At times like this, a team that is wound tighter than a fishing reel needs something to lighten things up.
I'm not smart enough to know what that is. But Rick Carlisle and his staff surely know that this situation deserves getting their team's mind off of the daunting task of having to win three consecutive games against a really good team in order to avoid having the season end.
Maybe it's putting all the players' names in a hat and drawing out five for the starting lineup on Tuesday night.
Or maybe it's putting that hat in the middle of the locker room, having players write something that they love or hate about this team on a card and put them all in the hat. Mix them up and read them one at a time randomly.
Whatever it is, the Mavericks need to get past the point of feeling like they're headed to the guillotine.
Maybe it's watching Caddyshack instead of game film.
"It's in the hole.''
All I know is that at times like this, you can't sit there and stress out. Some getaway time is essential.
Jason Kidd fed Dirk Nowitzki for post-up position twice on the same possession early tonight and Nowitzki responded by flicking the ball a second time out to Kidd, who nailed his first 3-point shot of the game.
Going inside-out like that appears to be a new wrinkle for the Mavs. It got the Spurs scrambling a bit defensively and resulted in an open look for Kidd, which hasn't happened often enough.
Mavericks have started off a bit better than the previous games, down just 8-7 with seven minutes left in the first.