Mark Cuban on start: Got a long way to go

DALLAS – Mark Cuban isn’t too mad that his Mavericks are .500 without their lone superstar.

“If somebody said, ‘OK, 4-4, a couple of disappointing losses without Dirk (Nowitzki) and Shawn Marion, would you take it?’” Cuban said. “Yeah, we’d take it.”

Make no mistake, Cuban isn’t thrilled about the Mavs’ three-game losing streak that they’ll try to snap Wednesday night against the winless Wizards. He just isn’t ready to press any panic buttons, recognizing that there’d be some big bumps in the road with a remodeled roster even if the only two remaining contributors to the title run remained healthy.

He’s especially not pleased with the Mavs’ performances the last two games, when the Mavs managed to blow a late lead to lose to the Charlotte Bobcats for the first time in franchise history and let the injury-ravaged Minnesota Timberwolves dominate in Dallas.

“We’re not happy about it,” said Cuban, who believes the Mavs would have won the last two games with a healthy Marion. “We’ve got a long way to go. There’s only one way we can go the way we’ve played the last two games.”

And Cuban notes that his acceptance of the 4-4 record isn’t shared by the coaches and players.

“No one’s satisfied and no one settles,” Cuban said. “It’d be one thing if the guys in the locker room said, ‘Eh, we’re OK. This is where we’re at.’ That’s not the attitude in the locker room at all. That’s just me talking to you guys.

“The attitude in the locker room is we screwed up. We let a couple of opportunities slip by. We know we did.”