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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Here come the Suns; time to say bye to beards

By Tim MacMahon

Omar, get your clippers ready. You ought to be busy Wednesday night.

The third time better be the charm for the Mavericks’ bearded bunch earning the right to shave by getting back to .500. After all, all the Mavs need to do is win at home against the West’s worst team.

Dallas has had tough draws the previous two times over the past couple of weeks that it has had a chance to get its record to the break-even point again and reach for the razors. The Mavs got blown out on both occasions.

The Indiana Pacers barked a bunch about all the talk about beards and the barber providing them bulletin-board material for their 25-point rout March 28 at the American Airlines Center. However, as Dirk Nowitzki noted, the Pacers won convincingly because they’re much better than the Mavs, not due to a healthy dose of motivational fodder. There’s a reason the Pacers are the East’s third seed.

The Los Angeles Lakers have more talent than the Mavs, but there’s no doubt Dallas laid an egg last week when it had a chance to reach .500 and really make the fight for the West’s final playoff seed interesting. That 20-point loss left the Mavs clinging to mathematical playoff hope, but really playing for pride.

They’ve played with enough pride to put themselves in position to hit .500 in the 78th game of the season.

And here come the Phoenix Suns.

On the butt end of a back-to-back.

After the Mavs will have had two days off.

NBA wins don’t come much easier than this. Call that disrespectful if you want, but the Suns have lost nine in a row and 13 of 14 entering their Tuesday night game in Houston. They have the West’s worst record by four full games.

Realistically, all that stands between the Mavs and shaving is showing up Wednesday night wanting to win.