Charles Barkley, we're sick of your shit. Every time our glorious hometown warriors, the Dallas Mavericks, make an impression on a TNT broadcast, you babble and stutter in halftime and post-game analysis about whatever element of the Mavs' offense/defense/picket fence is "soft." You know what's soft, Chuck? Your wrinkly, bald forehead, that's what. And now that the season is winding down, the Mavs finally have a chance to prove youand most of the mainstream sports media who've barely given credit to the top-of-the-league Mavs throughout the yeardead wrong. But before the playoff bracket opens up, the team has a few more games at the American Airlines Center, 1000 Victory Ave., including Wednesday's final regular season contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. A few questions remain before the Mavs go for the goldlike whether Keith Van Horn will be the only injury-stricken player wearing a three-piece suit on the playoff bench and whether his replacement Josh Powell will follow through on his impressive promise. Otherwise, Avery Johnson's mission has come to fruitionthese Mavs play D, put up points and stand toe-to-toe with league leaders Detroit and San Antonio. There've been a few exceptionsand Barkley's pointed them all outso here's hoping Dirk, Jet, Diop and J-How wipe the dumb smirk off his soft face come finals week. Tickets are $10 and up. Call 214-373-8000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Wed., April 19, 7:30 p.m.