It has been four days since the Mavericks swept the Los Angeles Lakers. At the earliest, the Mavs next game will be this Sunday, if the Thunder can close out the Grizzlies. If not, then Tuesday night will be the start of the Western Conference Finals. The Mavs have been practicing, working on the basics like shooting, defense, and staying in game-shape. I believe that no matter who the Mavs face, they should be the favorites. They have home-court advantage and absolutely dominated the Lakers.
As the series comes closer, the age-old debate continues to rage. Is such a lengthy time between games a good thing for the Mavs? Sometimes the time off helps a team recover from any nagging injuries, work out problems in execution, and regain their mental edge and they go on to win the next series.
Other times the rest seems to make the team rusty, they get off to a slow and are bounced in the next round. What will happen to the Mavs? Will the break cool them off or will it allow this veteran team to have fresh legs, rejuvenating them for an all out assault on the championship? The Mavs have been holding practice and have a “game-like” scrimmage scheduled for Friday. But scrimmages can never simulate the intensity of a real game.
While some may think that the winner of the Thunder - Grizzlies series will be worn out from a hard-fought battle, others will say that they will have gained confidence that will propel them forward. Time will tell. But Mavs fans have nothing to worry about. This is a veteran team that is locked in and is hungry to win that elusive championship. My guess is that the Mavs will start Game 1 slowly because they always start out slow. The time off will not hurt them but will have helped Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and other veterans get their legs back.
Speaking of Dirk Nowitzki, congrats to the All-Star for being selected to the second team All-NBA team for this season. The awards and recognition for the Maverick players continue to roll in, validating another great season in Big D. Will the good times continue to roll in the Conference finals? I think so. But until we know who the Mavs will be playing, analysis will have to wait. For now, continue to enjoy the ousting of the Lakers in such dominating fashion. Even if the Mavs lose in one of the next two rounds, at least we beat L.A.!!!