Remember the fun times we had last season? Just not having to endure Darren Collison or Mike James bringing the ball up and seeing smart basketball being played was such a joy. I know I enjoyed myself, so much so that even making the playoffs felt like a bonus. And then the San Antonio series happened and that pushed last season into ‘unqualified success’ territory. All feels were good, and even the negatives didn’t seem like they mattered too much.
I’m sure we’ll still have many fun moments. The offense was amazing last season, despite having two ‘offensive afterthoughts’ starting in Marion and Dalembert. With the addition of Parsons and the return of Tyson Chandler alley-oop finishes, the offense has every chance of being the best in the league. Just ask LeBron.
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The defense, the one big negative of last season, should be much better too. I loved Calderon, but he was a sieve on defense, and the Jameer/Devin combination should do much better in containing opposing guards. Tyson is back to swat everything into the stands and organize things from the back. Jury’s still out on whether Parsons can produce a reasonable facsimile of what Marion did, but at the very least he has the athletic tools to do the job.
But you know what all this means? It means no more fun and games. It’s time to get serious in the business of winning games and gunning for another championship. No more being happy with scraping into the 8th seed and no more being happy with exciting offense at the expense of porous defense. When a team goes out and gets the players the Mavs did, nothing matters but the title now.
Will this make things less enjoyable? Well, the losses will sting much more. You think those losses to the Clippers and the Nuggets last season sucked? If they happen again you’ll smash your remote right into your TV this time (and wreck both, instead of just the remote).
But you know what’ll make those disappointments easier to take? All the freakin’ Ws.
Let’s go Mavs!