This Thanksgiving, let’s look at the Mavs with a little perspective and be thankful for the team we have and the basketball we get to watch.
This year feels different than the last two. It is the team’s announced goal to make the playoffs after Mark Cuban was fined for declaring it best that the Mavs lose games last year. Being in 12th place in the West and 4 games back from the Conference leading Grizzlies, that goal is a bit of a tall order. It’s not out of the realm of possibility by any stretch, but some Mavs fans could use a reminder that everything is ok. There is basketball left to play and there is more to the game than just ‘championship or bust’.
So let’s take a step back and only talk about positives for this Mavericks team on this Thanksgiving to give the season and this team some perspective.
The Mavs are 8-9 this season, which is admittedly not where they want to be, but it should be lauded when you look at where they were at Thanksgiving last year. Last year, the Mavs were 3rd from last place in the league with a 4-15 record. The ONLY reason they were no longer in last place is that Atlanta and Chicago lost the night before.
So while 8-9 isn’t the ideal, and there are games like the Suns, Hawks or Knicks games that they would like to have back and we had a six game losing streak early on, BUT we also turned around and won 4 in a row and won 6 of the last 8 games we’ve played including a 50 point win vs Utah and a really gutsy win against the defending champion warriors and Kevin Durant. Enjoy the wins folks!
Luka Doncic deserves our thanks. He has played hard every game he’s been in. He’s gotten beaten up, he’s gotten knocked down and he always manages to get up, shake it off and proceed to play very good basketball for our team. He is the team leader in points with 19.3 points per game, and is second on the team in both assists per game (4.1) and rebounds per game (6.9) all at 19 years old and just his rookie year.
Luka is also playing really well in the context of history of the league. For starters, he has scored the most points by a teenager in his first 15 games, scoring 292 points and passing Kevin Durant with 290. For a historical perspective on his excellent rookie season, the only other players who have as many points, rebounds and assists as Luka are names you may have heard of: Oscar Robinson & Magic Johnson. Now those 3 names alone are great company to keep. So be thankful for this truly epic rookie season we get to witness.
Lastly, be thankful for Dirk Nowitzki. He hasn’t taken the court yet this year, yet his presence is ever felt by this team. Dirk is the heart and soul of the Dallas Mavericks for the past 20 years. Just because he’s in a suit rather than tear away sweats, doesn’t mean he is anything but the one true GOAT to MFFLs. And to top all off, it seems like he should be joining the Mavs ON THE COURT in the very near future! That is truly something to be thankful for.
Last night, Dirk received a key to the city of Dallas from Mayor Rawlings at halftime where Dirk joked “It’s about time!”, but every Mavs fan felt that this was long overdue. Dirk deserves our thanks, not only for the championship, but also 16 straight years of playoff basketball and also the locker room and community leadership he has given this team for his entire career. You will never hear of a locker room fight like they have over in Oakland with the Warriors teammates feuding and that can be traced directly back to the Tall Baller from the G. This is his house and we’re just visiting.
So while you sit comatose from turkey and stuffing, mad that there is no basketball today, take a moment to realize that your Mavericks give up many, many holidays with their families to give you competitive basketball. And know that they will be back in action for you Saturday taking on the 9-9 Celtics for your entertainment, hopefully getting .500 and a 9-9 record that would put them AHEAD OF THE SPURS for the first time in I don’t know how long.
Happy Thanksgiving, fellow MFFLs.
Featured Image: mavsmoneyball.com