Blowouts happen all the time in the National Basketball Association. It is the sport with the biggest parity problem after all. At the end of a blowout the losing team usually cuts the gap to a respectable margin as the benchwarmers get their run and the teams literally trudge through garbage time.
For example, when the Miami Heat laid the boom on the Mavericks in the NBA’s 2011 Christmas Opener, Dallas lost the game by just 11 but trailed by 35 in the third quarter. Last night against the San Antonio Spurs –at home– the Mavericks lost the end game by 26.
It may very well be the most embarrassing loss in team history. The Mavs trailed 62-26 at halftime. 62-26! It was the biggest halftime deficit for Dallas since since December 29, 1992 in Sacramento, a game the team lost by 58 and trailed by a point less at the midway marker and were led in scoring by 1989 top 10 draft pick bust Randy White. Dirk Nowitzki was 11.
Dirk Nowitzki had 10 last night, “leading” the Mavericks starters that continue to fail the Big German over and over and over and over again. It’s sad, but Mark Cuban’s extreme all-in Free Agency play was a losing hand and here we are in February 2016 getting taken behind the woodshed for an absolute beating by our top rivals.
It’s a difficult time for the Mavericks, who are 2-10 against winning teams in 2016 and have fallen to 28-25. The last time the team was just three games over .500 was the day before Christmas Eve. They have lost three games in a row for just the second time this season.
Problems that have plagued Dallas since they won the NBA Championship in 2011 continue to be glaring problems that remain unchecked and it isn’t good. They. Can’t. Beat. Good. Teams.
And last night was a new low.
Tonight they head to Memphis, well rested of course, to face another division opponent who are obviously not the Spurs, but still a difficult opponent starting to play good basketball.
The Grizzlies have won five in a row and 9 of 10 to draw away from the lower tier of the Western Conference and set their sights on home court advantage in the first round. Once 21-19, they are now 30-20. They are definitely trending up, starting to play more like the team they were supposed to be (and I predicted) heading into the 2015-2016 season.
Memphis’ lead on the Mavericks for the 5th spot in the Western Conference has grown to 3.5 games, while Dallas should be far more concerned with what’s behind them. The Rockets are just .5 GB and the streaking Utah Jazz, starting to get healthy and winners of five straight, sit two games back. Portland three.
Safe to say, the Mavericks need to get their you-know-what together and no more of the “it’s still early” and mindless Jason Garrett “it’s a process” droning. As the MyPlayer dude obnoxiously said in NBA 2k15, it’s time to ball (Seriously, if you played that game you feel my pain from hearing a white dude say things like that).
The Mavericks (28-25) play the Memphis Grizzlies (30-20) at 7 PM on Fox Sports Southwest.
If you’re going to bounce back, tonight is certainly the optimal start, or that panic button gets another finger.