Why the Mavs better win now

The Mavs are an aging bunch, meaning that this season could be their last shot at a title. Brett Davis/US Presswire

In the wake of the early playoff exits of the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers, we have picked at their carcasses, wondering if their title-contention windows have closed.

Thanks to a sweep of the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks have excused themselves from that conversation -- or at least postponed it. The Mavericks have exhibited the sense of urgency the Spurs and Lakers may have lacked.

But this could be because the Mavericks know that, unless they win it all this year, they'll be joining the Spurs and Lakers at the dissection table. This is their best shot at a championship, and they know their window is closing. Consider the evidence: