For a team that started out at 2-14, this rejuvenated Mavericks roster demands playoff consideration. Just one week ago, Our Mavs & Cows panel was champing at the by over a potential lottery pick. Now that talk has all but diminished.

Seth Curry and Harrison Barnes have inspired this team to next-level play:

Curry has averaged 24.0 points per game during the last four outings, connecting on 57.3 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from three-point range while leading the team to a 3-1 mark. Meanwhile, Barnes has continued his season-long offensive assault against opposing defenses, averaging 20.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists an outing during the last five games. And with an opportunity to boost the Mavs to a three-game winning streak Tuesday night, the young duo will try to continue its impressive play to complete a season series sweep against the Lakers (19-44).

There’s still a shred of hope for proponents like me of Team Tank. But this five game stretch at home facing mediocre teams will only serve to boost morale and strengthen their position in the hunt for #8.

The Pros of Achieving 8th Place

  1. It gives young players valuable playoff experience
  2. Playing to win instead of to lose prevents a dangerous shift in mentality that some say can ruin a franchise

The Cons of Achieving 8th Place

  1. Guaranteed speedy exit when facing Warriors at #1 
  2. No chance to win Round 1
  3. Lost valuable opportunity to draft a top 5 player to further this franchise’s rebuilding process

I don’t know if tanking really does damage team culture. But I do know that Dallas can’t rebuild the whole team through Free Agency. 

And this was the team’s best chance at the lottery in recent memory. Hope it will be worth not tanking. But I doubt it.