The Dallas Mavericks were a game over .500 after last Monday night's beatdown of the Sacramento Kings. Dallas was 11-10 and feeling pretty confident heading up to Boston for a Wednesday night matchup to start a three-game road trip.
Four days later and the Mavs are now currently on a three-game losing streak and searching for answers.
Dallas was able to battle and push the Boston Celtics to double-overtime on Wednesday night. Late turnovers, part of a season-high 28, sealed the Mavs' fate in that game. On Friday night, the Mavs were blown out in Toronto against a Raptor team that had lost six straight games.
And then last night, Dallas was clearly fighting, looking for a way to win a road game against a good Minnesota Timberwolves team. The Mavs forced overtime, but let the T-Wolves start the overtime with a big scoring run to eventually hold off the Mavs.
Three road games, three painful losses in different ways.
The problem with the Mavs is that they can't seem to put together a good stretch. The Boston loss was caused by the 28 turnovers, the Toronto loss was because the Mavs shot below 40 percent, and the Minnesota loss was because the Mavs couldn't hit clutch shots in crunch time.
These three issues are the reason why Dallas is 11-13 and facing a critical home game against the Philadelphia 76ers this week.
Dallas started 4-1 because the turnovers were kept at a minimum, and they shot with efficiency. The reason that the Mavs have now lost the following 12 of 19 games is because turnovers and bad shooting are keeping them from winning many close games.
Head coach Rick Carlisle must find a way to fix these problems. Dirk Nowitzki isn't coming back until around the end of the month it seems so Carlisle has to find a way to make his leading scorer O.J. Mayo feel more comfortable when he has the ball in his hands. Mayo has struggled with teams focused on him as the primary shooter, and his turnovers have been way up in recent games.
Nowitzki will be able to help that, but until then, Mayo and the Mavs have lots of issues to fix.
Tags: Basketball, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, NBA, O.J. Mayo, Rick Carlisle