Though Uncle Ricky insists Dallas isn't out of the playoff race, I think most of us have resigned to the inevitable. So what does Dallas have to play for? Tanking is out of the question (as much as I support the concept)... which leaves pride, as Tim MacMahon wrote on Monday for ESPN Dallas.
Which got me thinking about this classic scene from Cool Runnings
I see pride. I see jump shooting. I see a bad &#$ German who won't take nothing off of no body.
But where does that leave Dallas against a team with seriously amazing offensive fire power?
Frankly I don't know. But I can tell you what we won't see: lay-up drills, a three point barrage, and an opposing score above 110 points. I expect we'll see hard fouls, a slower game, and Dirk playing like he has something to prove.
Carlisle's mentioned that all of the Dallas players are essentially auditioning for consideration by the front office to return to Dallas. And frankly, with only two players definitely under contract in 2013-2014 the younger players like O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison have much to prove.
Limiting the free throw attempts by Houston will be key if Dallas hopes to keep it close. Jeremy Lin and James Harden scored 42 points on 24 shots on the strength of solid three point shooting and 14 free throws. Second, Dallas has to find ways to ensure the role players of Houston don't kill them. Chandler Parsons shooting 12 for 13 from the field is inexcusable.
Offensively, Dallas has to limit the turnovers, which is not a new issue. Mayo and Collison played nearly turnover free games on Sunday, yet nearly everyone else on the roster found ways to turn the ball over. Other than the turnovers, the Mavericks played well, particularly shooting the ball.
I don't know if Dallas can win, or if they should, but they will certainly try. I expect a close game Wednesday.