The Dallas Mavericks fought their way to a 6-5 record with a win in an instant classic two nights ago in Boston. The win also marked a three-game winning streak and offered the first real glimpse of consistency for the Mavericks so far this season.

Part of getting to where the Mavs want and need to be this year includes beating the teams they are supposed to beat on a regular basis. Getting the 4-6 Milwaukee Bucks at home qualifies as a team the Mavericks should be able to beat even as they work to regain their full confidence.

Speaking of confidence, Mavs forward Lamar Odom hasn’t had much of it recently. Even after a huge, momentum-building win in Boston, apparently Odom wasn’t in a celebratory mood and was even questioning how he was going to fit into the Mavericks’ offense.

Whether Odom’s worries are justified or not, Coach Rick Carlisle will have his hands full going forward to make sure the historically emotional Odom feels wanted and motivated enough to be a key piece for the Mavs this year.

With the Odom news coming forward after the other night’s game in Boston, the new roster additions of Odom, Vince Carter, and Delonte West have been grabbing some headlines early in the season. West has not only been serviceable in place of Jason Kidd at point guard who continues to recover from a lower back injury, but downright solid. His main contributions have been through his ability to run the offense at a decent rate with Kidd out, but he’s also aggressively playing the passing lanes on defense to the tune of eight steals over the last two games and getting the Mavs out in transition.

Not to be left out, Carter has made his presence felt more and more as the season has progressed. He moved into the starting lineup next to West with Kidd out and has been an early source for points in games. In the first quarter against Milwaukee he had 11 points against the Bucks as he consistently got into the lane and finished his chances. It certainly helped that he drew Carlos Delfino as his defender to start the game, who more resembled a lamp post then an NBA defender.

With Carter’s fast start, the Mavs were basically on cruise control the rest of the night as the lead grew to 27 with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter. By the end of the night, Dirk Nowitzki has 11 points in 22 minutes, Jason Terry had 17 points in 22 minutes, and the Mavs ended the game with a lineup of Roddy Beaubois, Yi Jianlian, Dominique Jones, Brian Cardinal, and Brandan Wright on the floor.

There were even thunderous “Yiiiiiiiii” chants as Yi would get the ball during offensive sets at the end of the game. He made sure to shoot every time in order to properly acknowledge the enthusiastic fans.

The 102-76 win over Milwaukee wasn’t much for drama, but it was what the Mavericks needed to do in order to recover some of the norm. The performances put forth by the Mavs haven’t been perfect by any means, but Dallas is doing what they’re supposed to be doing by progressing game by game. If nothing else, the Mavs are inching closer to their expectations by getting blowout wins over teams like the Bucks at home.

Not everyone will always be happy, but the Dallas Mavericks are currently a work in progress. The keyword there being “progress”.

Written by Ryan McNeill via FeedCrossing
Written by FeedCrossing, Content News Source (Archive/RSS)

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