The Dallas Mavericks are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs are the second seed, but only 3.5 games separate the two teams. Despite the small difference in their records, one Dallasradio host thinks the Mavs won’t be able to catch the Spurs. The Ticket’s Craig Miller did a live chat last week where he talked about how impressed he was with San Antonio.
“The Spurs have really surprised me this season,” Miller said. “Every time I think they're done, Pop does something to keep them not only afloat, but with the best in the league. They've gotten younger, they're getting healthier, Duncanis playing well, and Manu should be back (again) soon. They will keep winning, so Dallas will have to go on a real hot streak to pass them. 4 games can be a lot to make up, even though it doesn't sound like much.”
First of all, let’s give a nice golf clap for someone from Dallas saying something nice about the Spurs. That must have been really hard for him to admit.
But more importantly, is he right? Do the defending champs really not have a shot at making up 3.5 games? If you asked me before last night when the Mavs won and the Spurs lost at home to the Nuggets, I would have said yes. The Mavs have been struggling of late and we need to keep in mind that there’s less than 30 games left for each team.
Up until this past week, the Spurs had looked unbeatable at home, so with the home-stand they’re on, you had to figure they would extend their lead over the Mavs and play solid enough basketball the rest of the way to maintain it. After the losses to the Nuggets and the Bulls, the Spurs look a little more vulnerable. That being said, I do think Pop is going to get the team back on course. Last night was Manu’s first game back from injury, and while it’s great to have him on the court again, he’ll need a little warm up time to get back into the swing of things, but there’s no arguing that the Spurs are that much better with him.
After a disappointing start to the year, the Mavericks finally got it going and looked like the defending champs, only to falter again the last couple of weeks. They’re too inconsistent this year. Not the type of team you expect to make a run to the top of the West.
So my answer is still yes, I don’t think the Mavericks can catch the Spurs, but holding off the Mavs shouldn’t be on the top of the priority list. The Mavericks are the least of their worries. They need to be focused on getting to the playoffs and taking care of business so they can face the Thunder for a spot in the finals.