Mavericks looking to move up in West playoff race

Posted Thursday, Feb. 06, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The Mavericks know they have the talent to climb much higher.

Going into Friday night’s home game at 7:30 against the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center, the Mavericks are 29-21 and a half-game behind both Golden State (29-20) and Phoenix (29-20). The Mavericks, however, are only two games ahead of Memphis (26-22).

“With a couple of games we can be out of the playoffs, with a couple of wins we can be even seventh or eighth or sixth,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s going to be tight all the way during the season.

“It’s been that way the last couple of years. The seedings come all the way down to the last couple of weeks of the season, so you’ve got to stay the course.”

Wednesday’s critical 110-96 victory at Memphis put the Mavericks in position to start thinking about bigger and better things than simply an eighth-place finish in the West. Especially since that would mean a first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City, San Antonio or Portland.

“I just think at this point, with a game like [Wednesday] night, we’re at a point here where we’ve just got to keep pushing forward and keep working to get better and seeing where we can go with this,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s important to look up and not look down and just keep gunning for people that are ahead of us and have that mindset instead of looking the other way and trying to hold on.”

The mindset of the Mavericks is to leapfrog the Suns and Warriors before resting for the All-Star break Feb. 14-16. After hosting the Jazz on Friday, the Mavericks have a three-game road trip to Boston, Charlotte and Indiana before the All-Star break.

“You’ve got to try to play hard every night and give yourself a chance to win as many games as possible,” Nowitzki said. “It sounds pretty simple and stupid, but you’ve got to take it one game at a time and win your home games when you can.

“That’s very important to protect your home court and go out on the road and steal some once in a while. Any time you can move up you want to move up.”

The Mavericks want to ride the momentum fueled by the win at Memphis, which gave them the season series and a 3-0 record against the Grizzlies.

“That was definitely a great win [Wednesday] night, so hopefully there’s no let-up [Friday] against a hard-playing Utah team, and then we’re going to hit the road for a couple,” Nowitzki said. “So hopefully we can carry some momentum right to the break, and after the break it’s going to be tough.

“We’ve got the champs [Miami] coming in here right after the break, and then we’re on the road for a bunch actually. So it’s a tough schedule, but we’re taking it one game at a time.”

Calderon snubbed

Despite ranking sixth in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 44.1 percent, guard Jose Calderon was not among the eight contestants the NBA chose Thursday to participate in the 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli (44.3 percent) is the only one of the eight chosen who is shooting better from 3-point range than Calderon.

Twitter: @dwainprice

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
Texas «5Final | Box
Seattle3Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Toronto «9Final | Box
NY Mets «8Final | Box
Houston5Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, YES
Atlanta2Final | Box
Pittsburgh «3
Arizona2Bottom 9th | Box
Washington2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, MASN
LA Angels7Bottom 7th | Box
Boston3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, NESN, ESPN 2
Detroit «6Final | Box
Tampa Bay0
Cincinnati0Delayed | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
San Francisco8Top 7th | Box
Chicago Cubs2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, WCIU
Baltimore4Bottom 8th | Box
Chicago WSox3@theBallpark | TV: MASN 2, CSN-CHI
Cleveland3Top 7th | Box
Minnesota0@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Kansas City2Top 6th | Box
Colorado1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, ROOT-RM
San Diego0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SD, SNLA, ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NFL Network, KDKA, 6ABC
Jacksonville 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: WXYZ7
Carolina 7:30 PM ET
New England TV: Panthers TV, WBZ
NY Giants 7:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS 2
Oakland 8:00 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Chicago 10:00 PM ET
Seattle TV: NFL Net, FOX32, Q13FOX
Tampa Bay 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo TV: NFL Network, WFLA
Tennessee 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: WKRN, CW69
Dallas 7:00 PM ET
Miami TV: KTVT, CBS11, CBS4
Washington 7:30 PM ET
Baltimore TV: NBC4, CSN-DC, WBAL
St. Louis 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: WKYC
New Orleans 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Minnesota 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: KARE 11, KCTV
Houston 9:00 PM ET
San Diego 4:00 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
Cincinnati 8:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: NBC
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard