The 2010-11 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are 0-2. They have lost by a combined 33 points over two games against the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets. They have trailed by 33 to the Heat and 35 to the Nuggets 24 hours later, both times in the third quarter.
Factor in the two preseason losses to Oklahoma City, and they have trailed by at least 23 points in every game they have played since they hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy last June.
There is no offense. There is no defense. There is no conditioning. There is no chemistry and no determination. I would even go so far to say there is even a lack of professionalism, given that the Mavs have lost both of these games in their own house.
Just one Dallas player has acquitted himself, and that was Sean Williams.
He has already had his first chance in the NBA four years ago, but ended up in the D-League. Now, he's got his second chance in Dallas and he left everything on the court, not just figuratively as he vomited near the bench as he left the court—a sign of just how much effort he put in.
Things are only marginally better over at the Staples Center, where the Lakers, all of a sudden the least-exciting NBA team in Los Angeles, have also stumbled to an 0-2 start to their new era.
Hall-of-Fame coach Phil Jackson left at the end of the season, Lamar Odom is now in Dallas and Andrew Bynum is suspended. The sky is not quite falling down for the Lakers, but with a third game coming tonight against the Utah Jazz following back-to-back losses to the Bulls and the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers are off to their worst start in nine years.
Kobe has already picked up a wrist injury to add to his long-standing knee and finger issues.
Pau Gasol is currently keeping the Lakers from looking like a full-scale disaster zone.