Mavericks President of Basketball Operations and GM Donnie Nelson spoke with ESPN's Ian Fitzsimmons after Game 5 of the NBA Finals and spoke about his feelings after the big win.
This [NBA Finals] series has to be one of the tops, just from all the storylines. This is a gut-buster. You absolutely don't know with five minutes left, I mean it's anybody's game. And it seems like every game is like that. But what special performances we had tonight, really on both ends. The boys found a way to pull it off.
This was the biggest game in the history of this franchise. If we don't win this game tonight, it's a tough get down there. Now we've got a swing at two of them, and we've got to come up with one.
Nelson and Mark Cuban have almost entirely rebuilt the Mavericks after losing the 2006 NBA Finals to the Heat. Only Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry remain. The team's depth has been tested, as Rodrigue Beaubois could not return from a broken foot to find a rotation spot, the team lost Caron Butler for the season in January, and Brendan Haywood has been lost with a hip problem.
Here's Brian Cardinal, The Custodian, who doesn't see the light of day for the entire playoffs. All of the sudden he's playing significant minutes and really giving us a nice lift and giving Dirk some rest. But, man, there are so many plays - the Tyson Chandler offensive foul when he took the charge, that was a huge play. How about Jason Kidd's three? They don't get much bigger than that.
Listen to the entire interview here.