Way back at the start of the season, Fandy and I had a little email of the week. In it, I said this: Here's a prediction: The Mavs will be 7-9 going into December. I was one off. The Mavs are 8-8, mostly because they picked up two games I thought they would lose against the Spurs and Rockets on the road and lost a game I thought they would win against the Bulls. Sometimes I hate to be right.
While they barely exceeded my paltry expectations, there is still reason to be enthusiastic about the team right now. They are home for 16 straight days and 7 straight games, albeit 4 against good teams. They seem as if they are starting to get the hang of Carlisle's system. They are close to getting Howard back healthy. It looks as if Antoine Wright is taking control of the starting 2 guard spot. Carlisle is getting more comfortable with his rotations. Jason "JET" Terry is playing lights out as the 6th man/occasional starter. And as much as I hate to admit it since I was completely against the trade from the very beginning and Devin Harris is going to make the All-Star team this year with his 25 point-6 assist average (with 6 30+ point games, including a 47 point outburst last night), Jason Kidd is playing well with a 10 points-7 boards-9 assists average.
In addition to the 7 game home stand, the Mavs play 9 games at home in December against on the road with only one back to back in the bunch (a tough Portland/Utah swing on the road). They have some so-called "gimme" home games against the Bobcats, Grizzlies, and Thunder (which is still a horrible nickname that has caused me to tweak my favorite sports trivia question of all time). They also have a "gimme" on the road against a broken down Wizards team.
So with all that said, I bet at the end of the calender year, the Mavs will sit at 16-15, going 8-7 this month. I just hope that this time I'm wrong in the Mavs favor.
By the way, in case you are curious, here's the sports trivia question: There are 9 teams in the four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball) whose mascot name does not end in the letter "s", i.e. the MaverickS. Can you name them? Next time you are hanging out with friends, possibly drinking adult beverages, ask them this question and tell them you will give them two minutes to name them all. At the one minute mark, give them this hint: none of them are in the NFL. If they get them all, then they win whatever prize you choose. If they miss them, simply tell them that the NBA now has the Jazz, the Heat, the Magic, and the Thunder, NHL has the Avalanche, the Wild, and the Lightning, and here's the kicker that stumps almost everybody, MLB has the Red Sox and the White Sox.
Have fun with that, keep an eye on my predictions, and Go Mavs (prove me wrong the right way)!