Friday, February 29, 2008

Key stretch vs. contenders has begun

SAN ANTONIO – Did the Spurs start a four-game stretch that will define the season? Or will those four games, three against legitimate Western Conference contenders, lay out a roadmap of where the Mavericks need to go with a quarter of the season left?

Depends who you ask. In any event, the Mavs view the games against San Antonio, the L.A. Lakers (Sunday) and Utah (Monday) as pivotal.

Avery Johnson: “I don’t know if it’s fun playing against the teams in the West. We’ve done a decent job of it overall, but again we’ve got to give this team a chance. It’s fun the way we’re moving the basketball. I tell you that’s fun to watch.”

Dirk Nowitzki: “It’s a fun stretch. We’ve got to get better with the competition. With the standings in the West, we can’t afford to lose any games.”

Jason Kidd: “You can’t ask for a better chance to see where you’re at team-wise and each night try to get better.”

The Western Conference isn’t going to ease up anytime soon, even with Yao Ming being out for the rest of the season. Nine teams are at least 11 games over .500 going into Thursday and each can make a case for advancing deep into the playoffs.

When the Mavs fly home Monday night, they will have faced three of those teams on the road in a five-day period. It’s understandable why some view the stretch as a litmus test gauging where the Mavs are with Kidd.

The franchise has made no secret of its intentions in acquiring Kidd. Neither has the point guard. But, as Johnson is apt to say throughout the course of the season, championships aren’t won in … fill in the appropriate date. In this case, it’s the first week of March.

Read the rest of this story and get a preview of the Kings in Mavs-Spurs notebook at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the stretch against 3 of the top west teams in the next 5 days... So far it's OverCoach Avery - 0. West Elite - 1.
Why is Kidd on the bench at the end of the game? Are you kidding me?