Days before the new year arrived, the Dallas Mavericks stood at 24-5, just 1.5 games behind the Southwest division leading San Antonio Spurs. But things have gotten out of hand.
It all began on Dec. 27 during a victorious effort against the Thunder when Mavs’ MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki suffered a knee injury. Like his leadership in the clubhouse, this injury issue became a recurring theme in the coming weeks.
After two disappointing losses to the mighty Spurs and the weak Toronto Raptors, second leading scorer Caron Butler fell to a brutal knee injury in the first quarter. Butler is now out for the rest of the yesr, leaving Dallas in need With two all-star caliber players sidelined, the Mavs’ nightmare continued and exacerbated. Recently, center Tyson Chandler has been under the weather with a heavy cold, hinder in his performance and ability to suit up.
Not only have the Mavs piled on to the injury list (including Roddy Beaubois, who has been out for the season thus far), the reamining scorers like Jason Terry and J.J. Barea have been cold as the team has struggled to even reach the 90s in point totals. The Mavs are literally in a world of hurt and the team is too old to wait on Butler for next year and expect Beaubois to fill in substantially. So the Mavs must look past the roster and search for a trade.
Though Dirk is back and Chandler will return soon, the Mavs just need more fire power on both ends. The defense and offense has falter in the past two weeks and just curing one of the two will not lead to a title run. Dallas needs a player that can do multiple things, displaying a diverse set of skills much like Butler.
The Mavericks take on the Lakers Wednesday night at 7:30 at the American Airlines Center, attempting to avoid losing a 7th straight.