Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks have battled back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference, and those outside of the Metroplex have started to take notice.
Grantland.com writer Zach Lowe has chronicled the team's resurgence. Here's a snippet:
It has been a trying year, but the Mavs are somehow in the thick of it. "It has been very, very challenging," Carlisle says.
The basic big-picture explanation for the Mavs' resurgence is pretty simple, and the simplicity is discouraging in a way: They are scoring like gangbusters again, mostly by taking better jump shots — and more jumpers in general — and hitting a frighteningly high percentage of them. The discouraging part comes when you start thinking about the sustainability of a 45.9 percent mark on corner 3s, and about how the Mavs, even during this uptick in play, haven't figured out things on the other side of the ball.
Can the Mavs' approach take them to the postseason? And will it work against the West's top seeds if they get there?