| Sports |

Deja Boo?

The only guy standing between the Mavs winning 16 straight is this little dude. Believe it.

We've been here before. Sorta. Almost two months ago to the day, the Mavs waltzed into Lakerland with a big winning streak and got stung by somebody named Sasha Vujacic. Back then it was a 13-game winning streak, a relative yawner compared to the current, franchise-record 16-gamer Dallas carries into the Staples Center on what should be another raucous Sunday night. Count on punk-ass Kobe Bryant to accidentally on purpose smack a Mav in the nose if they dare challenge him, but surely L.A. isn't counting on another streak-busting performance by Sasha? Bring. It. On.

Hard to imagine, but the Mavs are significantly better than they were two months ago. Since that loss January 7, Dallas has gone an unfathomable 24-1. The Mavs are so good they make you re-read your sentences, because, surely, some of these gaudy numbers are typos, right? For instance, if Dallas beats the Lakers, it'll have a chance to go an unprecedented 12-0 in the second game of back-to-backs Monday night against Golden State and old friend Don Nelson. Man, how long ago does this seem?

And the only reason the Mavs likely won't become the first team in NBA history to have four 10-game winning streaks in a season? In order to start a new streak they'd have to first lose a game. Like a lot of us, this kid is giddy. (Betcha a nickel he shows up at the American Airlines Center sooner rather than later.) But, somehow, not everyone is a believer.

Former Dallas newspaper columnist and current tanned, frosted, fake ESPN personality Skip Bayless recently remarked -- swear, I was watching with my own eyes -- "Right now the Spurs are simply better and deeper than Dallas." Even former Mav Jamal Mashburn, who couldn't win with three supposed stars in Dallas, poo-pooed Dallas' title hoops on the flimsy premise of "You've got to have a 1-2 punch, and the Mavs only have Dirk." Read much, Mash?

Dallasites, of course, are saturating the bandwagon. Tuesday's routine win over the New Jersey Nets was Fox Sports Southwest's third-highest rated game ever and its most-watched since '03. Ratings are up. Records are up. Hopes are up. Now, if they can just keep Vujacic down. --Richie Whitt

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