Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 NBA Finals: The Dallas Mavericks Are Champions

The Dallas Mavericks exercised the demons that had been hanging around since 2006. They did something most of the basketball world didn't think they could do.

Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, Left To Right, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry And Shawn Marion Celebrate
Photo courtesy: Associated Press

They got past the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in sweeping fashion and they took down the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder to get one more shot at a team who had shocked them in the finals just five years ago.

When you're facing a team which boasts the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, there aren't a lot of people who will pick against them. Especially not in the NBA Finals.

But leave it to Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Kidd, and others to come into this series with the biggest chip on their shoulder. No one outside of their own fans expected them to hang around. There were even some who expected a Miami Heat sweep.

The two teams would split the first four games, the margin of victory never getting more than eight points. But when Dallas pulled out a nine point win in game five at home in Dallas, there was a feeling around the metroplex that the momentum the Mavericks had would be too much for the Miami Heat to overcome.

It didn't matter the series was shifting back to South Beach and the American Airlines Center. It didn't matter LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were returning to their home court and their home fans to try and win back-to-back games to, once again, steal the series from the Mavericks.
The way this Dallas team was playing, the doubters were even beginning to change their minds.

The Dallas Mavericks Celebrate Defeating The Miami Heat 105-95 In Game 6 To Win The NBA Finals On June 12, 2011 At The
Photo courtesy: Getty Images

Game six was unlike any game of the series so far. Dirk came out ice cold, hitting one of his first 12 shot attempts and sitting most of the first quarter with two quick fouls.

But even though their star couldn't hit the broad side of the barn, another Mavs star stepped up and made sure that on this night his team was not going to lose.

Coming off the bench, Terry would score a game high 27 points, hitting 11 of his 16 shot attempts including 3-of-7 from three point range. He couldn't have played a better game when his team needed him the most. Not only did he hit the game clinching three in game five at home, but he was lights out in game six and at times seemed like he wasn't going to miss all night long.

When the final buzzer sounded and the Mavericks were able to celebrate, Nowitzki disappeared into the locker room to steal a moment for himself. A player who had given it everything he had and had put this team on his back with some of the most gutsy performances in NBA Finals history, needed to regain his composure and let out the emotions that were a long time coming.

This was a team effort from start to finish. Dirk hit some big shots for the Mavericks but without big shots from Terry, Stevenson, and others, there would be no celebration for this team and for this town.

Even the morning after, the metroplex is still buzzing about the events of Sunday night. Is this real? Did this team really win an NBA Championship?

Dirk Nowitzki (C) Of The Dallas Mavericks Celebrates
Photo courtesy: Getty Images

When the team returns home and lands at Dallas Love Field sometime around 11am on Monday morning, they will be carrying a brand new shiny trophy down the jetway.

At that moment, Maverick fans will know just how real this ride was.

Their baseball team, the Texas Rangers, came oh so close in 2010. This time they will be able to celebrate the first major championship since the Dallas Cowboys won their last Super Bowl back in 1995.

But for some, this title is the sweetest of them all.

The Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions for the first time in franchise history. This is a title that will never be taken from this group of guys. This is a title these players and this town can be proud of.

This one was earned.

No comments:

Post a Comment