March Madness has begun.
Dallas, who has moved up and down the standings throughout the season but have never been out of playoff contention, have some extremely tough opponents coming up this month. The margin for error is well, there’s not one. It’s non-existent.
The Mavs need as many wins as they can get these last 20 games, it won’t be easy. They have to get them while the getting is good. March boasts 13 games, including a three-game road trip starting this week that will see them visit Portland, Golden State and the Lakers.
After that is a five-game home stand that will see the likes of Lebron James and Cleveland, Chris Paul and the Clippers, OKC and Russell Westbrook, plus Orlando and Memphis visiting the AAC.
The potential mayhem that is March concludes with a game at Phoenix and two games against the Spurs – one at home, one there – then they close out March with a home game against the Pacers.
But as they begin their mad march to the playoffs, the Mavs still have a lot to do. The list includes at No. 1 – staying healthy. Rondo, Ellis, Dirk, and the Chandlers have all missed some serious playing time with various injuries.
Parsons has been out for five straight games (sprained left ankle) and Monday’s game was Tyson’s second with a bruised left hip. Once these two come back, the Mavs should strive to stay injury-free – especially their frontcourt starters.
Other items on their to-do list including keeping the turnovers to a minimum (they only had 7 against the Pelicans); defending more, learning to play – and win – without star players; winning “gimme” games against teams that are below .500; keeping everyone involved (Devin Harris, Al-Farouq Aminu, Charlie V. and others) and coming out each game on fire and ready to play.
If the Mavs can do this and more, March Madness may not be so bad after all.