It is not about how you start but how you finish.
So far this 2013-14 season, Dallas is off to a decent start, wrapping up opening week with a 2-1 record. First, they won at home against the Atlanta Hawks and fellow Southwest Division contender, the Memphis Grizzlies. Between those games, they lost to another division opponent and Texas team, the Houston Rockets.
Imagine that “Los Spurs” lassoed this title because their head coach, Gregg Popovich, was not satisfied until they reached the Finals. I admire “Pop” for always keeping it real. As a communication analyst, I have observed his short interviews and press conferences in which he consistently stayed on point.
Pop keeps his team on track as well, which is why they have come so far, having earned the Larry O’Brien trophy in 1998-99, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2006-07. Plus, his players, like the Mavericks, are just world class people all the way around.
Dallas has seen success but has only gone all the way once. A whole decade ago they faced San Antonio in the Western Conference Championship. Then they made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2006 against the Miami Heat, who defeated the Mavs then and who the Mavs beat in 2011. Since then, the Heat have claimed the title twice in-a-row.
If winning the championship indeed is the Mavericks’ goal, then they must do better than decent ball-playing. And I don’t mean just in the regular season alone. They must exceed their efforts more than ever before and bring even more momentum into the playoffs.
Stroll down memory lane with me back to 2006-07 when the Mavs wrapped up their best season at 67-15. Then this No. 1 seed surrendered their postseason run to the Golden State Warriors who were the No. 8 seed of the West.
I had lived in the Bay Area at the time and had attended Dallas’ road games when they visited Golden State. I was outnumbered by Warriors fans wearing yellow “We Believe” shirts and dogging on my two-step look, either decked out in my Dirk Nowitzki jersey and Mavs ball cap or my Dallas 25th Anniversary cowboy hat.
Two Mavericks past and present members were part of the Warriors at that time: current starting point guard Monta Ellis and previous head coach Don Nelson. On Opening Night, Ellis was on fire, just as power forward Nowitzki of my Nowellis Dynamic Duo had gone on about his “explosiveness” on Media Day.
Yet the Mavs can’t blow us away every once in awhile. Their dynamism from determined players like my Tipoff Trio of Nowitzki, Vince Carter and Shawn Marion must be a consistent practice that they carry on throughout the season and beyond.
Now I would like to rally up fellow MFFL (Mavs Fans for Life) and, like GS fans had when the Warriors eliminated Dallas from the first round of the playoffs back then, let us profess our faith for the team that we love so much.
Go full force, Mavericks. We believe in you and tip our cowboy hats and ball caps to you in aiming sky high this season. Let us give the Finals another shot!