Mavericks facing elimination

On paper, the Golden State Warriors-Dallas Mavericks battle is shaping up as the biggest upset ever in a seven-game series … and it might not even get that far.

But on the floor, it’s hard to tell who the real underdogs are.

As the 67-win Mavs fight for survival, we’re taking the temperature of a series that’s hotter than Warriors fan Jessica Alba. Well, maybe not, but, anyway, it’s good basketball and we have some questions …

1. Can the Mavericks still win this series?

Yes! Dallas damn near won that last one on the road (Baron Davis doesn’t make that half-court 3 …). They looked very good much of the game, with Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse in attack mode. Do we really assume that there’s just nothing Dirk Nowitzki can do to get hot against Stephen Jackson? It could happen. But it likely won’t, simply because the math dictates they can’t have any more bad games. Ask Phoenix, which came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Lakers last year. The difference then was Steve Nash, who was his ordinarily brilliant MVP self. The difference this year will have to be the odds-on favorite MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, who has just been ordinary. The Mavs have to figure out a way to contain Baron Davis, who has been the best player in the postseason. PERIOD!

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