The Mavericks have won three straight games, which is all anybody seems to be talking about as they prepare to take on the Celtics on Wednesday. That streak would be a sign of a team on a roll, if not for the four losses in five games that preceded the current streak or the fact that they have the same number of three-game losing streaks — two — as three-game winning streaks this season.
Across the NBA every season, front offices and fan bases clamor for a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. This imaginary squad, going off the antithesis of the Miami Heat model, eschews superstars for selfless, solid players who come together for the sake of winning, not for the sake of fame.
Year after year, some team lays claim to this title. Year after year, that team falls in the playoffs, well short of the NBA Finals.
With Dirk Nowitzki sidelined indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, the Mavericks are discovering that for all their salary cap-savvy moves over the ...