Another week has passed, during which time they went 2-2, and the Dallas Mavericks still stand at seven games under .500, no closer to either getting back into contention or falling completely out of the race.

As the trade deadline approaches and serious decisions about the future of the franchise appear imminent, the team, from an emotional standpoint, seems more locked into trying to make a playoff push than ever. The locker room rhetoric and on-court effort does not suggest even a hint of folding, especially from leaders and longest-tenured Mavs Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki, who is fighting an individual battle to get his own season back on track. If there was any positive to take away from last night's loss to Atlanta, it would be that he looks like he's getting closer.

The coaching staff and front office echo the overall sentiment of the players: they want to win. Tanking is not in the cards, if you take them at their word, and to put it more precisely, neither is trading away guys for draft picks or cap space, i.e the kind of moves that would concede the season.