Richie Whitt knows how to push the panic button.
Following the Mavericks’ disappointing loss Saturday afternoon to Golden State, the NBC5 blogger made his views known on the Mavs’ chances for 2014-15:
“Until further notice, the Mavs aren’t elite. Sorry, but the proof is in the pratfalls. After humbling losses to the Grizzlies and Warriors last week, Dallas sits in an uncomfortable spot I didn’t expect to see them this season: Lost in the pack of pretenders.
“Mavs are 17-8, which ain’t bad. And they can beat Eastern Conference door mats New York and Detroit all they want this week. But until they beat a team above them in the West, they won’t be a legit contender.”
I love Richie; Dallas sports talk hasn’t been the same since he and others were screwed royally by 105.3 The Fan. But Rich… come down from the ledge.
I get it. Naturally, Rich and so many others want the Mavs to be a non-factor right now; don’t want anything taking away any spotlight from their precious Cows, right?
Which is why a team that is so far 0-6 against teams currently in the Western Conference playoff spots looks perfect to them.
What did I personally see from Section 101 Saturday afternoon?
A team that had one starter out with a bad back (Chandler Parsons) and another playing through a bad shoulder (Jameer Nelson) that admittedly got off to an ugly start and fell behind by 26 points – and somehow managed to make it a single-digit game in the final minute.
If they had 100 percent of their roster, the Mavs win that game – I’m sure of that.
It is pretty clear that, even after actually seeing this team win a championship, this town still has a football mentality, ready to write this season off because the home team currently has only the seventh spot in the West less than two months into the season.
That’s six weeks into the most worthless regular season in all of professional sports. Have the Mavs backed themselves into a corner in possibly getting the Southwest lead and the top seed in the conference? Probably. Does that mean jack all? Heck no, especially given this is a franchise that went to the Finals with a 3 and a 4 seed and has won three division titles that were followed by first-round exits.
Nowhere is it more true than in the NBA that it’s how you’re playing late that matters more than how you’re playing early.
So while everyone else is quitting, what am I guessing?
That, assuming everyone gets healthy, the Mavs that will be playing in March, April and beyond will be nothing like team in December.
Let’s wait until Nelson’s shoulder is fully healed to see if he’s really the supposed failure at point guard that is making everyone say the Mavs should sell the farm to trade for noted coach-killer Deron Williams. Let’s see how well Parsons is playing in this offense after March Madness is over and the NBA has the game all to itself.
And let’s not lose faith in a team that has the fire of Tyson Chandler, who won’t even let another player’s shoe get by him.
Not that I’m expecting much of that from a town that demands nothing short of absolute domination and continues to believe that a team that isn’t in first place frm the first day to the last has no chance at all.
Which means Rich and all the others will continue to write off this Mavs team even though the New Year has yet to come.
Which is okay, because I seem to recall RIch and pretty much everyone else wrote off 2010-11 as a guaranteed first-round bounce for the Mavs like always.
How did that work out again?
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