Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sweet! (only) Sixteen . . .

Notes and thoughts after the win over NY:

The Cavs lost to the Bobcats tonight, which you have to figure Lebron isn’t going to be very happy about. He managed 37 points, but he only shot 12/31 (38.7%), which (to put it in perspective) is just barely better than Adam Morrison’s percentage for the season. So we should probably expect James to explode against Dallas.

On the other hand, let’s remember that Cleveland just lost to the Bobcats.

As the season winds down, JKnott sent me an email recently about the Mavericks’ seasons series against different teams, and I thought I'd check on where they stand now. Since Dallas beat Detroit and New York this week, Utah and the Clippers are the only teams remaining with a chance to join Golden State in winning the season series against Dallas this year. Those two teams, along with the Spurs and Suns, are the only teams who still might join the Warriors in beating Dallas twice.

It’s hard to deny that Dallas has had some very good luck related to other teams’ injuries. In addition to Phoenix losing 3 games in a row when Nash sat out with a bad back, here are the breaks Dallas has caught in just their past 14 games: they played Houston before they got Yao back, Miami just after Wade got injured, Cleveland without Larry Hughes, the Lakers just before they got Odom back, Detroit without Chauncey Billups, and now New York missing half of their best six players (who total an average of 42.1 points, 21.2 rebounds, and 8.5 assists).

What’s really important is that Dallas kept its focus and won all of those games (unlike, say, Phoenix who lost to Detroit even after Billups went down). But still, those six games were presumably all a lot easier than they would have been otherwise.

If the Nuggets would suddenly go on, say, a ten-game losing streak, then Dallas would have a chance to go the whole season without losing a single game to a non-playoff team in either conference. I wonder if any team has ever actually done that before?

Current pace: 68.3 wins.
To clinch the west: 12–4.
To win 65: 10–6.
To win 61 (new franchise record): 6-10.

And 70 wins, though improbable, could still happen.

17 comments:

Cody said...

It will be cool to break the franchise record, but they shouldn't kill themselves trying to rack up a gaudy regular season record.

It ticks me off that the Mavs have played all these good teams without some of their key players (especially the Heat). It hasn't given the Mavs the chance to prove themselves. I'm not convinced that the games would have turned out that much differently, but who knows? I would rather see the Mavs have some tougher games and see teams at full strength.

scoots said...

I think I understand where you’re coming from, but I think I’m going the other direction.

Personally, after last year, I'm ready to take as many wins as we can get, as easily as we can get them. If nothing’s really going to be proven anyway unless Dallas wins a championship, then I’m ok with regular season wins that don’t really prove anything, provided there’s lots and lots of them.

In the end, I kind of want to see 70 wins, and I agree with the folks who say they shouldn’t rest their players too much even if they get the top seed wrapped up––they need to keep up their good habits.

Personally, I don’t think the only purpose is to play for a championship. The NBA is about entertainment, and it’s extremely entertaining to watch Dallas win as many regular-season games as they have, regardless of what happens in the playoffs.

Still, winning a championship is a whole other level of excitement and pride, so of course I want that too.

scoots said...

And, this from espn.com’s ELIAS link:

The Mavericks' 92-77 victory in New York was their 41st victory in their last 45 games -- and that, friends, equals the NBA's all-time record for most wins over any 45-game span in any of the league's 61 seasons.

Three other teams went on 41-of-45 runs, and all three of them went on to win that season's championship: Wilt Chamberlain's 76ers in 1966-67, Wilt's Lakers in 1971-72 and Michael Jordan's Bulls in 1995-96.

micah said...

Some interesting reading on who is "clutch." http://www.mavscentral.com/showarticles.php?id=184

Cody said...

I definitely agree that they shouldn't rest their players too much. They're in a good rythm and I think they should keep it up. I'm just saying that they shouldn't kill themselves trying to get to 70. I'd rather see them win a championship than win 70.

But you're right, it is entertaining to see the Mavs win. It would be more entertaining to see Dirk hit a game winning shot over Wade to win the game against the Heat.

scoots said...

That was horrible! Lebron and Howard just had a mid-air collision that changed the direction Lebron was moving and ended up with him banging the back of his head on the floor.

Dallas might get another gimme here if he's got a concussion.

micah said...

Looks like he is okay. Thats good.

micah said...

What a lucky shot by Devin. It's raining threes in Cle!

scoots said...

Yeah, Devin is looking like Dwyane Wade this game. If he keeps this up, it's hard to see Cleveland coming back.

scoots said...

Er, maybe Lebron is the one playing like Wade (only no foul calls).

scoots said...

Right now, by my math, Dirk is 576 of 1154 for the season, which is one make off of 50% for the season. Let's see how he finishes the game.

micah said...

Lebron needs some help. Marshall's 3 pointer was the first bench points that the Cavs have had tonight.

scoots said...

OK, so Dirk just had a chance to hit a dagger, and . . . he air-balled it.

micah said...

I was looking for one of those clutch Dirk jumpers to put the nail in the coffin. Uh....I wasn't expecting an airball. I don't think we need to worry though.

micah said...

You beat me to it!

micah said...

Well done, Mavs! Devin Harris was awesome tonight. 17-7-6 on 8-11 shooting.

scoots said...

Yeah, another nice win. I love my team. So now that's 42 of 46, right? I wonder if that's a new record.