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Game Thread: Mavericks (26-13) at Pistons (14-26)

WHO: The Detroit Pistons host the Dallas Mavericks

WHAT: A mid-day game that most of us aren't going to be able to watch...

WHERE: Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI (it's seriously called that?)

WHEN: 2:30pm CT

HOW: League Pass | FSSW-DAL | FSD | KESN | WDFN | 97.1FM 'The Ticket

THE STORY: Well we were supposed to be all excited when Dirk Nowitzki made his debut after missing a career-long nine straight games with a sprained knee. And then the guy went and got himself ejected. So that was a letdown. This mid-day game is just like any other that the Mavericks can't take for granted. Sure the Pistons have the opposite record from us, but that clearly hasn't been a reason for feeling confident over the past five games. Now all these games are becoming 'must wins' simply because the once booming confidence of the Dallas Mavericks is slipping slowly out of reach. There are a few links for your reading pleasure, and watch out for those Detroit Bad Boys.

As Always, Go Mavs! And thanks, MLKjr.

Mavericks-Pistons Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The Dallas Mavericks got leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki back from injury this weekend but couldn't snap their season-worst slide in his abbreviated return. The Mavericks hope to have Nowitzki available for a full game Monday when they try to avoid their longest skid in 11 seasons by beating the host Detroit Pistons.

Inside Report: Mavericks-Pistons preview — Mavs stumble into Motown looking for W
The Mavericks need look no further than the inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. for a reason to play spirited basketball Monday afternoon in Detroit. After five consecutive losses, all without their full complement of players, the Mavericks (26-13) will try to use the man to which Monday’s holiday is named after for motivation to bring their recent skid to a close against the Pistons.

Dirk Nowitzki not a cure-all for everything that ails struggling Mavs
The Mavericks may have thought it was all just a bad dream and that when Dirk Nowitzki got back, they'd wake up and everything would go back to normal. No such luck. This nightmare they're living continued when he returned on Saturday. So far, this road trip has been a doctorate-level course in misery.

Dallas Mavericks Blog
The seven points Dirk Nowitzki scored in his return from injury Saturday night ended a string of 89 consecutive games (including playoffs) in which he scored in double figures. He played just 15 minutes before being ejected for arguing early in the third quarter of the 89-70 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The last time Nowitzki didn't reach double figures he didn't get to finish that game either. On Dec. 18, 2009 against the Houston Rockets at the American Airlines Center, Nowitzki drove to the basket when his elbow collided with the mouth of Rockets forward Carl Landry.