Three For All: Dallas Mavericks

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Dallas Mavericks, who played three straight from Mar. 8-10.

The defending champs have had their share of struggles this season, which is to be expected of any team coming off the kind of high that was the Mavericks’ title run. Order seemed to be restored at one point, but then Dallas faced a nine-games-in-twelve-nights stretch to begin the second half of the season, culminating in the three for all, with all three games on the road to boot. A recipe for disaster? Let’s see:

Game 1: Suns 96, Mavericks 94 – Dallas had beaten Phoenix eight straight coming into the game, and led by 11 at the half. All seemed well. Then the Suns got it going, and Rodrigue Beaubois missed two shots in the game’s final seconds that might have sent it to overtime. Tough start. -2 points

Game 2: Kings 110, Mavericks 97 – This is exactly the kind of loss we should expect to see in this compressed season — a young, athletic team racing past an old, tired squad of veterans. The Kings were up 10 at the break and never looked back. -1 point

Game 3: Warriors 111, Mavericks 87 – See previous paragraph, and double it. 0 points

We’ve seen oh-fers twice before this season, by the Pistons and Suns, two teams on the outside of the playoff hunt looking in (Ironically, both teams have been playing their best ball of the season lately — perhaps the humiliation of the winless threeplays were the inspiration?). We weren’t supposed to see this kind of thing from the Mavericks.

However … we’ve seen a few veteran playoff teams take some games off this season. Mark Cuban said himself on the B.S. Report last week that seeding doesn’t matter this year, that every team is just trying to survive the compressed schedule, and that regular season performance will not necessarily translate to the playoffs. So, -3 points for the Mavericks. Were they giving it their all? Or were they taking a couple losses in battle right now in hopes of winning the war later on? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Up next: The Suns are back at it with a chance to redeem themselves, playing three straight Mar. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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