Dallas Mavericks: What Would a Win over Oklahoma City Mean for the Mavs?

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIJanuary 18, 2013

Can Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs get their fifth-straight win tonight?
Can Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs get their fifth-straight win tonight?Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Throughout this four-game homestand the Dallas Mavericks are on, the schedule pointed to only one game in particular.

We're finally at that said game.

It's always fun when the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Mavs get together for a classic I-35 showdown, as was the case the last time these teams met.

Refer back to Darren Collison's one-foot, one-handed three-pointer to send the game into overtime, if you may.

Yes, Dallas lost that game, and at that time, appeared to be losing more than games: The Mavs were losing confidence that seemed impossible to get back.

Things have changed since then. Dallas is on its longest winning streak of the season at four games, and they welcome a Thunder team that's on a five-game win streak.

The two longest current win streaks in the NBA are both on the line and one will fall. If the Mavs can somehow stop Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for one night, then it'll be more than just another win for Dallas.

This could possibly be the launching pad that Dallas needs to get back into the playoff discussion.

Albeit this four-game win streak is impressive and is a breath of fresh air, it almost seems unimpressive. The Mavs defeated the Kings in Sacramento in overtime, then had wins against Memphis, Minnesota and Houston.

But the knock on getting those wins was that the Grizzlies, Timberwolves and Rockets were each coming off a back-to-back, and Dallas was right there for the picking.

The Thunder aren't coming into this game having played one the night before. They're well-rested to some degree.

Dallas has two things going for them heading into tonight: Dirk Nowitzki is getting closer to full strength, which means Serge Ibaka should be expecting a lot of No. 41 tonight, and Elton Brand is playing like the guy Dallas was hoping for.

In the last three games, Brand has averaged 13 points per game in 25 minutes. He's also close to nine rebounds a game, including 10 in the win against Houston on Wednesday.

And although he isn't at full strength yet, as so he says, Dirk is starting to get back into his old self. He's averaged close to 16 points per game during this win streak, highlighted by the 19 he scored against the Rockets.

What would a win against Oklahoma City do for this Dallas team?

One can only wonder the true ramifications. After tonight, the Mavs will be at the half-way point with 41 games to go.

But if you thought things were getting exciting before, imagine if Dallas wins its fifth straight tonight.