Remember the magical three day weekends in high school? On the short list of things I miss about the forgettable four years of high school, the extended weekends are at the top of the list, with going home for lunch, turning on NBA 2K10 (in 2012 because my association team was irreplaceable) and never going back a close second. I miss looking forward to and relishing in the days off in between a hectic schedule of class days and wearing my iPod headphones that connect to the base of my pockets just so I can think about tonight’s Mavs or Rangers or Astros matchup in between taking notes in class – on the matchups. As you can tell I was a great student…of the game. Boom, 2 points. Moving on.
The school year is a long, long, long grind. Similar to a sports season except in place of fatigue there’s boredom and rather than a paycheck there’s homework. But those three day weekends were a beautiful thing.
The day off was the cake but the icing was the Thursday or Tuesday that bordered the break, because unless you had one of those life-draining teachers, the workload was very relaxed and the environment was all abuzz over their extended weekend plans.
Basically, the three day weekends morphed into four days and in some rare cases five! The day you depart for the mini holiday and the day you return from it, only a select few were fully engaged in their scholastic endeavors.
For athletes, like NBA players, they have days off scattered about their six month, 82 game journey, but February provides the biggest break of them all, the All-Star Break.
Smack dab in all 30 team’s schedules is the All-Star Break, spread across a weekend in mid-late February each year that is growing bigger and bigger each season into a public spectacle. For the players, it’s a much, much, much needed rest from the always demanding basketball calendar. Unless of course you are participating in one of the many events that take place from Friday-Sunday, comprising a four day weekend, with no scheduled games on the following Monday. For all but four teams (Brooklyn, Chicago, Oklahoma City, L.A. Lakers) it’s actually a five day weekend, with four teams occupying the final games before the break on TNT.
In any form or another, it’s a well placed time of rest for the athletes, or a weekend of showcasing themselves, which for some of our superstar players is much better than rest. Dwight Howard.
The Dallas Mavericks have just one player partaking in the festivities, and that is Dirk Nowitzki, who claimed the final spot on the Western Conference reserve list, voted in by coaches to make his 12th appearance on the All-Star team.
So aside from Dirk, the whole team has the weekend to rest up for the very, very important stretch run of the regular season.
After last night’s win at Boston, the Mavericks moved into a tie for the number 6 spot in the West, with the 5 seed 3.5 games away. Of course there’s so, so much basketball left, but the Mavericks have won five straight games ascending to a 31-21 mark, 10 games over .500 for the first time since hoisting the championship trophy. *chills*
There still remains two games before the break can commence, Tuesday at Charlotte and Wednesday at Indiana. The Bobcats are no longer a laughing matter because Al Jefferson is really, really dang good but the latter of the two, the Indiana Pacers, are currently the NBA’s best team and own a 24-2 home record.
Then come the five days off, and then come the two-time defending champions to the American Airlines Center for the third time since the 2011 NBA Finals. *more chills*
Since that amazing, chilling (!) championship matchup, the Heat have taken care of business against the Mavericks in all five games, the fifth proving to be a competitive one earlier this season after a couple of Miami routes.
So, going into the break the Mavs are pitted up against the league’s best team and coming out of it they look to beat the Heat for the first time since June 12, 2011. *more frikkin’ chills*
They are by far the most equipped to do so and I am super glad and fortunate enough to be attending that game. Can already hear it.
The break will be very nice for the Mavericks, who are probably playing their best ball of the season, but the in arrow and the out arrow are highlighted by two matchups that could really say a lot about this Mavericks team. Are they a playoff team? Contenders? Title contenders? My answers don’t matter because i’m a biased #MFFL, but the team can do a whole hell of a lot of talking in the All-Star Break-Up games.
But first, Charlotte.