Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kevin Durant and the Thunder Prove that Dallas is Both Good and Bad

When the NBA season started there were many like me who had mixed feelings about the Dallas Mavericks. On one hand they had some big losses in the off-season with Jason Terry jetting off to Boston and Jason Kidd heading to NYC to booze it up.

The hope was that the stripped down roster would have enough talent on it (meaning Dirk Nowitzki) to entice hometown boy Deron Williams to sign. D-Will went to Brooklyn instead meaning yes, that Mark Cuban was not able to money-whip the youngster into coming to town (rumor has it he was off taping Shark Tank and didn't even meet with him).

Cuban and Co. were able to recover though. A slew of talented signings were made (Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Darren Collision, Dahntay Jones, O.J. Mayo) giving hope that the team could be half-way decent after all.

So far--eh. In all fairness though the team might not be as average as they've looked. Friday night's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder is proof of that:

Now before you start cursing me and calling me names like "Charlotte Bobcat" or worse--a New York Jet--hear (read?) me out.

Yes, Kevin Durant was able to score a career high 52-points. Yes, the Mavs lost (114-117). Yes, they are currently seven games under .500 (17-24) and in the No. 12 spot in the Western Conference. They are 15.5 games out of first and 3.5 from being in the postseason.

So how is this loss a good thing?

Oklahoma City should beat the Mavs;they should beat them bad pretty easily actually. Instead the Mavs were in this one and could have even won. yes, Kevin Durant was able to rock, but the Mavs were able to overcome and hang with these guys till the end.

Dallas is still coming together and trying to figure out how to gel with all the new pieces that came in during the off-season. Dirk has missed a good chunk of time as well. For a patch work team to be where they are is really not half-bad.

The Mavs have plenty of time to get healthy and get it together. There is still half a season to go; plenty of time for a team to gel and make a run. If that isn't enough to make Dallas fans optimistic Mark Cuban has declared the "Bank of Cuban" open. Rumor has it that they may take a run at Zach Randolph.

Cuban knows that he only has his superstar (Dirk) at superstar status for a couple more years. If his team is going to make another run at the championship with him he can't wait till next year.

So worry not Mavs fans. The team is not as bad as it looks right now and will likely only get better.

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