The Dallas Mavericks let another winnable game slip away in a 119-112 loss to the Clippers Friday night, leading Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki to question whether or not Dallas has what it takes to make the postseason.
“The way we let those games slip away, I don’t think we’re a playoff team,” Nowitzki said via ESPN Dallas. “We’ve got to win those games. We’ve got to find a way to get those stops and protect the home court.”
Dallas has found ways to lose double-digit leads multiple times already this season. Friday the Mavs blew a 13-point lead and lost by seven, and earlier this season Dallas blew a 17-point lead to the Hawks, an 18-point lead to the Warriors and a 19-point lead to the Raptors.
“It just always comes down for us to getting stops and rebounds,” Nowitzki said. “If we don’t, we’re in trouble. If you look at the numbers, we scored 112 [and] we shot over 50 percent. There’s no way we should have lost that game.”
At 19-14 the Mavs currently hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves for the eighth seed, but that lead can evaporate quickly in the competitive Western Conference.
Dirk’s comments may be a method of lighting a fire under his teammates, but the Mavs are a veteran team and should know what it takes to win by now. Nowitzki at 35 is averaging 21 points and having one of his better seasons in recent years so he’s doing his part, but his window with the Mavs is closing quickly and he knows it.
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