Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Sun Has Set On The Dallas Mavericks

May 3, 2007. No matter how much Mavericks owner Mark Cuban downplays his team's first round exit against the 8th seed Golden State Warriors, this date stands as a day of infamy for the Dallas Mavericks. After garnering the best overall record (67 wins and 15 losses) in 06'-07' season--which guaranteed them home court advantage throughout the playoffs--the Mavs were still unable to upstage the up-and-coming Warriors who seemed to have had their number over the last two years.

TNT Analyst Steve Kerr put it best when he likened the slumping Mavericks to last year’s Detroit Pistons. Kerr mentioned a conversation that he had with Pistons Head Coach Flip Saunders wherein Saunders talked about his team “losing their edge” entering that year’s NBA Playoffs due to a number of lackluster games in the tail end of their regular season schedule.

The Mavericks made NBA history as being the first number one seed to lose a best-of-seven first round series to an eight seed (The previous two occasions were best-of-five affairs wherein the 94’ Denver Nuggets upset the favored Seattle Supersonics and the 99’ New York Knicks which bested the Miami Heat on an Allan Houston runner at the buzzer). Despite winning 67 games (which tied them for 6th best overall record all-time); having three ten-game winning streaks (with a high of 17 straight games (they were unable to extend it to 18 as they lost to the Warriors in their next game)); having the best home record; best road record; and winning the southwest division title, it just wasn’t enough to best the Golden State Warriors who played their hearts out despite having an injured and inferior lineup to that of the Dallas Mavericks.

Then again, it’s pretty hard to win a basketball series or game for that matter when your star player—German native Dirk Nowitzki—in not so many words, conceded the series should the Warriors win Game 4. (Which they did! It also gave the Warriors a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead in the series).

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