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The Time is Now for the Mavs

The Mavericks begin yet another playoff odyssey on Sunday against their old rivals the San Antonio Spurs. For fans, it is hopefully just the beginning stage of what will be a long and successful playoff run that extends well into the heat of another Texas summer. Although rarely honest enough to admit it, many players and fans enter this year's postseason with nervous excitement. This may be the best chance the Mavericks have had in years to make a serious run at a NBA championship. Lets face it, even when the Mavs made the NBA finals in 2006, it was a little out of nowhere. Sure, in hindsight it's easy to regret letting such a golden opportunity slip away, but there weren't a lot of legitimate championship aspirations entering that postseason. This Mavericks team post trade just seems to have that "it" factor. Maybe it's the added toughness that we were so sorely lacking before the trade. Maybe it's the added chemistry they seem to have found since then. Either way, there's no denying that it's a completely different team than the one that started the season. What's important is that they're not just different, they're better.

What's probably more critical for the Mavs is the fact that this may be their best chance for several years down the road as well. It's a well known fact that the Mavs are the oldest team in the league. They're led by a superstar who, while still in his prime, isn't getting younger anytime soon. Indeed if the Maverick's championship chances were a window, it's only open a crack and closing soon. That's why it's so important that everyone is aware of the situation and responds accordingly.

Whether or not the players' bodies respond, now that's the real key. If the team can stay healthy, which is something they have struggled to do during the regular season, than they have more than a puncher's chance. However, to lose someone like Kidd or Marion as they have previously in the year, would be catastrophic to any dreams of doing something historic. this year's unit is more of a real "team," with every player buying in to Carlisle's philosophy and executing his role. That's the reason hopes are so high going in. As soon as one of those pieces is no longer there though, that great chemistry that's such a positive becomes a negative as you adjust to working a new guy into the rotation. The guys really seem to all have bought in and play with an energy that we haven't seen around here in a while. It's only natural to get excited at this team's chances. One need only remember the Jason Terry injury however, to recall what happens when one of the cogs in an otherwise well oiled machine breaks down. That being said, injuries are obviously something the Mavs can do very little to influence. Hoping for the best is about the extent of their strategy on that front. If they can stay healthy, stay together...this team could make a run. Mavs fans should be as excited for the 2010 playoffs as any other year in the franchise's history. The Mavericks couldn't have asked for a better draw. As the two seed, they open up against the Spurs, who they're nothing if not familiar with. While the Spurs are solid, veteran team, in the end they shouldn't pose too big of a threat. The hope is that they can rap that series up in 5 games or less so they can rest some of those older guys. The fact that they also don't have to worry about seeing Kobe and the Lakers until the Western Conference Finals at the earliest is huge as well. The Lakers' struggles down the stretch should only bolster the fans enthusiasm that just maybe the Lakers are vulnerable. It should not be forgotten that the post trade Mavs beat the Lakers earlier in the year, even with no Caron Butler. DeShawn Stevenson, a.k.a. the Kobe stopper, played the kind of defense on Bryant that also makes you think a Mavericks run to the NBA finals might not be too far fetched. At that point, all bets are off. Even big bad Lebron and the Cavs don't scare me in that spot with this team. As long as they're healthy of course...

1 comment:

  1. The Mavs have the talent & experience. We'll see if they have the heart & drive of champions. They definitely have the squad to take it all.