Are the Dallas Mavericks the Secret to Playoff Success?
The Dallas Mavericks have come up short year after year in the playoffs but are they helping other teams have success?
Since the championship run in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks have made the playoffs 4 out of the 5 years without ever advancing past the first round. This includes first round losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder twice (in 4 and in 5), the San Antonio Spurs (in 7), and the Houston Rockets (in 5).
All of these playoff losses have been heartbreaking and demoralizing as the Mavs faithful have been forced to watch Dirk Nowitzki fall short again and again as his body slowly falls victim to Father Time. But what is really interesting about these series is what happened in the rest of the playoffs.
With all that being said (and I apologize for bringing up something like this about the Mavericks), does Dallas have the secret to playoff success?
To clarify, over the last 6 years, the team that has won the first round series against Dallas has gone on to at least the Western Conference Finals. On two such occasions, the team has ended up winning the title (Dallas in ’11, and San Antonio in ’14). The Thunder went all the way to the Finals in 2012, and the Rockets and Thunder both reached the WCF, one of which could still move further on in the playoffs.
So are the Mavs actually helping their opponents advance or is it just a coincidence?
I personally tend to believe that Dallas is preparing their opponents for the next series of the playoffs. Dallas has been known as a team that will fight for every possession and work hard the whole time they’re on the court.
Ever since the 2011 Championship team, the Mavericks have been a group of rag-tag, one-year contract players who fill a roster spot but don’t necessarily scare the opponents. Yet despite that, we continue to make the playoffs each year and cause some major fits for the teams we play.
Much of this success comes from great coaching, while the rest can pretty much be attributed to the continued great play of Dirk in the playoffs. A lot of people will counter that most of these teams deserved the spot they got to in the playoffs, which is a fair argument but I don’t believe it.
It’s difficult to picture any scenario in which the Houston Rockets fight back from a 3-1 hole against a dangerous and determine Los Angeles Clippers team. Equally difficult to imagine is a young Oklahoma City team running all the way to the finals in a stacked western conference. And did I mention the 40-point loss in game 1 for the Thunder against the Spurs just this year?
Next: Which Free Agent Should Dallas Pursue?
Regardless of the cause of it all, it is still interesting to think about what could have been all these years. But instead of dwelling on the past, it is time for Mavs fans to look forward to the future and get excited about the upcoming offseason as well as next season. Let’s Go Mavs! (All stats per NBA.com).