The failures and shortcomings of past years make for good pregame fodder when it comes to the Mavericks. This is a franchise that for all of its success over the last decade has always flamed out in the postseason.
Some losses have been harder than others to deal with. Any questions that remain about Dirk Nowitzki stem from those playoff disappointments.
As much as those losses stay with Nowitzki and many of the Mavs, Rick Carlisle said there's no sense reliving history now.
"We're immersed in the moment," Dallas' coach said. "That's talk that has gone on for years."
Carlisle did admit that having a team full of ring-less veterans should serve as motivation. Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry have all played in the NBA Finals. Peja Stojakovic, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion have been on teams that made deep playoff runs.
"The fact that we had guys close to the next step and tantalizing close to the next step should be reason enough," Carlisle said.
That next step is the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat in a rematch of 2006, when the Heat won in six games. Miami will have the home-court advantage because it had a 58-24 record during the regular season compared to the Mavericks' 57-25.
MAVERICKS 100, THUNDER 96: Dirk Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 left to give Dallas a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The Mavs fought back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to wrap up the best-of-seven Western Conference finals in five games. Nowitzki and Shawn Marion each had 26 points for Dallas, which won despite being outrebounded and shooting 41 percent.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.