Dallas Mavericks

2007 Mavericks don’t compare to 2016 Warriors, Cuban says

A stunned Mark Cuban walks off the court in Oakland, Calif., after the top-seeded, 67-win Mavericks were swept by Golden State during the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs.
A stunned Mark Cuban walks off the court in Oakland, Calif., after the top-seeded, 67-win Mavericks were swept by Golden State during the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs. Star-Telegram

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t see any similarities in this year’s Golden State Warriors club and the 2006-07 Mavericks, who finished the season with a 67-15 record.

The Mavericks were 4-6 in their last 10 games that season and were upset by the Warriors in six games in the first round of the playoffs. This year’s Warriors are 6-2 in their last eight games.

“We struggled the last 10 games, and the Warriors back then were on a roll the last 10 games, so I don’t see the Warriors this year struggling like we did,” Cuban said. “But you can just see the difference.

“The year we won 67 after losing the first four we’d win games and we’d go in the locker room and be like, ‘How did we win that, we didn’t deserve to win that game.’ There were probably 10 games that we didn’t deserve to win that we did win.”

Cuban has noticed where the Warriors used to blow teams out, but now their games have mostly been nail-biters. That includes a pair of eight-point wins over the Mavericks and Washington, and an overtime victory against Utah in the past 11 days.

“You see some of that with the Warriors, too, where you never want to say they didn’t deserve to win,” Cuban said. “But now it’s coming down to the last possessions a lot, and that’s a treacherous slope.”

Still no timetable for Williams

The Mavs still don’t have a timetable on when they expect point guard Deron Williams to play again.

“I’d like to think that he’s getting better, but I’m not sure he’s made enough progress to even talk about him playing any time soon, but we’ll see,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Nothing’s really changed in terms of how we’re listing him.”

Williams missed his sixth straight game Sunday because of a sports hernia. The injury has obviously limited what the 11-year veteran can do.

“He’s working hard at it and he’s doing what he can on the floor,” Carlisle said. “If he can get back we certainly would need him, but right now I think we’re still in the same place.”

With no Williams, that has meant more playing time for J.J. Barea and Devin Harris.

“J.J. is playing great and Devin is playing well,” Cuban said. “The shorter rotation may help us in some respects, too.”

Nowitzki continues to struggle with his shot

To the best of Carlisle’s knowledge, there’s nothing physically wrong with forward Dirk Nowitzki.

The 18-year veteran scored 20 or more points in nine straight games, but hasn’t been the same since sitting out the next game against the Golden State Warriors.

In the five games since sitting out the March 25 game against the Warriors for rest, Nowitzki is just 27 of 91 from the field (29.7 percent), 6 of 26 on 3-pointers (23.1 percent ) and averaging just 13.4 points.

That includes Sunday, when Nowitzki was 4 of 18 from the field and 2 of 10 on 3-pointers. He scored 13 points in the Mavs’ 88-78 win over Minnesota.

“You’re not going to score 20 a game a zillion games in a row,” Carlisle said. “It’s just not going to happen.

“The thing is we’ve got to stay process-oriented, he’s got to stay process-oriented. His shots are difficult because teams are contesting the heck out of him.”

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

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