Is it wrong to feel like we are trapped alongside Bill Murray in a never ending cycle of identical season upon season. It may be still be December, with Groundhog’s Day over a month away, but already the eerie feeling that we’ve been here before is beginning to sink in. The Mavericks are streaking, among the hottest teams in the league throughout the early season. Also performing well about league average are the division rival Spurs, defending champion Lakers, along with the Jazz, Nuggets and upstart Thunder. So what has changed since a season ago? Well on the bright side, it seems as if the Suns have lost a step with the departure of Amare Stoudamire, though in reality, the suns never proved to be a true title contender even while racking up astronomical regular season win totals. The point is, the Mavs have been a perennial title threat since their last NBA Finals appearance in 2005-2006, yet have been unable to replicate similar post-season success. Since that fateful season and the heartbreaking loss to the Heat, the Mavs have not won less than 50 games, peaking with a phenomenal 67 win season the following year in 2006-2007, but have won only 1 playoff series, a first round matchup against the Spurs, only to be dispatched by the Nuggets in round 2. An upset at the hands of the 8th seeded Nuggets, a 5 game surrender against the Hornets and vengeful payback by the Spurs have otherwise sent the Mavs home early.Excuse the less than optimistic feeling about breaking the Maverick’s post-season curfew, however, this team simply doesn’t look any different than those still fresh in the memory. Perhaps, all the winning has finally spoiled this fan of a franchise who at point had turned in 10 straight losing seasons, but at this point, a nice regular season mark simply isn’t good enough. Win 50, win 60, heck, chase the record win 72, but when elimination time rolls around, don’t get your hopes up once more only to come crashing back down. The Mavericks need another key contributor, however, sure to have a sterling record through the trade deadline, that missing piece isn’t likely on its way, just as it was not acquired this summer. Until then, look for this team to stay well within its comfort zone, racking up wins until they truly matter.
December 14, 2010
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