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When asked how he envisioned game six of the NBA finals turning out, Tyson Chandler responded, "It would be a nice blur because there's going to be a lot going on in this game tonight."
A blur. The season, the playoffs, the finals. All a blur.
The Dallas Mavericks are NBA champions.
It seems fitting that this Mavericks season would end as a blur. It began with re-signing of Dirk Nowitzki on July fifth. Then followed by the franchise altering acquisition of Tyson Chandler on July 13th. And little did we know, in the span of eight days, the Mavericks would change their course forever.
The Mavericks would finish the off-season without making another significant addition to their squad. No splashes necessary. As the season approached, you heard the talk about the 22 year old shooting guard, Rodrigue Beaubois, entering the starting lineup and being the difference maker that could vault the Mavericks back into title contention. Beaubois would break his foot in early August and struggle to make an impression late in the season only to be relegated to the bench come playoff time.
They saw their supposed Robin to Dirk's Batman, Caron Butler, rupture his patellar tendon on New year's day. He would never play another game the rest of the season.The Mavericks again decided to stand pat and rather than trade Butler's expiring contracting, they simply added two more scrappy pieces on the free agent market. Peja Stojakovic and Corey Brewer. Both one dimensional, both served a purpose. Stojakovic's offensive threat was a much needed weapon throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs and Brewer's defensive spark in game one against the Lakers gave a glimpse into the magical run the Mavericks were about to embark on.
The other pieces would compliment the Mavericks just as well. Jason Kidd would provide the unfaltering leadership and calming influence the Mavericks severely lacked in their 2006 quest. Shawn Marion, the rare defensive stopper the Mavericks had never had. Jason Terry, the clutch shooting that disappeared in 2006. J.J Barea, the offensive spark plug the likes of which we've seldom seen in the NBA. Brendan Haywood, the center depth this team has never seen in it's history. And Stevenson provided the crazy. As Charles Barkley would say, "every team needs a crazy guy." Stevenson was our crazy guy and we love him for that.
Led by their magical stalwart, Dirk Nowitzki. Hammered for the last 13 years, as he put it, finally being able to call himself a champion. He endured the hardships and the scrutinies that come with being a franchise player and simply worked harder. Got better. And finally, this year, became more vocal. Began to not only lead by example but held guys accountable. Made sure they stayed focused at all times. After blowing the 23 point lead to the Blazers, Nowitzki was the first person to speak in the locker room. He needed to. He had to. This was not slipping away. Not this year. Not a chance. The Mavericks would return to win game five in Dallas and close the series out in Portland in six. The rest was history.
I can only speak for myself, but I can not imagine being happier for a single athlete than I am for Dirk right now.
Humble, charismatic, guarded and now, finally, champion.
All you can do is smile.
Along with all of the other 2006 demons to be exorcised, Laura Miller’s gaffe can be retired into history, rather than being a still-current curse. Miller, of course, made the mistake of announcing parade plans with Dallas up 2-0 in the finals. They would go on to lose four straight. It was Miami, in fact, that jumped the gun this time.
With the championship safely in hand, though, Dallas can now begin planning their parade in earnest. City officials disclosed Sunday night that the parade will take place some time during the week of June 20. And, hey, they probably still have those 2006 plans.
The date hasn’t been set yet, but the event “will likely take place the week of June 20th” according to city spokesman Frank Librio and could end at the Mavs home, the American Airlines Center.
We’ll obviously keep you posted as more details are announced.
The Dallas Mavericks are NBA Champions, and a large part of that is thanks to Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki was rewarded with his excellent performance on Sunday night, not only winning the NBA Title, but winning the NBA Finals MVP award as well.
Nowitzki wasn't at his finest on Sunday night in Game 6, going 9-27 from the field, including 1-7 from beyond the arc, for 21 points. Nowitzki did add 11 rebounds, though, good for a double-double in a series clinching game.
Nowitzki has been excellent all throughout the NBA Playoffs, and has at times carried the Mavericks on his back. Nowitzki scored 27 in the Game 1 loss to the Heat before responding with 24 points - including the decisive basket in the waning seconds of Game 2 to even the series at a game a piece.
Nowitzki followed that up with 34 points in the Game 3 loss to the Heat, missing a game-tying bucket as time expired.
Dirk then came back with a double-double in Game 4 as the Mavs tied the series up, scoring 21 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Nowitzki then added a team high 29 points in the all-important Game 5 win that gave the Mavericks a 3-2 series lead.
The Finals MVP for Dirk is well deserved, and is a capstone on one of the greatest careers in NBA history.
Let that sink in.
The Mavericks concluded their improbable run to the NBA Title, closing out the Heat in six games on Sunday night. Jason Terry was key for the Mavericks in the Game 6 win, scoring 27 points off the bench and going +12 in his time on the court.
The Mavericks' offense was also shooting well once again, shooting 50% from the field (41-82). Dallas' defense held Miami to 47.2% shooting (34-72), but the Heat struggled from the free throw line, going 20-33 from the line.
LeBron James went -24 in his time on the court, scoring 21 points while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out six assists. James also had six turnovers - a team high.
Dallas' defense also mystified Dwyane Wade, who was a meager 6-16 shooting from the field, including 0-4 from three point range.
Maybe Wade and James would have been better served practicing rather than coughing.
Dirk Nowitzki, who has been the key cog for the Mavericks, was off tonight, starting the game 1-12 shooting. Nowitzki found his groove later in the game, though, and finished 9-27 for 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Mavericks were the popular upset pick for the first round of the playoffs, but they managed to move on and defeat the Portland Trail Blazers.
Then, the Mavericks were supposed to lose to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavs swept them.
But then the Mavericks were supposed to lose to the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder. Not so much.
Finally, the big three of James, Wade and Chris Bosh were supposed to walk all over the older Mavericks, but once again, the Mavericks thwarted them, and claimed their first ever NBA Title.
Enjoy, Mavericks fans.
The Dallas Mavericks are up by nine points at the end of the third quarter in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Dallas leads Miami 81-72 and are now just a quarter away from their first ever NBA title.
The Mavericks outscored the Heat by seven points in the third quarter, 28-21.
Dallas has done an excellent job limiting the effectiveness of LeBron James, as James is an almost unbelievable -20 in this time on the floor.
Dallas also hung in there while head coach Rick Carlisle opted to keep Nowitzki on the bench as the quarter waned down. Hopefully the rest does Nowitzki well as he gears up for what could be the most important quarter of his career as the Mavericks look to close out the Heat and claim their first-ever NBA championship.
Jason Terry continues to lead the Mavericks in scoring with 21 points as the game heads into the fourth and final quarter of play.
Dallas survived a ridiculous Miami run that saw the Heat go on a 14-0 tear before technical fouls slowed down the momentum headed into a timeout.
The fact that Dallas has a lead at halftime isn't terribly surprising - but the fact that they have a lead with their best player shooting so poorly is. Dirk Nowitzki is 1-12 from the field and is 1-1 from the free throw line for a paltry three points. Nowitzki, though, does have five rebounds.
Jason Terry is leading Dallas' offensive attack with 19 points at the half. Terry is 8-10 from the field including 3-5 from beyond the arc.
LeBron James started off the game 4-4 shooting, but since has gone just 1-5. James has 11 points at the half to go along with three assists - and three turnovers. In James' 18 minutes on the floor, he is an astounding -11.
The Heat, though, do have an advantage in the foul department. James and Wade only have one foul each, and no other Miami starter has a foul. Nowitzki and Shawn Marion each have two for Dallas while Tyson Chandler already has three.
We'll see if the Mavericks can hold off the Heat in the second half and claim their first ever NBA title.
As expected, there's a bit of drama in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After Eddie House capped a 14-0 run by the Miami Heat, three technical fouls were handed out by the officials as the game went into a timeout.
ABC had cut away from the coverage live as Dallas had called a time out, but after consulting the replay monitors, the referees gave technical fouls to Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers of the Heat as well as DeShawn Stevenson for the Mavericks.
Stevenson appeared to have shoved Haslem out of the way en route to his bench, which Haslem took exception to. Chalmers came flying in like a bat out of hell to exacerbate things before both benches were eventually cleared in the brouhaha.
As with most sports "brawls", it was just a bunch of shoving and shouting.
Dirk Nowitzki went to the line to shoot one free throw, thanks to two of the technicals offsetting each other.
At the very least, the time it took to assign technical fouls helped cool Miami's momentum.
Dallas is once again shooting well. As a team, the Mavericks are shooting 61.9% (13-21), including 3-6 from three point range.
Jason Terry has provided a spark off the bench so far as well. Terry has nine points and a steal in just five minutes of play.
There is some bad news for the Mavericks, though. Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler both have picked up two fouls. Nowitzki came out after the second foul on him - matching his points total thus far. Nowitzki has two rebounds as well.
LeBron James started out 4-4 shooting, but has since missed his last three shots. James leads all Heat players with nine points and three assists after a quarter of play.
Dwyane Wade only has four points thus far as well, going 2-5 shooting.
The 32 points in the first quarter mark the highest point total in a quarter for either team this series.
Please note that Mavs Vs. Heat, Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals gets going an hour early tonight, at 8:00 EDT, 7:00 CDT since it’s Sunday night. ABC will have a 30-minute pregame, preceded by Jimmy Kimmel’s half hour Game 6 show starring Shaquille O’Neal and James Caan. Kimmel also has a blackjack bit.
NBA TV will pick up the coverage immediately after the game (unless there’s a ceremony of some kind, which I’m sure ABC would also carry) with their post game and then all of the press conferences. NBA, by the way, is showing the other finals games from now until ABC’s pregame.
After the game, if you’re in DFW, FSN SW has a special episode of Mavericks live from 9:30 to 10:30. Fox 4 has Sports Sunday at 10:00, NBC 5 has Out of Bounds at 10:30, CBS 11 has The Score at 10:35, and all of those will be all over the Finals. News 8 will have another Dale Hansen special at approximately 10:30, depending on when the game ends.
If the Mavericks do win, I’ll spend the late night hours taunting ESPN analysts from my living room, but you can catch more postgame and press conferences on NBA until about 5 p.m. Monday. Also, if you somehow fail to record the game, ESPN will show it again at 2:30 a.m. CDT.
The Dallas Mavericks are in position to clinch their first ever NBA title in franchise history on Sunday night when they take on the Miami Heat in Game 6, but what are the odds they actually do it?
Las Vegas as always has the answer.
The Miami Heat, thanks in large part to home court, are favored to win Game 6. Sportsbook, Oddsmaker, 5Dimes, Bodog and SBCGlobal all favor the Heat by four and a half points tonight.
The over/under for the game is 187.5 on Oddsmaker and 187 on Sportsbook, 5Dimes, Bodog and SBCGlobal. The series has been one based on defense, with the exception of Game 5, so the relatively low over/under isn't terribly surprising.
If you're betting simply on the winner and not with the spread, the Mavericks are +190 on Sportsbook, +180 on Oddsmaker, +200 on 5Dimes, +190 on Bodog, and +195 on SBCGlobal.
We'll see if the underdog Mavericks can continue to surprise and win their first ever NBA title tonight in Miami.
The Dallas Mavericks entered the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1980 and in their 31 seasons have piled up achievements, but there has always been a 'but' at the end of all of those achievements.
A series of good trades and draft picks helped fill their 1980s rosters with loads of talent. But they never saw lottery success, and tough decisions like Sam Perkins over Charles Barkley and Detlef Schremphf over Karl Malone (while still solid picks in their own rights) held them back from greatness.
They needed just four seasons to win their first playoff series, a Moody Madness inspired win over the same franchise - the Sonics/Thunder - that they overcame to clinch their second NBA Finals appearance this summer. But the Lakers were there in the semifinals to remind them who they were.
By 1988 they had climbed to the peak of the Western Conference hierarchy. But a devastating seven-game Western Conference Finals loss to those Lakers - their third loss to the Lakers in five seasons, all without ever winning on the Lakers' court - effectively ended their first run, along with the troubles of their most gifted player.
When they turned the page in the 90's, 22, 11, 13, 26 and 24 win seasons, though hard for fans to endure, put them in position to have the ping pong balls to draft potential front court greats like Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Chris Webber. But through all of those tough seasons they never won an NBA lottery. And even when the Mavericks found a fine trio of talents, Jamal Mashburn, Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd could not coexist and had to be broken up. Their exits back little in return - basically Michael Finley and several years of frustrating Shawn Bradley moments.
The arrival of Don Nelson in 1997 and subsequently his son Donnie in 1998 brought about the best off-the-court night in franchise history - the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki just minutes apart - and the arrival of new owner Mark Cuban in 2000 coincided with a dramatic turnaround on the court. Since the 2000-2001 season, with Cuban and at least one Nelson in charge, the Mavericks have won over 50 games 11 straight times - the third longest such streak in NBA history, and with one more they'll catch the 80's Lakers for second. The 80's Mavs won four playoff series in their run. These Nowitzki-led Mavs have already won 12. They've reached the conference finals three times and the NBA Finals twice. They won a franchise record 67 games in 2006-2007 - sixth most in NBA history. Dirk has won an MVP, and Avery Johnson has won Coach Of The Year.
But they collapsed in their 2006 Finals appearance. Their record setting 2007 season ended in an embarrassing first round, 8-seed over 1-seed loss to their old coach, Don Nelson.
Tonight in Miami, the Mavericks can end the sentence without a 'but' for the first time in franchise history. They can exorcise their 2006 demons and seal the legacies of Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Rick Carlisle. Every quality NBA veteran on this roster, including Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovic and Caron Butler could then call themselves NBA Champions. All of that could happen tonight, but it won't be easy.
They face a Heat team that is 9-1 at home in these playoffs, though that one loss did come at the hands of these Mavericks, and these Mavericks are a stellar 6-1 on the road since losing their first two in Portland. By some counts Miami had won eight or more NBA Titles before this season even began. The Heat have led them, sometimes by sizable margins, in each fourth quarter. Even after handing the Heat their first two-game losing streak of the playoffs, and even though they need just one win while the Heat need two, the Mavericks are still underdogs to win the series according to Las Vegas.
It won't be easy, but a win tonight would be as meaningful as a win can be to any franchise and in ending a 12-year championship drought it could be the most meaningful ever to Dallas-Fort Worth. Here's hoping. Go Mamricks and Take That With You.
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