Dallas Mavericks: Old Hearts Transfused By Young Blood

Janet KesslerCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2010

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 20:  Forward Caron Butler #4 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during play against the Miami Heat on February 20, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

What a difference one trade can make!  

At the beginning of this season we saw our Mavericks come out with all guns-a-blazing.  Not even the World Champion LA Lakers could stand in our way. 

As the schedule continued something happen, we slowly witness a regression of sorts.  The Mavericks began to struggle to finish what should have been easy wins.  Star forward Dirk Nowitzki was forced to play heavier than normal minutes, as he took it on himself to insure the win. 

Their struggle started at the tip of the games, as it was visible that the Mavericks had to work harder than they should have to secure victories over lesser opponents. 

It would be evident that certain members of the team were just going through the motion, and no longer had a heart to give for the Mavericks. 

All of Maverickdom became mortified as lose after lose mounted as the mid-season approached.  With a fear of doom in the air, it was obvious to everyone who watched that the Mavericks were gassed out. 

Knowing an emergency resuscitation was needed to save the current season, owner Mark Cuban made a trade with the Washington Wizards

Trading away what is now known as the bleeding heart of the Mavericks troubles; Josh Howard along with three bench players for starter Caron Butler, Brendon Haywood and reserve DeShawn Stevenson

Since the trade that has brought a fresh as spring day to Dallas, our Mavericks have done an about face, a one hundred-eighty degree turn around.  It was like the Mavericks awoke from a coma.

The sun is shining again on Dallas as we have watched our Mavericks stretch their winning streak to a very impressive eight in a row.  Impressive because six of the eight were top play-off contenders, including defending World Champion LA Lakers. 

Our new Mavericks have embraced their new team, and are willing to do anything and play anywhere to help their teammates.  Their effect has reached the marrow of every player on the Mavericks' roster. 

Credit to the Mavericks head coach Rich Carlisle and staff for letting the new guys be themselves and just play their game. 

I couldn't help but smile as Haywood and Butler awed over point guard Jason Kidd after their first game together, saying "They never been on a team with a pass first point guard" with much enthusiasm. 

It is this new found infusion of energy that has lifted the Mavericks from fourth seed and on a banana peel, to their current second seed in fifteen days. Look out LA.

With the soon return of center Eric Dampier from injury, the new look Mavericks will be even tougher to beat.