Monday, June 13, 2011


The Dallas Mavericks celebrate Sunday after winning their first-ever NBA title.

A decade of frustration—GONE.

The Dallas Mavericks finally celebrated their first title in team history when beat the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, 4-2.

For NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Dirk Nowitzki, he was the consistent factor for the Mavericks throughout the 2000s.

He helped Dallas achieve its greatest success since the mid-to-late 1980s, but the team was criticized for being soft and lacking on the defensive end.

The Mavericks endured their best seasons in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, but ended the seasons in heartbreaking fashion.

They lost the in the 2006 Finals to the Heat after holding a 2-0 lead and were upset by the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 Western Conference Quarterfinals after having the best record and Nowitzki winning the MVP with good players like Jason Terry helping him.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joined the team in 2008, but felt the pain that Nowitzki and Terry went through before this point.

“Dirk and Jet (Jason Terry) have had to live with those demons for five years,” Carlisle said. “And as of tonight, those demons are officially destroyed.”

All because of those past failures like these, few expected Dallas to get to this point. Some even tabbed the Mavericks as the upset pick in their first round matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“The whole world was telling us we were the one and done boys,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. “That we were going to get knocked out in the first round. This team had so much heart, so much determination and so much fortitude that you know what, I love every one of them.”

With that drive, Dallas battled throughout the playoffs.

The team shook off an embarrassing 23-point collapse in Game 4 of the Portland series to win in six games. They then swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the West Semifinals and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West Finals in five games to return to the NBA Finals.

The Mavericks gained respect, but Miami would be the favorite heading in to the Finals.

The Heat took care of Dallas in Game 1 with a 92-84 win and were seven minutes from holding a 2-0 lead until Dallas stormed back from 15 down to tie up the series as the Finals shifted to Dallas.

Miami took Game 3, but Carlisle made adjustments such as starting JJ Barea and putting Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi in the rotation. Those moves and Nowitzki having help in scoring allowed the Mavericks to win three straight to take the Finals.

The win finally gave players like Nowitzki and Terry the redemption and the ring they have longed for. Along with that, so are the nightmares of years past.

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