27 Feb 2004 02:54:36
This season's Giant Killers

In the past, the Mavericks had a reputation for being pretenders.
They've had a lot of trouble with the elite teams of the West (Lakers,
Spurs, Kings), but dutifully dispatched all the poor teams with ease
to pad their regular season record. That's why nobody takes them
seriously in the post season.

Last season, the Mavericks had a combined record of 5-10 against those
teams (not counting the meaningless regular season finale against the

Maybe nobody noticed, but this season the Mavericks have quietly
reinvented themselves. They have a combined record of 9-3 against the
Lakers, Spurs, Kings, and Timberwolves.