Two months into the campaign with a 16-12 record, Dallas sits in seventh place in the Western Conference. Dallas has handled its lesser competition, going 9-4 against teams below .500, so the Mavericks will be looking for better results against the NBA's best during the 2014 portion of the season.
After the offseason signings of shooting guard Monta Ellis and point guard Jose Calderon, questions arose about how the duo would fit with longtime Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki.
Though Calderon has struggled, Ellis and Nowitzki have carried the Mavs on a nightly basis, leading the team to victories over the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and upstart Portland Trail Blazers.
So, if Dallas can get more out of its role players, the Mavericks will punch their ticket to the playoffs, because they have put themselves in a good position as 2013 comes to a close.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, stats taken from Basketball-Reference. Accurate as of Dec. 25, 2013.