Mark Cuban may have thought that he added the last piece to the Championship puzzle by acquiring Jason Kidd. But nine games into the Kidd experiment - the only Championship the Mavs have pushed themselves into is the Worst Deadline Trade Championship where they are running neck and neck with the Suns.
Of course, you might argue that no one would expect the Mavericks to beat the streaking Rockets, with or without Kidd - and you would be right. The Rockets are playing with fire and cohesion that I have not seen since the 93-95 Championship years - look, even the 41 year-old Deke is diving on the floor for loose balls - but let there be no doubt - no championship team is supposed to lose to a team playing without its best player on its homecourt by 20 points.
I'm sure Head Dude will bring up the one game absence of Dirk Nowitzki as some sort of an excuse - but let there be no doubt - Dirk is nothing but an average power forward in the Western Conference: very suspect on the defensive end, containable on the offensive end, as amply demonstrated by the Golden State Warriors last season. But here's some good news for Head Dude - junless the Mavericks toughen up down the stretch, they could be looking at a lottery pick!