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Monday, February 21, 2011
26 to go: Breaking them down

By Jeff Caplan

The Dallas Mavericks are one of four teams with 40 wins, yet the only one with a lone All-Star.

They are 10 wins away from an 11th consecutive season with at least 50 wins. They are in second place in the Western Conference, six games behind the San Antonio Spurs and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.

They have one starter that has played six games and another that has played two games.

They have won 13 of their last 14 games, and have win streaks of 12 and 10.

They have Monday off, one day of practice and then a grind of 26 games in 51 days that begins Wednesday night at home against the Utah Jazz.

With that, here's a breakdown of the final 26:

Home games: 12

Longest homestand: 3 (March 18-24: vs. Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves)

Road games: 14

Longest road trip: 6 (March 26-April 3: Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers, Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers)

vs. Western Conference: 21

vs. Eastern Conference: 5 (last vs. New York Knicks, March 10)

vs. Southwest Division: 5 (Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets - 2)

vs. the Lakers:2 (March 12 at AAC; March 31 at Staples Center)

vs. +.500 teams: 12

vs. -.500 teams: 12

vs. .500 teams: 2 (Suns)

Time to pad the win column: Feb. 23-March 7 (vs. Jazz, at Washington Wizards, at Toronto Raptors, at Philadelphia 76ers, vs. Indiana Pacers, vs. Grizzlies, at Timberwolves)

Time to buckle down: March 9-20 (at Hornets, vs. Knicks, vs. Lakers, at Trail Blazers, at Golden State, vs. Spurs, vs. Warriors)