DALLAS, TX – JANUARY 22: Deron Williams #8 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against Timofey Mozgov #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 22, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Dallas Mavericks haven’t let a rough start stop their chances of making the NBA Playoffs.

Ravaged by injuries to start the 2016-17 season, the Dallas Mavericks won just three of their first 16 games. Starters Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut missed action, while unproven backups Salah Mejri, Seth Curry and Dorian Finney-Smith logged big minutes. Dallas was dead on arrival. Tanking appeared imminent. In November, I wrote the Mavs were mediocre and bottoming out should become the club’s top priority. But as the season progresses beyond the halfway point, Dallas has found new life and is back in the playoff hunt.

Despite sitting 14 games under .500 at 15-29, the Mavericks are just 3.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Rattling off four wins in their last six games, including a nearly 50-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers, has propelled the Mavericks back into the hunt — although every team in the West is technically in. What’s changed recently? Key contributors have returned from injury.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing. Liammcguirejournalism@gmail.com