the NBA and the Mavs are only three games behind the surging Spurs (aren't they always this time of year). Houston's 15th consecutive win Sunday over the Nuggets jumped the Rockets ahead of the Mavs.
Now here's the reality of the West. After an emotional loss at L.A. last night, tonight the Mavs have to play the Jazz in Salt Lake City where they're 25-3. If the Mavs loss this one, it will give them 22 losses, the same as Golden State, which sits in the 8th playoff seed and is idle tonight.
Phoenix and the Mavs, the two teams that made the biggest deals and both having their troubles. The Suns have fallen from first to sixth and the Mavs have stumbled to seventh.
"Time is something we don't have. We'd love to say now that it's only November or December, but it's not," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We only have 20-something games left. Time is something we don't have. We have to get better on the fly, from game to game and learn with the group that we have to close these games out."
-- Jeff Caplan