Sunday, May 22, 2005

The 2005 Season In Retrospect

Well I have to say that although I am disheartened by the early exit of the Mavericks from the playoffs this year, I am still a very proud and enthusiastic fan. For those who didn't see the painful end to their season recently, be happy you were not at the AAC to cheer them on to a game 7 back at Phoenix. A quick recap goes like this: Dallas ran the table nearly the whole game, leading by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter of game 6. Down 3-2 in the series, the Mavs were looking great to push a final elimination game. Sometime in the fourth quarter, however, the Suns who had looked so tired throughout decided to snap out of their funk. Meanwhile the Mavericks lost the dominance they had showed through 3 1/2 quarters, and in a matter of three minutes, the sixteen point lead had vanished. There was still some fight left in the Mavs and with ninety seconds left in regulation, as they led 104-99. The lead was at three after two Stackhouse free throws and only 11.3 seconds to go! And then it hit like a ton of bricks...the one key player Dallas had released last offseason decided to go for the jugular. Maverick nation watched in fear as Steve Nash zipped up the court and popped a three leaving 5.7 seconds in the game and the score tied at 111-111. Everyone knew what was coming next as the city of Dallas began to prepare for next season. Not to say that I myself had no faith in my all means I did. But to watch that game and see the momentum swing over so quickly is really devistating. Needless to say the Mavericks lost the game 130-126 and thereby lost the series 4-2.

In no way am I upset with this season. Sure they didn't get to the finals in a year when I felt this team really started to show some identity, but there is so much promise for next season. Avery Johnson is a fantastic coach with a wonderful sense of how to balance offense and defense. The Mavs have a great nucleus of players in Nowitzki, Howard and Terry. Not to mention they had the best bench in the league this year with Jerry Stackhouse and Keith Van Horn stepping in and providing some great scoring threats. I applaud this team for their fight and resilience through the grueling Houston series. I don't ever recall watching a more intense NBA series than that 4-3 duel. I honestly believe that the Mavericks had the toughest road to the finals this year....BAR NONE. I dare anyone to name a team that had a tougher path. Congrats to the Suns, however, and I root them on now as they are my second favorite team. I hope Nash gets his because he more than deserves a championship considering the level at which he has taken his game.

Well I guess I am out of things to say. Im sure there will be a great season for us all next year, but until then I will be blogging about everything except baseball. I would like to congratulate my favorite player Dirk Nowitzki for making his first All-NBA team this year in 2005. Statistically his best season and third in rankings for the NBA MVP! Way to go Dirk! See ya next year!
Yours truly,

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Playoff time is coming.....

Playoff time in the NBA is almost here everyone, and there is a team in Texas that you should all keep your eyes on and fear to face. The Spurs you say? No. The Rockets maybe? Ummm no. Everyone look out for my home team Dallas Mavericks!!!! Wait...aren't they soft inside you ask? Don't they just try to outscore everyone while praying for missed shots and lucky rebounds? Don't they choke in close games because they can't get defensive stops? Ha ha ha ha....fools. If you are still a believer in this theory of Mavericks basketball, its time to open your eyes and reevaluate this extremely exciting team. As of late, the Mavs have been dominating the league with tough defense and lighting teams up with their well known quick and flashy style of offense. Much of the credit is due to the recent change at the head coaching position on March 19th when the previous assistant coach Avery Johnson was recently promoted to head coach after former head coach Don Nelson stepped down due to family and health issues. Don Nelson was an offensive genius, however, he didn't care to preach defense. This very fact has caused the Mavs to exit the playoffs earlier than desired each of the last five years. The 2002-03 season was by far the most successful for the Mavericks when they went as deep as the Western Conference Finals only to lose to the defensive minded Spurs. That was San Antonio's peak time in the NBA, and sadly for you Spurs fans, they are now on a slow but sure decline. Since putting A.J. in the coaching hot seat, the Mavs have now won 13 of their last 15 with an average victory margin of 16.4 pts per game, they have held opponents offenses to a cool 90.9 pts per game and have reestablished their home court advantage by cleaning up at home their last seven games.
So why such enthusiasm you ask? If you've never watched a Mavericks yourself a favor and watch one. I promise you will not be disappointed. Young promising players and well experienced veterans make up the most exciting team in the NBA. Seven foot German Dirk Nowitzki is by far my favorite. The pure beauty of his jump shot is enough to awe anyone, but this versatile power forward can drive to the hole, draw the foul and simply flat out play like no other. He is the core of the organization that the rest of the team is built around. Veteran guards Michael Finley and Jason Terry are simply dynamite. Finley's fadaway jumper and ability to take it to the bucket with authority is fun to watch. Terry's three point shooting and beautiful floaters aren't too shabby either. With the edition of Eric Dampier and Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavericks did a great job in picking up a solid center and a dependable sixth man. As a side note, Stackhouse is probably the best candidate for sixth man of the year. He averages 15 points along with 2.3 assists per game! Thats fourth most assists on the team and trails three great starters while he comes off the bench with only 29.3 minutes per game. Thats a hell of a contribution if you ask me. On top of that, young forwards Josh Howard and Marquis Daniels have the potential to become star players in professional basketball. I need not go into how great the Maverick bench I? Its only the deepest in the league! Keith Van Horn, Devon Harris, Marquis Daniels, Alan Henderson and swingman Jerry Stackhouse make up the absolute best bench in the NBA. Bar None.
Well, I suppose this is all for now. With awesome shooting and great passing, the Mavericks are the team to follow. Keep an eye on those Mavs during the '05 playoffs which start April 23rd! A dangerous, rejuvenated team is hungry for a nice fat ring on their fingers. For my readers' sake, I hope you don't have your aspirations set on another team. So do yourselves all a favor and join me in watching the greatest show on the hard wood!