With a tentative labor agreement reached, it appears that the NBA season will be saved, at least in abbreviated form.
However, it’s extremely likely that the Mavs’ historic streak of 50-win seasons will be a lockout casualty. They’ve won at least 50 games in 11 straight seasons, joining only Bill Russell’s Celtics, Magic Johnson’s Lakers and Tim Duncan’s Spurs as franchise with double-digit 50-win seasons.
The odds of extending that streak to a dozen consecutive years, a feat accomplished only by Magic’s Lakers and the current Spurs runs, are slim with an expected 66-game schedule. The Mavs would essentially have to win at a normal 62-win pace – and they’ve won that many games only once in franchise history.
The Mavs’ priority at the end of the season will be ensuring that Jason Kidd and other veterans are as rested and prepared for a playoff run as possible, not chasing a milestone.
“I think I’ve said it the last couple of years: I’d rather trade it in for a championship,” Dirk Nowitzki said after the Mavs’ 50th win last season.
In a roundabout way, Nowitzki’s wish came true.