Some things are worth waiting for.
Although I suppose that is something you have to wait for.
How poetic was it for Dallas?
1) Beating the team which caused you to go through misery for 5 years.
2) Over coming a deficit to turn the series around - just the way you let it all slip away 5 years ago.
3) Winning on the other team's home court, just the way they did to you.
4) Winning the whole thing when no one expected you.
Let's just say you couldn't script it any better.
Surely, coming back from a 15 point deficit with 7 minutes to go in game 2 was the turning point of this series. At this point it seems as if it was almost necessary for Dallas to win it all. One Final test.
No, the Mavs didn't win three in a row after that - they just won three out of four after that.
How did they do it?
Well, Dallas was a team on a mission that had a great player, shooters, and role players. But more importantly they believed in each other. They were a bunch of veterans that banded together and believed that they could accomplish their goal. So, why couldn't they win it all?
What I love most about them was their ability to tune everyone and everything out and simply focus on themselves. To focus on the task at hand. And with the NBA playoffs being two months long, that was no easy task. It seems improbably and even irrational that Dallas is the 2011 NBA champions. Why? Let's be real, NO ONE picked them to win it all this year.
But as I eluded to earlier - belief itself can be irrational.
Although it can also be empowering.
It's the type of thing that allows you to openly state that you are desperate to get back to the Finals and that your career won't be complete without a title, as Dirk did. It's also the type of thing that enables you to get a tattoo of the NBA championship trophy on your right bicep before the season starts, the way Jason Terry did (Yes this is the 3rd time I have mentioned this, but the shear audacity of it merits multiple mentions). And because of that, Dallas just kept on coming, no matter what people said (they would lose in the first round), no matter who they faced (Lakers, Heat), and no matter the deficit. You won't find many forces more formidable.
Additionally, they had a star on their team that was just as good - if not better - than any of the three stars on Miami. Actually, a star just as good - if not better - as any in the NBA.
Dirk Nowitzki, who everyone said wasn't clutch and couldn't perform in the playoffs just two months ago, out lasted everyone en route to Finals MVP. He also happened to be the most clutch performer in these playoffs. He almost single handed won two games in the Finals for the Mavs, games that they had no business winning. And because of that, instead of Miami being up 3-1 or even sweeping - which they legitimately could have done - the series was tied 2-2. And that was really all the Mavs shooters, such as Terry and Barea, needed to catch fire for the last two games and bring it home.
The truth is that once Dirk paved the way in Dallas' first two wins, the rest on the calvary came through.
Not to mention the fact that Dirk played with torn tendon in his left middle finger, or that he played with a 101 fever in game 4. That just makes his performance in these Finals legendary.
But think about all of the moves and events Dallas went through in the last 5 years.
The Collapse in '06.
Losing in the first round as a 1 seed in '07
Not making it past the second round till this year.
How about the trade Dallas made for Jason Kidd 4 years ago, back when he was young and spry at 34 years of age. They traded a young Devin Harris, who became an all-star with the Nets the following year. And just when it looked like that move wouldn't pay dividends, look at how Kidd, at 38 years of age, was able to keep up with the likes of Russel Westbrook and Dwayne Wade on the defensive end. And what about the leadership and stability he provided for Dallas, as opposed to Mario Chalmers - who made some big shots in these Finals but also made some questionable plays (like not passing it to LeBron on a fastbreak in the 4th last night to potentially cut Dallas' lead to 5). Not to mention Kidd's clutch threes he hit in games 5 & 6.
How about the trade last year for Caron Bulter, who was injured most of the year, but also landed Deshawn Stevenson - who shot 57% from three in the finals.
How about Shawn Marion? Who averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds in the Finals. Not to mention "holding" LeBron in check (but let's be real, LeBron really held himself in check).
Or how about getting their championship pedigree from Tyson Chandler, who won a gold medal at the world championships last summer. How about the defensive swag he brought to Dallas?
What about Barea? Who had 15 points and 5 assists on 7-12 shooting last night. Did you see that move he put on Edie House in the 4th quarter to knock down a three? This guy is the smallest player on the court and literally was a difference maker for the Mavs in several games this post-season.
And what about Jason Terry. My goodness, what about Jason Terry?
Who had 27 points last night on 11-16 shooting. Not to mention having 19 points in the first half (yeah that came in handy with Dirk going 1-12 in the first half). He averaged 18 for the Finals on 49% shooting, not bad considering this guy doesn't really take high percentage shots. Think about it this way, thats more points than LeBron averaged and half a point less than Chris Bosh.
Half the time he seems crazy, all of the time he is hilarious, but something tells me thats what allows him to perform at a high level.
Looking back now, all of these moves and events served a purpose for the Mavs.
The Dallas Mavericks are a lesson in perserverance. What they have accomplished is certainly a rarity, a championship team with only one bona fide super star. But they are a lesson as to what can be accomplished by sticking together and believing in yourself and one another. Sometimes thats all you need.
They are the 2011 NBA champions.
Good for them.
They Deserve it.