For the Dallas Mavericks, Life Under the Radar is Very Sweet

Janet KesslerCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

DALLAS - NOVEMBER 18:  Forward Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after scoring in overtime against the San Antonio Spurs on November 18, 2009 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

By now, we Mavs fans are used to our Dallas Mavericks getting little to no recognition for playing at the top of the league...but that's okay!
It's okay that the national media doesn't mention our Mavericks when they talk about the top powers of the league or who will the season's championship contenders may be...and we scream "idiots!"
You would be hard pressed to find any national media outlet covering the NBA mentioning how great the Mavericks have started their season, they're too busy covering the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Cavs.

Some genius has our Mavs figured no higher than 10 on their own opinionated power rankings, placing teams like the Lakers and Spurs whom we have beaten already, ahead of us. 

By now we're used to such insults and lack of respect at the expense of our Mavs, so what else is new?
Mavs Fans, we should be very proud, our Mavericks have just completed a very tough stretch of 13 games with a record of 10-3, good enough for a franchise best start and tied for first in the West.  None of the so called experts saw this one coming. 

What is more impressive is how the Mavericks accomplished this amazing feat, with no fewer than two primary players on the bench with injuries at every single game. Last year's team would not have fared nearly as well.
Since Dirk Nowitzki took the summer off, he has been playing out of his German-loving-mind.  I'm on board to cast my vote for MVP. 

The Mavs didn't have to wait the usual three to four weeks that it takes for him to get back into NBA form, Dirk came out of pre-season smoking red-hot shooting-wise.
Speaking of red-hot shooters our reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Jason Terry, is playing like he wants another trophy.  I say get it polished and engraved, the Jet is on the runway to repeat.
Mix in "The Matrix" Shawn Marion, who has lived up to our summer hopes and dreams for the Mavs.  He is proving he still can play at an All-Star level, he just needed a point-guard that could get him the ball.
With Drew Gooden it's "love him hate him," but you can't question what he has brought to the game every night since Dampier went down.  As long as he stays playing like this, Dallas will have lots of love for Gooden.
Eric Dampier was playing like a one-man freak-show before his mystery illness.  Rumor says it might be his heart, tests Friday indicated it as not anything career-ending.  No words of Dampier's return from the Mavericks' office.
The last game against the Kings was Tim Thomas' second and most effective.  He brought welcome depth back to a depleted bench.  Thomas' game was limited only by his lack of conditioning, that will only improve.
We all know Josh Howard had ankle surgery last summer, he tried to make a comeback in the middle of this run but was shut down for more rehab. 

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Mavs Fans, don"t be too surprised if we see little of Josh this season; he had total reconstruction of that bad ankle.
In fact, it was discovered during the operation that Josh should have never played on it last season.  He had the ankle equivalent of a Tommy John Surgery.
Rodrique Beaubois has shocked everyone by becoming the starting 2-guard in Howard's absence. 

He's averaging 13.8 minutes a game now and giving us a nice first-quarter spark of 8.1 points per game and shooting an unreal 61.4 percent.  He's giving us some very nice defense too.

Coach Rick Carlisle and the team's brain trust are very careful with Roddy's minute, they don't want to overwhelm the young prince or put him in a situation he can't handle. 

That wouldn't do Roddy or the Mavericks any good.  Watching Roddy grow up on the court is an awesome thing to witness.

Nothing new from Jose Juan Barea, just the usual spark off the bench we love and expect. JJ now has a new job in helping Kidd getting Roddy schooled in the fine arts of point-guard. 
The other surprise for the Mavs is new comer Kris Humphries .  He is becoming quite a bruiser on defense, and has a nice soft touch on the open J's.

Quinton Ross is making his mark with the Mavs by giving us much-needed defense.  He presence is vital with all the team's injuries. 

Of course none of this would work without Jason Kidd .  I will repeat myself here, but it's fact: Kidd makes everyone on the team better. 
I've done my own math and I believed this from pre-season start and I believe it even more that the Mavericks will win at least sixty games this season. 

My source with the Mavs is calling this Mavericks team the best since the 2006 team...And we remember where that team got us.
The Mavericks are far from showing their full potential since they have not been healthy all season.  The very thought of what they can do with all its members whole is exciting and downright scary.  So for now we can be content with it being the best kept secret in Dallas.
Now is not the time for any team to peak; after all, it is an 82-game marathon, but learning to win against adversity does make the grueling race easier...Our Mavs are doing that now!  
So for now lets enjoy our Mavs to ourselves while the media gurus look elsewhere, it would not be the first time these guys showed their true I.Q.'s.  Mark my words, as the Mavericks keep their winning ways, the Mavericks won't stay under the radar for long.

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