|ESPN.com: BlogsColumns||[Print without images]|
|Jason Terry wasn't happy the Mavs didn't make any moves at the trade deadline, saying it's "not a vote of confidence at all."|
“The Mavs stumbled out of the break with a stretch of basketball that caused flashbacks to the pre-Cuban days when this franchise was the laughingstock of professional sports. The Mavs had the built-in excuse of playing nine games in 12 days, but it's still pathetic to go 2-7 with losses to the West's four worst teams. The NBA scheduling gods gave the Mavs a little get-well gift this week, bringing two terrible teams to town. The wins over the Washington Wizards and Bobcats weren't things of beauty, but they at least stopped the bleeding. "A win is a win at this point," Nowitzki said with a sigh. The wins will be few and far between if the Mavs don't play much closer to their potential the remainder of the season. The schedule grind isn't bad the rest of the way, but no team has a stronger strength of schedule down the stretch than the Mavs, who face playoff teams in 15 of their final 21 games. The Mavs can get away with sleepwalking for the first quarter and a half against the Bobcats, a team so bad that only the 1992-93 Mavericks (11-71) have had a larger average margin of defeat in NBA history. Dig a 14-point hole against the Spurs or Lakers or Magic or Heat -- teams that are on the Mavs' schedule in the next two weeks -- and it's a heck of a lot harder to climb out of it. Just a suggestion, but the Mavs might want to conjure up something resembling a sense of urgency while preparing for the playoffs over the next month and a half. "We need all the warriors back," Nowitzki said, alluding to injured, intense guard Delonte West and banged-up-again big man Brendan Haywood. "Need a little momentum going into the playoffs. That'll be good. Our goal has definitely got to be make the playoffs, get hot at the right time and play our best basketball like we did last year." Nobody in the locker room expected help to come before the trade deadline, so it was no surprise that it passed without the Mavs making a move. Just what that means, well, that's open to interpretation. "I think the message is clear," coach Rick Carlisle said. "Mark and Donnie feel that the team we have is a good team, a capable team. We know that we have to ramp things up and play better." Terry has a completely different take on the faith the front office has in this roster. There is no debating, however, that the Mavs need to play better to have any hope of another parade in downtown Dallas before the wooing of D-Will begins. Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.
We already know that management told us they're playing for next year, but everybody in this locker room is trying to win this year and see what happens.” -- Mavs guard Jason Terry