It's not often I stay up late to watch a duel between J.J. Barea and Samuel Dalembert, but last night's 102-100 victory by the Dallas Mavericks over the Sacramento Kings was special.
It kicked off the Bob Ortegel-less era with a win. And was the Mavs' 10th consecutive victory. To which the Mavs nation replied: Yawn.
Not because the Mavericks -- who are in Denver tonight -- aren't playing good basketball. We've just gotten so spoiled. Amazingly, this is the 10th 10-game-plus winning streak in franchise history and the second this season. The problem(?) with this one is that included in the run are wins over the Nets, Clippers, Rockets, Wizards, Bobcats and Cavs.
Yes the 37-15 Mavs are winning. But I'm just not convinced all is repaired to pre-Christmas calibrations.
Peja Stojakovic is ragged rusty, going 1 of 7 last night and a combined 4-16 (1 of 9 on 3-pointers) so far in two starts. Dirk Nowitzki was very mediocore while favoring a sore wrist. Jason Terry was good again.
But the Mavs were saved from a loss to the Kings by Barea. Yep, the guy who will likely see his playing time sliced come February 16 with the return of Roddy Beaubois.
good great last night. In the fourth quarter the Mavs kept calling plays for him, and he responded with acrobatic drives to the hoop complete with nifty finishes and a nasty 3-pointer right over Kings' behemoth DeMarcus Cousins. Dallas scored 28 in the fourth; Barea 15.
Dallas survived when Sacramento's Tyreke Evans threw up an ugly attempt on a drive in the lane that it appeared both Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler got hands on in the final 10 seconds.
This 10-game streak isn't perfect. But shame on us for shrugging it off. Remember, once upon a time the Mavs won 11 games ... in an entire season.