Originally written on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/30/12
By virtue of Sunday's 111-86 home loss to the Spurs, Dallas is seven games under .500 for first time since April 2000. And that is the only possible way to use 'virtue' in a sentence about these Mavs. The Dallas Mavericks have closed the calendar year in a way exactly opposite the way they opened the season. Yes, that win at the Lakers on Opening Night seems so long ago. ... as does the glory of the Mavs' 2011 NBA title. Dallas is in the process of slipping a couple of classes, down to the point where a game against the contending San Antonio Spurs seems to come with it a foregone conclusion. Sunday's 111-86 loss was a tad more respectable than the team's 129-91 loss at San Antonio eight days ago. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's summation of Dallas' night is a generous one. "They had a tough night shooting ... We were fortunate, obviously Dirk is not ready. He's not Dirk Nowitzki, basically, one of the greatest players that's ever played, so it's going to take time for him," P...
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