The dismantling of the Mavs is delayed another two days. The feud between Mark Cuban and Kenyon Martin's family lives to see another day. All that commotion behind the Nuggets' bench during Game 4 Monday night? Evidently, that was K-Mart's family being harassed by classy Mavs fans.
K-Mart exited the court after Dallas' series-extending victory shouting what most certainly were not pleasantries. I can only guess they were directed at Cuban.
But all that stuff is a sideshow. Two things jump out at me as this series moves to Denver for Game 5 Wednesday night.
One, Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke should thank the Mavs for extending the series another game. Another home playoff date equals another sellout crowd, lots of hot dogs, sodas, and beers sold at the concessions, and a free night of much-needed revenue.
Two, the Nuggets had better figure out how to close this series out Wednesday night without losing their cool. As I told Jason Horowitz earlier Monday, a Lakers-Nuggets conference finals is no sure thing for Kobe & Co. The Nugs are supremely talented, play underrated defense, have the kind of toughness under the basket that the Lakers lack as long as Andew Bynum remains invisible, and have Carmelo Anthony showing signs that he might be just as dangerous on the playoff stage as Kobe.
But the last thing Denver needs in a closeout game at home is to lose its composure. All it'll take is one flagrant foul -- and we all know how blurred that line as become -- to get somebody suspended for Game 1 of the conference finals.
So K-Mart & Co. need to leave their grudges with Cuban in Dallas. Forget about it. It's over. Focus on the game and what needs to be done to finish the series and keep it from going back to Dallas. And don't get anybody suspended for Game 1 against the Lakers.
There's a saying in sports journalism: When in doubt, be Dave Anderson, the venerable Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times. The Nuggets need to adopt a different form of that approach. When in doubt, be Chauncey Billups. This is why the Nuggets traded for Billups, because he knows how to close out teams and he knows how to win playoff series. Most importantly, he knows how to keep his composure in what has become a chippy, emotional, vindictive series.
Get it over with and keep your cool. Let the security guards keep your family safe, let the NBA deal with Cuban, and play your game.
Oh, and let your owner count all the free dollars that will flow into the bank by virtue of having to close this out at home. See, I'm an optimist at heart.