Mavericks Head Into Break Playing Their Best

Published: Feb 13, 2014 13:01pm EST
By Steven Baer, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 13, 2014 @ 01:01pm EST


A night after allowing 114 points to the Charlotte Bobcats the Dallas Mavericks followed up that pitiful defensive showing with their best beating the number one seed in the Eastern Conference Indiana Pacers, 81-73. 

Now the Mavericks head into the All-Star break winning six of their last seven games and are a season high ten games above .500.  The Mavs will need to put together more winning streaks like this to keep their playoff spot or move up in the very competitive Western Conference.  Currently the Mavs are sixth in the west and are ten games back of first place.  Right on the Mavs tail right now are the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns who both are just a half game behind.

The Mavericks need to stay out of the seven and eighth spot heading into the end of the year.  The Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs hold the one and two seeds right now.  This year the Mavs are 0-3 against the two and have not matched up too well against them the past couple of years. To have a realistic chance of winning in the first round of the playoffs they will need to be anywhere from the 3-6 seed.  They matchup a lot better with Houston, Portland, and the Clippers. 

The major role of the Mavs recent win streak is they have been much better on defense recently.  For the year the Mavs are averaging 101.7 points per game which ranks them 20th in the NBA.  The past seven games they have been holding opponents to 95 points per game which would rank them in the top five in the NBA in defense.  Wednesday night the Mavs held the pacers to 32.1 percent shooting from the floor and only gave up 11 points in the fourth quarter.  Doing that to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference on their home floor is a strong statement.  Keeping this defense effort will be important as the Mavs face the Miami Heat right after the break.  The Heat scored 110 points in a victory earlier in the year against the Mavs.

The Mavs are also  getting much better production from their bench right now.  Devin Harris and Brandon Wright are both back after missing much of the first half of the season.  Since Harris has returned the bench has been one of the best in the league averaging over 40 points per game.  This is also taking pressure off of Vince Carter who doesn't feel like he is the only weapon off the bench now and has been playing more efficient lately.

All signs point to this team hitting their stride right now and if this team can continue to play defense they will be a tough out in the playoffs.      


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