Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
“No, no, no.” My thoughts when I looked at my phone to see that the Dallas Mavericks lost to the Memphis Grizzlies.
This was no regular loss. I felt dead inside. Mavs twitter couldn’t believe what happened. After just clinching a playoff spot, it felt as if we were eliminated from contention.
Why you ask?
The San Antonio Spurs.
The one team we didn’t want to see. Can you blame us? The Mavericks have had no answer for the Spurs. They’ve
beaten DOMINATED the Mavericks over the last two-plus season, winning NINE straight games in the process.
“There’s no chance.” “We’re lucky to win a game.” “Let’s just focus on the offseason.” Plus much, much, much more negativity due to the thought of facing the Spurs. We were hoping for the Oklahoma City Thunder. A great team, yes, but a team we believed we had a chance against to at least make it interesting.
Yet, we got stuck with the Spurs.
You know what? Bring them on.
Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Devin Harris, Vince Carter, DeJuan Blair, Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Rick Carlisle, Mark Cuban, and the rest of the Mavericks aren’t going to back down. Why should we?
No matter what the numbers, common sense, and my brain tell me, I believe the Mavericks are going to win.
What do I got to lose? My credibility? Do I have any to lose?
We’ve seen upsets before. We’ve seen our very own Mavericks, who set a franchise record in wins, lose to the eighth seeded Golden State “We Believe” Warriors. We’ve even seen these Spurs lose to an eight seed in the first round as well, back in 2011 against the Grizzlies. Crazy things sometimes happen.
Early in the season I wrote on why Nowitzki gave the Mavericks hope for this season. He’s delivered, and I’m counting on him to deliver again this postseason. Nowitzki has, is, and will always be one of the fiercest competitors we’ve ever seen. I know basketball isn’t a one man sport, but if any 35-year-old is up for this challenge, I’m sure it’s the Big German.
Let’s not forget about Carlisle. Yes, Greg Popovich is probably one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, but if any coach can give him a run for his money in today’s NBA, it’s got to be the Jim Carrey look-alike, right?
There’s no denying that the Spurs are a fine-tuned machine, but we can hope that a gear, screw, or nut comes loose. Maybe the aliens from Space Jam will pay the Spurs a visit and take away their talent? Who knows, Tim Duncan may decide at the beginning of this series that he wants to end his career as a point guard. Manu Ginobili could decide he wants to start shooting right-handed. Boris Diaw and Tony Parker may want to focus on frogging instead of basketball. Who knows!
All seriousness, I know this is as close to an un-winnable series as we’ve ever endured. The Mavericks are going to have to show us plenty that we haven’t seen from them this season. They’re going to have to be able to defend, contest shots, and rebound ten times better than they have all season. Monta Ellis can’t afford to take any shots that cause us to curse him out. Jose Calderon can’t pump fake three times before deciding to shoot. Vince Carter can’t foul a freaking shooter. Samuel Dalembert won’t make me want to punch a hole in the wall after he commits a stupid foul or fumbles an easy pass. Oh, and we’ll need Shawn Marion to play some 2011 defense and take care of the freaking ball.
I know it’s hard to be a Mavericks fan right now. The next week or so (hopefully longer) will be tough. I’m hoping we don’t see blood, but as long as the Mavericks are playing, I’m rooting and believing as if we’re the favorite to win.
Can’t overlook the fact that Nowitzki won’t be around forever. Take every advantage to enjoy and cheer him and his team on while we can.
I’m a Mavericks fan for a reason, and just because our backs are up against the wall doesn’t mean I’m going to jump ship. As I previously said, as long as the Mavericks are fighting and giving it their all, I’m going to do the same.
Mavericks are going to beat the Spurs.
GO MAVS! #MFFLStrong