Dallas Mavericks Head To San Antonio As 10-Point Underdogs: A Decade of De-Ja-Vu

Mark CrystelContributor IIIJanuary 14, 2011

Since Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks 10 years ago, they've achieved many things, such as failing to lose 3 straight games by double digits since 2001
Since Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks 10 years ago, they've achieved many things, such as failing to lose 3 straight games by double digits since 2001Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The only thing constant in life is change.

For the Dallas Mavericks, one man helped change an entire decade.

The Mavericks spent the 1990s home with their families while other teams were enjoying the NBA playoffs.

That would all change when Mark Cuban purchased the team in January of 2000.

He was different, if you may describe him in one word. Sometimes he would be seen courtside in Dallas, grasping his t-shirt “Jerry Tarkanian” style. Other times he’d be seen at a local fast food restaurant, working the ice cream machines as an apology for saying NBA officials “couldn’t manage a Dairy Queen.”

But his philosophy was still fundamental and simple. He wanted a winning team. He wanted change.

In January of 2000, the Mavs were 10-22 and headed for another dismal season. Mark Cuban bought the team on January 14th, and the Mavs responded with a 31-19 record to finish the season.

The following season, the Mavs made the playoffs for the first time in 11 years and defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round after falling into a 0-2 series deficit. Their postseason achievements continued the following season, when the Mavs won a franchise-record 57 games.

Aside from all of their great playoff runs over the last decade, there’s been one other interesting thing the Mavericks have failed to do, which pertains to tonight‘s point spread: lose three straight games by double-digits.

For some teams, that’s nothing new, considering this happened 14 times in one season to the 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets.

But should the Mavericks lose by double digits on Friday Night to the Spurs, it would be something new.

The Mavericks lost at home to the Orlando Magic by 10 points on January 8th and are coming off a 13-point loss at Indiana.

On Friday Night they are playing one of the league‘s best teams, and they haven’t lost three straight games by double-digits since the NBA Playoffs in 2001.

The Spurs are 20-2 at home, a league best. But Dallas is 12-3 on the road, including a victory over the Miami Heat. Let by a slew of solid and experienced veterans, the Spurs have a league best 33-6 record, but they have won just one of their last six games by double-digits, and that was an 11-point win over Minnesota.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, their star Dirk Nowitzki is out with an injury and is doubtful for Friday’s game, but the Mavericks were able to stay within six points of the Spurs on December 30th, although they were out-rebounded by 15 boards. Rebounding will likely be the key to tonight’s game.

Interestingly enough, the last time the Mavericks suffered three straight double-digit losses was at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2001 NBA Playoffs.

Ten years later, will they go "full circle" and do it again at the hands of the same team?

Coming off double digit losses to the Pacers and Magic, one must wonder if this team has enough gas in the tank to rally against Tim Duncan’s crew.

With Mark Cuban’s leadership, history says the answer is yes.

Even though the Mavs are without their star player, they are still the same Dallas Mavericks that have been a model of consistency over the last decade in failing to lose three consecutive games by double digits over an incredible span of 873 games.

Through all this, the Mavericks roll into San Antonio on Friday Night as a 10-point underdog.

Take the points!