Mavericks Throwback Thursday: Dallas Gets Back To The Finals
By Brian Gosset
Dirk Nowitzki celebrates his basket against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter during Game 5 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas” width=”600″ height=”400″ />
ThrowBack Thursday- Dallas Mavericks 2011 Playoffs
In honor of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals, we take a look back memory lane for today’s edition of Throwback Thursday.
You could say that there is a rivalry between the Dallas Mavericks and the two teams fighting for this year’s Larry O’Brien trophy.
Surely, the Mavs and Spurs have a long history together and the Mavs and Heat have matched up in the Finals twice in the last decade, each winning once.
The 2010-11 season started like any other for the Mavericks, but it would be one to remember.
Tyson Chandler was the big fish Mark Cuban reeled in. The defensive-minded, former-Bull-Hornet-Bobcat, whatever you want to call him, brought the presence the Mavericks desperately needed for quite some time.
Dallas entered the 2011 postseason as the No. 3-seed in the West and would be first matched up with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Mavericks were well on there way to taking a 3-1 lead, but someone forgot to tell Dallas that Brandon Roy still plays for the Blazers.
Up as much as 23, and 18 in the fourth quarter, Roy helped rally Portland past Dallas and tie the series up.
Some thought, the Mavs were back to their old-playoff ways, but it turned out that the loss actually helped them in the long run. Dallas would use that going forward and never looked back, winning the series in six games.
Next up was the LA Lakers, the two-time defending champs. Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, the latter stating it would be his last season as coach.
The Mavericks came back from down 16 to stun the Lakers in Game 1. Dirk scored 28 points.
Dirk followed that performance with 24 in the Mavs’ Game 2 win.
Dallas returned home for Game 3, outscored the Lakers by 12 in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. Dirk scored 32.
The Mavs secured the sweep with one of the most dominating performances in playoff history in Game 4. Dallas knocked down 20 3-pointers in a 122-86 victory to knock out the champs.
It was off to the conference finals for the first time in five years…against the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder.
Nowitzki was absolutely magnificent against OKC. In Game 1, he dropped 48 as he went 12-of-15 from the floor and an NBA-record 24-of-24 from the line.
In Game 4, the Thunder were up 99-84 with 5:06 left and looking to tie the series at two.
He’s still Dirk Nowitzki…though, as he led a furious comeback to force overtime and take a 3-1 lead, scoring 40 points, 12 in the Mavs’ 17-2 run to force the extra period.
Nowitzki continued to score at will, leading the Mavs to a conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals, first since making it in 2006.
Dirk was no doubt, the unanimous Western Conference Finals MVP.
A return trip to the Finals versus no other than the Heat, who they faced in 2006….and of course the Big 3 (James, Wade, Bosh). The rest is history.
vs POR- 27.3 points, 7.8 rebs, 3.0 assists, 39 minutes, 45.2 percent FG, 44.4 percent 3pt, 89 percent FT
vs LAL- 25.3 points, 9.3 rebs, 2.5 assists, 38 minutes, 57.4 percent FG, 72.7 percent 3pt, 93.8 percent FT
vs OKC- 32.2 points, 5.8 rebs, 2.6 assists, 41 minutes, 55.7 percent FG, 96.7 percent FT