The Dallas Mavericks, a proud franchise usually used to rounding into playoff form this time of year, will be going home when the real fun begins next month.
That alone is enough to cause frustration for the 2011 NBA champions.
Calls like the one made on Wednesday night certainly don't help.
Early in the second quarter of a road game against the New Orleans Pelicans, veteran guard Devin Harris closed out on Jordan Crawford of the Pelicans at the top of the key.
Harris drew close to Crawford and paid the price, drawing an elbow to the face.
Somehow, Harris was the one who was assessed a foul on the play.
That's when the usually level-headed Harris went off on referee Ben Taylor for the call, and was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from the game for the outburst. Dallas coach RIck Carlisle also got T'd up on the play, as did assistant coach Melvin Hunt.
"I've never seen him that upset," said Carlisle, referring to Harris, to the Associated Press.
Added Dirk Nowitzki: ""He was getting hit in some picks and took some elbows and he kept getting the fouls. He just reacted - rightfully so."
The 121-118 loss dropped Dallas to 31-43 on the season, which will end below .500 for the first time since 1999-2000.
Harris had a play earlier in the game against E'Twaun Moore where he thought he drew a charge but was instead assessed another blocking foul.
The veteran guard had a frustrating start to the season, with the latest of a career series of toe injuries putting him out for 16 games.
The 12th-year player from Wisconsin is averaging 6.4 points per game this season, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds. His scoring output is the second-lowest of his career, trailing only his rookie season in Dallas when he tallied 5.7 points per game in 2004-05.
Harris made the All-Star Game in 2008-09 as a member of the New Jersey Nets.
The Mavericks hold a $4.4 million player option on the 34-year-old for next season. With a youth rebuild likely on the horizon, along with rookie Yogi Ferrell and fellow veteran J.J. Barea lingering in the backcourt, Harris might be looking for a new place to play next season.
One thing he has going for him is a sterling reputation as a two-time member of the Mavs, and also a former player for the Nets, Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks.
Harris also has a new piece of film to show his feistiness.News Now - Sport News