Mavericks Play On
By Asher Feltman
I consider writing a job. Do I get paid? No(t yet!) Do I have an office? No, I have the back corner of Starbucks. Do I have a boss? Yeah but c’mon it’s Rami! I still put all I have into each and every piece, and now I do the same in the real world of work as a cashier at Academy. And that, friends, is why you’re only hearing from me now.
In a life full of inconvenience, bad luck fell upon me again as I worked both Thursday night (Spurs) and Saturday night (Suns), causing me to miss two of the Mavericks final three regular season games. Oh, I also work tomorrow. Three of three. But thank Thor for DVR. (He’s a god) And thank my 99 rated awareness for recording the post game show on Saturday, because two and a half hours can’t contain a playoff environment.
Apr 12, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) is introduced before the game against the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Suns 101-98 and clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
On March 5 Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle stated that the upcoming matchup at Denver was “one of 21 Super Bowls” for the Mavs. That night they played the role of the Denver Broncos – ironically – and were thumped in Super Bowl number one. But luckily Super Bowls come in 21’s in basketball.
We’re through 20 and the Mavericks are 13-7 in these designated title games.
Game 20 put the Mavericks back into the NBA Playoffs after a one year absence that ended a 12-year streak, only trailing those damn Spurs who will make their 17th straight appearance in 2014. Guess who’s second?
Nope, not Miami. The Atlanta Hawks at six seasons, continuing the streak by grabbing the 8th and final spot in the Eastern Conference this year.
Super Bowl number 21 is tomorrow night in the regular season finale for our Mavs, and it holds the second-most importance of any game this season, succeeded only by its predecessor.
After the narrow heartbreaking loss Saturday in Dallas, Phoenix lost at home last night to Memphis, ending their impossible to explain magical season. It was an unfortunate ending for one of the best basketball stories in some time. Phoenix will miss the playoffs by the smallest of margins in a year where many (including me!) predicted them to sit at the way, way bottom of the Western Conference. The Suns’ average player salary is lowest in the West, trailing only Milwaukee, Orlando and the Philly Tankers in the whole league.
Yet they barely missed out on the tournament. Incredible.
Someone had to miss out, because 3-2=1 and that is reliable math. Dallas and Memphis are in, the Suns are out. However all three teams can call it a successful season, even the most for the team that didn’t make it past April 16th.
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Last note on the Suns: it was extremely unfortunate that All-Star snub and super-duper breakout player Goran Dragic had a complete meltdown in the last minute of the season’s deciding loss, committing a pair of turnovers and badly missing everything on a three point attempt. What a story.
Tomorrow night the Mavericks will play in Memphis as the team’s square off in a game 82 (and Super Bowl 21) showdown for the number 7 seed in the West, and more importantly, to avoid the San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies matchup much better with San Antonio than Dallas by farrrrrrrrrr. The number two seed will either be the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Clippers, since the Thunder lost to the Jrue Holiday-less, Ryan Anderson-less, Anthony Davis-less, Brian Roberts-less, Eric Gordon-less New Orleans Pelicans last night. If they lose their finale and the Clippers win theirs, then LA’s finest floppers ascend to the two seed as the Thunder slide to three. The Mavericks matchup better with the Thunder than Memphis, but not by a very decisive margin. The Clippers represent a tougher matchup to both teams, but the 2-3 race is out of ours and Memphis’ control..
However, control is what each team possesses Wednesday night, the winner grabbing the 7 seed, the loser the 8 seed…and the Spurs. Please, no.
The Grizzlies are playing really, really well. The Mavs…well, maybe even really well. Absolutely closer to regular well than double really territory. Memphis has won four in a row but much more importantly, 13 straight at home.
In any event, the Mavericks will play on in the Playoffs, with first round games starting this weekend. But just like all the games prior to this one in the past month plus, this is no doubt a playoff game. For the first time in 2013-2014, the team is playing with a clinched spot in the postseason, but if the Mavs want to try and put together a miracle run, they face a huge test tomorrow at the Grizzlies with a Spurs matchup hanging in the balance.
Unfortunately, paid work will put me on tape delay once again, so hold my phone calls.