Sunday, June 25, 2006

I couldn’t believe my eyes!

The Dallas Mavericks are still my favorite team. I have never faltered as a fan and won’t succumb to the critics’ views that the Mavs just relied too much on the jump shot.

They were forced outside by the ludicrous calls they were getting anytime they got less than two inches from any Miami player anywhere in the paint. They fought hard against the oppressive rain of false penalties in the first two games but were slowly terrorized into a corner. The only way they could get any kind of momentum going was to take ill-advised shots for fear that anything more physical or daring would only draw them into the foul trap, good call or bad. It would have ended differently, I think if the officials had been as hard on the Heat – but they were not.

No matter what, in most games the officials are known to back off in the final minutes to make sure that superior play decides the winner of the game and not one call or another. Nothing the Mavs did in the final minutes of those games was flagrant and very few of the calls would hold up under review by unbiased parties. I am sure.

What I am not sure of is how can teams work to combat this scenario in the future. How can a team learn to play under such insulting and oppressively fearful circumstances? Who can explain why the referees chose not to call Miami’s obvious fouls? Why would they suspend Maverick players for offenses that never warrant more than a fine and for offenses they had already been punished for in an appropriate and fair manner?

I fully support Mark Cuban in his questioning of the NBA’s motives and agendas. We live in a crazy world where weirder things have happened and I think it is totally honorable of him to encourage people not to think the NBA is guilty of wrongdoing. He is right though to push for some sort of review or consideration that could allow us to speak rationally about the inconsistencies and unbalanced behavior everyone witnessed in this year’s NBA Finals. Really in the whole post-season. But I won’t blame him if he just accepts it and moves on. It is a hard call to make.

I am grateful to all the Dallas Mavericks for an awesome season. It was better than I could have hoped for and you all showed signs of growing and achieving throughout the long journey. Dirk the Warrior improved as a player and leader and as a facilitator of his fellow teammates’ glory and improvement as well. They could not have done it without him and he deserves our cheers for being a true gladiator and a titan in his field.

Avery Johnson is the best thing that ever happened to these players. He is the kind of coach they should be making movies about. Strong in his resolve to change these players careers, Avery has motivated his players to better themselves and play to each others strengths. The Mavericks of old lacked the camaraderie and chemistry that these new Mavericks have developed under the tutelage of an intelligent, creative, compassionate leader that maintains the players respect and trust by directing them in a manner that speaks to his respect and trust in their abilities and value. I believe it all comes down to love and encouragement.

A lot of people are still really sore about the outcome of the NBA Finals. Whether we got a fair shake or not, the Dallas Mavericks lost the series. Whether we were driven to play in fear or were too inexperienced to adapt and compensate for the handicaps that were imposed upon us, we still battled pretty well. When people asked if game 5 was our worst loss ever I got really mad. The Mavs lost that game by a few points and had the lead for a time. Worst-Losses tend to have greater score discrepancies and fewer powerful performances. Trashing a team for losing their first NBA Finals ever is just mean and uncalled for. We had just as good a chance to win as Miami and we rolled with the punches as well as we could.

I am proud of the Dallas Mavericks and believe that they will strive to fight just as hard next year. All I want for next season is to see them having fun on the court like they did this season. Thanks for the memories Dirk, Josh, Jason, Avery and especially Mark Cuban. Don’t let the man get you down! Make the world a better place any way you choose. You have given us more than we could ever have dreamed already. It would be nice to continue this relationship a long time. Cheers, E

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mavs, tonight it's do or die!

How many different teams are showing up for the 2006 NBA finals? The uniforms say Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, but the performances have been so streaky that it makes you wonder. Were the Dallas Mavericks who were so dominating in Games 1 and 2 the same poor zombies of Game 4? Luckily, the other games were lots closer and thrilling to watch. Unluckily, they ended with Miami in the win column.
The one pattern that has held so far is: victory to the home team. I say, let's go with that -- tonight and Thursday!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I’ve got faith in the boys in blue!

The Dallas Mavericks won game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday night. I was so happy after that game. We were jumping around cheering and celebrating. It felt good to get over the stress of just wanting to come out strong and win this first crucial game.

I know we didn’t play our best game that night but we still managed to win by a nice margin. Dirk was not on his game but remember what he did after the last 11 point game he had. He came out and scored 50 points. I am confident that the Mavericks got all the information they needed in that first game to anticipate the Miami offense and battle their defense. We know what our good coverage strategies are now and we know the pace at which the Heat like to play.

Now it is time to play Maverick basketball and show the Miami Heat that Antoine Walker is not going to make a difference in this series, Shaq won’t be a big threat when we have three centers and that Dwyane Wade is no match for Josh Howard and Adrian Griffin. DJ Mbenga’s return will be a sweet homecoming.

If they can find the drive to play their game, the Dallas Mavericks will dominate the Miami Heat throughout this series.