Some site I had never heard of until yesterday has called the Dallas Mavericks “Oklahoma City’s Warmup.” I will concede the fact that we are the heavy, heavy underdogs and nobody is expecting anything from Dirk Nowitzki and friends during this Western Conference first round series.
But seriously, a “warmup?” Yes, OKC won all four regular season meetings and has dominated this matchup since Dallas defeated them 4-1 in the 2011 Western Conference Finals, but it’s a bit insulting to give no more than the roll of eyes to to a team coached by Rick Carlisle.
With Carlisle at the helm and Nowitzki making Father Time his personal b……utler, there’s no counting out the Mavericks. Even though most are and as reasoned above it’s not impossible to blame them.
After all, Dirk is indeed 37 years old. The team’s second leading scorer, Deron Williams is nursing a Sports Hernia. The team’s third leading scorer, Chandler Parsons, is not going to play in the series after knee surgery.
Zaza Pachulia will need to be 2015 Zaza Pachulia. Wesley Matthews will need to hit shots and defend like he’s never done before and the supporting cast’s main helpers are J.J. Barea (also nursing a groin injury) and rookie Justin Anderson. Rookie. Mavericks. Rookie.
In the lockout shortened season following the magic that was 2011, Dallas faced the Thunder in Round One and were swept convincingly after a not so convincing start.
Though the series ended 4-0 and I tweeted my first potty word, Game One came down to the final 1.5 seconds when Kevin Durant hit an improbably, flat out lucky shot over the arms of Shawn Marion to beat Dallas 99-98.
That was a Dallas team stripped of most its parts in Year One of the free agent chase, and they almost took a 1-0 lead…on the road…against the 2-seeded Thunder.
It’s an uphill climb, but it’s all about The Climb right Miley?
Dallas likes to try and outscore OKC, which isn’t what you’re supposed to do but the Mavs just don’t have the collective assets to try and successfully contain Durant or Russell Westbrook.
In my preview, as seen in our Mavs Fanatic Playoff Roundtable, I said just as much which proves I’m not a liar.
Nobody is giving the Mavericks a chance against the Thunder. But we were the “One and Done Boys” turned NBA Champions in 2011. The Dallas Mavericks are always more than meets the eye, and we’ll be holding our collective #MFFL breaths hoping for the best as Round One gets started tonight in Oklahoma City.
I want to believe, I really do. So I will.
Let’s. Go. Mavs. #Win16