Continuing from part one, we’re predicting the 2013-14 Dallas Mavericks to enter the new year at 19-12 with its only tough stretch coming Christmas week when the Mavs have to play Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, fully healthy Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, and Western Conference Champ San Antonio Spurs. Let’s continue with part two and take a look at January and February.
January: January might be the toughest month for the team to date, with 17 games in 31 days. The Mavs play nine home games and only seven playoff teams. Sounds easy enough, right? The team went 24-17 at home last season, but a few tough matchups at home will definitely be against the New York Knicks, Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Rockets. The toughest stretch for the Mavs will come the week of Jan. 5 when they have to play five games during the week with games against the Knicks, Lakers, Spurs, and a home-and-home with the Pelicans.
Prediction: 10-7. Season record up to now: 29-19
February: The Mavs play six games before heading into the All-Star break and should be able to win four games, and possibly a fifth. If the Mavs can do so, they should feel pretty happy going into the second half of the season. And bonus, it looks like at 35, Nowitzki will return to the All-Star game after missing out last season, snapping his 11-year streak. Coming out of the break, the Mavs begin with the two-time champion Miami Heat at home. They finish the month out against the Philadelphia 76ers, the revamped Detroit Pistons, Knicks, Pelicans and Bulls. Some tough match ups with three home and three road games.
Prediction: 7-5. Season record up to now: 36-24
Coming soon: Part III (March and April)