"The Mavs' 1-10 record against winning teams since acquiring Jason Kidd has been well-documented. But here's the thing: They actually played really well in that stretch, and only a flukish series of close losses prevented their record from being much better.
For starters, three of the losses were without Dirk -- two due to injury and one due to suspension -- so let's set those aside.
Now check out the other seven losses. They lost by 11 at New Orleans, three at San Antonio, four in OT against the Lakers, by six at Utah, two to the Lakers, four to Boston and seven to San Antonio. Combined, they lost seven games by a total of 37 points.
Those were Dallas' only defeats in that stretch. Meanwhile, the games against losing teams were all runaways: by 29, 25, 25, 20, 19, 16, 15, 13, 9, 8 and 7. No, hammering sub-.500 teams doesn't impress people nearly as much, but it's just as good a sign of a team's quality. In 11 games against losing teams, Dallas crushed pretty much every one.
So overall, they're 12-10 since trading for Kidd. But that's 12-7 when Dirk plays -- with an average scoring margin of plus-9.2 per game, which would easily be the best in the West. Everyone has focused on a series of consecutive close losses against good teams, which resulted more from bad luck than bad basketball, and ignored the fact that in all the other games Dallas completely outmatched its opponents.
What I'm saying, in a roundabout way, is that this team is being vastly underestimated at the moment. Yes, there are some issues here, and no, I'm still not particularly fond of the Kidd trade overall. But all the evidence since the deal says this team can hang with the West's elite, and now that they hammered Golden State last night it seems they'll get a chance to show it. "