In the new Throwback Thursday weekly post, we review Game 1 of the 1st round matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers in 2011.
The Dallas Mavericks have a lot of history with the franchise. Over the past 36 years, Mavericks teams have come in and out putting on a show or laying a dud for the crowd to see. It started at Reunion Arena when the franchise was first introduced to the NBA in 1980.
Years later, owners and coaches changed, players retired, and the team moved to what is now American Airlines Center. With all those changes have come struggles and frustrations, but also happiness and victory. Because of the storied past of the Dallas Mavericks, we here at The Smoking Cuban want to introduce a weekly post.
With that being said, here is the first of many Throwback Thursday posts to come. And what better way to start a new segment than opening with the first game on the road to the Dallas Mavericks lone championship in 2011.
The Mavericks had just finished the season as the 3 seed in the Western Conference and were matched up against the 6-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. The regular season matchup ended in a 2-2 split between the teams, showing that it was going to be a battle.
Game 1 was set to be played in Dallas and before the game even started, people were beginning to count Dallas out. The Mavs had not won a title despite great play the entire century up to that point and people were starting to believe in a curse.
Mavs players wanted to disprove that and this was the perfect stage to do so.
As far as individual player battles go, this game had two great ones. LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki were both All-Star power forwards looking for their first titles. Each was the best player on the team and the focal point for each respective offense.
Aside from them, each team had a starting veteran point guard to assist these All-Star players. For the Mavericks it was Jason Kidd who, at 38, was coming to a close in his career but wanted to play his final few years with a contender.
On the other side of the ball was Andre Miller. Miller had been a respectable, consistent point guard for many years and found a home in the starting lineup in Portland that suited his playstyle. Two veterans looking to capitalize on an opportunity made for an entertaining series.
The final score to the game was 89-81 in favor of the Mavericks. Dallas’ leading scorers were Dirk with 28 and Kidd with 24, while Portland was led by Aldridge with 27 and Miller with 18. Each team’s bench combined for 22 apiece.
Clearly this was an exciting game despite the low scores as Aldridge and Dirk battled it out down low while Kidd and Miller fought at the top of the key. Although this game was by no means the turning point for the eventual champions, it did get the Mavericks started in the right direction.
The Dallas Mavericks of course went on to win the series 4-2 in route to the 2011 NBA Championship. The Trail Blazers definitely gave them fits throughout the series but when the Mavs came out on top, people began to pay attention. And for good reason.