Dallas Mavericks

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NBA: This is the Year, but Who’s Year?

The Miami Heat this year are once again poised to win it all. The Heat have the best record in the Eastern Conference and are playing up to the level everyone expected. The Miami Heat look like a team that can make a deep playoff run and win the whole NBA Championship. Lebron James could very well achieve his first NBA Championship this year.

Hold on though, the road will not be easy. I am not even sure that the Heat will make it out of the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls playing well and the emergence of the “new look” New York Knicks. I might even say that the Miami Heat may have had their best chance to obtain a Championship ring last season. While the Heat are not a pushover by any means, many teams are adjusting to their style of play. In addition, other teams are constructing their own Championship caliber rosters to challenge the Miami Heat.

Who wins the Eastern Conference this year?

The Dallas Mavericks can of course cause some trouble for the Miami Heat if they see them again in the NBA Finals. The San Antonio Spurs could pose some interesting matchups for the Miami Heat and may be able to pull off a miracle similar to the Dallas Mavericks improbable playoff run last year. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder could very well not only be a challenge for the Heat but be one of the only teams that can prevent the Heat from reaching their goal for a second consecutive year.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two of the most dominant scorers in the game. Serge Ibaka is a defensive force in the middle and James Harden may very well be the new Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson. The Miami Heat will have their work cut out for them if they see the Thunder in the NBA Finals. I am confident that the Thunder will have no problem finishing games this year.

We know which one has proven to be more clutch….

Kevin Durant is as clutch as they come when the game is on the line. Give Durant any sort of room and he will shoot “the dagger” that will put the game out of reach any time. On the other side we have Lebron James who has still yet to prove that he can finish important games. If James has a meltdown in the 4th quarter during playoff games like last year, the Miami Heat will have a hard time even making the NBA Finals. In addition, once the Miami Heat make the Finals, if Lebron James is still having the same issue, the curtain could fall on the Miami Heat show again.

It is a distinct possibility that the Miami Heat will lose in the playoffs again this year, and everyone will say the experiment has failed. The Miami Heat will have tried to bringing players with phenomenal talent together without the teamwork needed to be successful. If Lebron James does not win this year can he truly keep the name “King” James? All the kings I have ever read about have crowns and Lebron James will be lacking one. Maybe Lebron James will need to take on a new moniker. I am voting for “Knight” James until Lebron James can prove that he can deliver at least one of the many promised rings to South Beach.


Christmas Weekend: NFL Football and NBA Basketball The Perfect Present

Well it is the season to be jolly, Christmas Day is almost here, and we get a double treat. We will not only have NFL football on Saturday but also finally we will have the start of the official NBA season on Sunday. I have to admit it will be nice to have two days filled with sports. It will also be good that we will not have to choose which sport to watch. We can see all the NFL action on Saturday and then watch all the NBA games on Sunday.

For the NFL, this is usually the week that NFL playoff-bound teams start to rest players. However, this year no teams have the luxury of actually having everything wrapped up like a good present. Some teams have clinched their playoff spot but each of these teams is now fighting for home field advantage. This is good news for football fans as every team will be still playing their starters, which means great football action for fans.

One of the games NFL fans will want to keep an eye on is between the Denver Broncos  and the Buffalo Bills.Denver should win this game as Buffalo is playing awful lately. When Denver does win the Broncos will clinch a playoff spot. I am looking for some more Tebow heroics that were missing from last week’s game. Another game that any football fan will love is the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams are on a hot streak and the game Saturday should be a shootout with huge playoff implications. Vick versus Romo should be a very interesting matchup. Both quarterbacks have had their ups and downs this year. However, We should get their best effort on Saturday because so much is riding on this one game.

The last NFL football game that I will say is must see television this Christmas weekend is the Detroit Lions versus the San Diego Chargers. Both teams have won big games this past weekend and each team is looking to claim a playoff spot. This game should be one of the best air shows around with two explosive offenses. Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson on one side of the field, Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson on the other side of the field, I am anticipating at least a few spectacular catches and touchdown celebrations. We may slow down a bit from all of good food over the holidays but Football is still going strong and in full swing.

On the NBA side of things, Christmas Day should be full of the first NBA action of the season. The majority of the first NBA games include teams from last seasons NBA playoffs. The Celtics and the Knicks will play and we can see if the Boston Celtics “Big Three” still has another playoff run in them. The Knicks on the other hand should have some better chemistry this year after being together for a year.

The Bulls and Lakers were the teams that most people thought would be in last year’s NBA finals. The on the court battle between Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose is always entertaining to watch. Even though Kobe has an injured wrist, I doubt that will keep him off the court. Injury has never stoppd Kobe Bryant before and Sunday will be no different. We should see one of the best guard battles all year long.

The “new look” Clippers take on the Golden State Warriors. I am not too excited to see the Warriors but with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin now on the Clippers I will be glued to the television set to see the show. Chris Paul throwing the ball to Blake Griffin an alley-oop should become a normal occurrence all year long. Showtime this season may have shifted from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The next game features the Orlando Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Orlando Magic still are hoping disgruntled star Dwight Howard will decide to stay, but I believe the Magic are pulling at straws. Dwight Howard has already checked out and is just going through the motions. This game has everything in place to become a blowout. Kevin Durant will of course bring his best game and start the year off impressing us all again.

The most anticipated game of Christmas Day will be the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks and the Heat played one of best finals series in NBA history last year and this year both teams have improved their rosters. The game should bring back all the memories of the Finals last year and will hopefully have the kind of ending that will make our Christmas Day even more memorable. Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, taking the floor against Dirk Nowitzki and company is always a crowd-pleaser. I am excited for all the games Christmas Day but a NBA finals rematch is definitely worth watching.

Christmas weekend should be one to remember for the holiday celebration but also because it will be one of the best sports weekend of the year. I am ready to celebrate the reason for the season for Christmas and the reason why we love sports. Merry Christmas to one and all!

Josh Howard Celebrity Football Weekend at Wake–7/30

Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Josh Howard’s Celebrity Football Game in Winston at Wake Forest University. Gathered there to raise funds for the Josh Howard Foundation which frequently gives back to communities of Dallas, D.C. and Winston (hometown) were a few of Josh Howard’s celebrity friends. The event was hosted by Winston’s 102 Jams personality–Bdaht. Our roll call included a down-to-earth Chanita Foster of Football Wives, a boppin’ Basketball Wives Royce, and BET’s Alesha Renee. Alongside were also a host of handsome, bodacious football and basketball athletes. Take a look.

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The Heart of a Champion

The Mavericks were crowned NBA Champions as they finished the Heat off on Sunday. It was a great series to watch and renewed the NBA excitement for some people. Dirk Nowitzki proved he is a true all star. The Heat proved talent can only take a team so far. A team needs teamwork and mental toughness. The Mavericks had both with a conglomeration of players that were considered past their prime.

Dirk Nowitzki was the leader, but every person on the team chipped in. Shawn Marion found energy he didn’t have since his days as a Phoenix Sun. Jason Kidd proved why he is going in the Hall of Fame. J.J. Barea delivered an offensive spark at many needed times throughout the Mavericks playoff run. Brian Cardinal became a household name as the announcers mentioned his college nickname, “The Custodian”, many times. Jason Terry had fans talking about he is the new version of Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson.  The story of the Dallas Mavericks is a feel good story that any serious or casual basketball fan can fall in love with.

Everything was against the Mavericks being successful and the team managed to overcome every obstacle put in front of them. Watching the Dallas Mavericks was like watching a hero in a movie taking on villain. The villain in this series and basically all season long was the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat became the villain when their confidence became arrogance. Stating how many championships your team will win without ever playing a game is like a big slap in the face to every other team in the league.

Lebron James was the most vocal one of the Miami Heat, “Big Three”. James turned the majority of the public against him not only by his move to broadcast “The Decision”, but also by his attitude throughout the whole year. I have often said pride and arrogance will destroy people who have great potential and Lebron James is no different. It was apparent, in the Playoff Finals; Lebron James thought he should be dominating every Dallas Maverick player guarding him. James face showed shock every time he missed a shot or did not get a foul call his way. With every mistake Lebron James became more frustrated and confidence faltered. By the time the fourth quarter of each game rolled around there was no coming out of the hole; Lebron James had built for himself. I am confident more people were happy to see King James fail, rather than the people actually happy for the Mavericks.

The majority of people did not want to see the Miami Heat win and about ninety percent of the reason was due to Lebron James being on the team. The Miami Heat “Big Three” came together because they believed that they would win a Championship this year.  They were confident that no team would be able to stop a team with their talent. When the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated, the Heat believed that this year would be the year they win it all. The Miami Heat were wrong.

The NBA Finals Are Upon Us…Well Almost

It’s official the Dallas Maverick have finally done it. They are officially the Western Conference Champions of the NBA. It is no surprise that the Dallas Mavericks were able to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. The Mavericks won the series 4-1 and proved they are a team that deserves a shot at winning a Championship. The Mavericks clearly had the best player on the floor in Dirk Nowitzki.

The Thunder could not contain Nowitzki, he scored anytime he wanted to. When Oklahoma City did foul him, Nowitzki knocked down free throws unconsciously. I do not see a true weakness in Dirk Nowitzki’s game. He is seven foot tall and it is almost impossible to block his shot, because of his height and length. He often shoots off balance or off one foot and makes the majority of those shots. Dirk Nowitzki even is a great three point shooter and teams have to guard him out at the three point line. He is truly a player who cannot be guarded well.

It is almost a lock that the Dallas Mavericks will be playing the Miami Heat in the next series. The Heat have three all stars who can take over a game in Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The Miami Heat have surprised many people by dominating each of their playoff series. Normally, I would say that the Mavericks would have almost no shot beating the Heat. However, after seeing the Mavericks handle the Lakers, I believe they may actually have a good shot to upset the Heat.

The Heat have not had an opponent that has a similar lineup to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are definitely the best three point shooting team the Miami Heat have faced. They have three of the best three point shooters in NBA League history in Peja Stojakovic, Jason Terry, and Dirk Nowitzki. In addition, Jason Kidd has developed into a nice three point shooter as well. Moreover, Dirk Nowitzki still has all the intangibles that we mentioned earlier in this post. The Miami Heat have their work cut out for them.

I am not by any means saying that the Miami Heat is not an equally talented team. I am saying that the series is not going to be as lopsided as some people may think. I actually think the series will go the full seven games. The series will be a battle of the Miami Heat’s Big Three versus Dirk Nowitzki and the bench of the Dallas Mavericks. King James could have his first royal coronation or Dirk Nowitzki can solidify his legacy. The series is not an easy one to declare a winner but will be one of the most, if not the most exciting series of the NBA Playoffs.

The Oklohoma City Meltdown

Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Dallas Mavericks.Oklahoma City needed to win last night to tie up the series at 2-2. Dallas wanted to win to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Oklahoma City coming into the game had not lost back to back games all post season. Destiny was supposed to be on the Oklahoma City Thunder’s side.

Of course, Destiny is very fickle and sometimes changes sides. Oklahoma City came out on fire. The Thunder made their first 5 shots. Oklahoma City started the game out with all the fervor that everyone expected. The Thunder looked like a team that wanted to win and nothing was going to stop them.

Kevin Durant redeemed himself a little from his previous 7-22 performance from Saturday. Kevin Durant shot 9-22 last night, which was better than Saturday but not by much. The Dallas Mavericks ran constant double teams at Durant and limited the number of good shots he could take. Russell Westbrook did not fare much better as he went 7-22 of the field. The Oklahoma City role players played exceptionally well though. Nick Collison, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, and James Harden all had good games. Due to the play of their role players the Oklahoma City Thunder was able to build a good lead. The Thunder had a lead of 15 points with five minutes left in the 4th quarter and then it happened.

Dirk Nowitzki turned on his second gear. Nowitzki went on a run all on his own. He hit shot after shot to close the gap on the lead. It was amazing to watch as most of the shots were off balance and fade away shots. The Thunder tried everything they could muster to stop Dirk Nowitzki’s offensive onslaught. However, with each possession Oklahoma City looked more and more helpless to stop Nowitzki from scoring. The lead that was a 15 point lead with five minutes to go dwindled down to a shocking zero points all due to the game play of one player.

At the end of regulation, the Mavericks had a chance to win the game. Dallas failed to connect on the last second shot. The game went into overtime and was truly already over, before the first overtime possession. The Mavericks had taken the wind out of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s sails and the team looked lost. The Thunder looked as if they had no life or energy left. The team was shell shocked and they were not going to recover.

The dagger in overtime was a three point shot from Jason Kidd with 40.3 seconds left. The Thunder squandered their chances away to get a good shot. Kevin Durant attempted a long three pointer and the shot and fell short off the front of the rim. That shot was the last chance for the Thunder to try to tie the game up again. However, by this time the momentum was all on Dallas Maverick’s side. If the Thunder had gone into an additional overtime, the outcome would have been the same. The Thunder team had already given up.

The game was a good example of a team with no playoff poise. The Thunder did not know what to do when everything started to go south in a hurry. The team could not get into a rhythm or even run a play correctly.Oklahoma City can use the excuse they have a young team, but in reality the team just needs to learn what to do when things start to get out of control. The NBA Playoffs are all about handling the unexpected situations and momentum changes in a good way. The great teams persevere when the challenge presents itself. The good teams may and often times will fold when faced with adversity.

Last night Oklahoma City showed that they are a good team but lacking the qualities of a great team. No timetable is set for when Oklahoma City will reach the next level of being classified along with the elite teams. The fans can only hope its sooner than later. This playoff series is a learning experience for Oklahoma City. We can only hope The Thunder use the experience to help them grow and not take a step back.

The Super-Mavs!

Superhero movies are the big thing lately. We have at least one superhero movie released every summer. No matter which superhero the movie is about, the plot is always the same. A super-villain threatens the city or world and the villain seems unstoppable. The superhero goes to confront the villain and gets defeated. Then the superhero digs down deep in his soul and overcomes the villain in the end.

This same kind of plot can be applied to one of the current NBA series that just finished. The Los Angeles Lakers would be the super-villain and the Dallas Mavericks were the superhero. The Los Angeles Lakers have dominated the playoffs the last 2 years. No one could beat them. The Lakers would come back no matter what the circumstances and be victorious in any playoff series. The Lakers always found a way to be on top and never taste defeat. That was until the Dallas Mavericks showed up.

The Mavericks should have had the Superman music in the background because they came to the rescue of the playoffs. Everybody expected the Lakers to win another Championship. The pieces were in place, the Lakers have the best closer in basketall in Kobe Bryant. The Lakers have the best coach in Phil Jackson. The Lakers always had an advantage with their length. The playoffs were almost getting to the point of being predictable. The Lakers would take down whoever they played and end up in the finals every year. Then they might struggle some but they would be spraying champagne in the end.

Now the unexpected has happened and the Lakers were taken down by a team that outplayed them. Not only did the Lakers lose they also were swept by the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers did not even put up a fight against the Mavericks and win at least one game. Each game the Mavericks wore the Lakers down more and more mentally. The Lakers looked more disorganized each time they stepped on the court. It was similar to when a boxer throws that punch that dazes their opponent before the knockout punch. The knockout punch of the Mavericks was pure poetry in motion as Jason Terry went 9-10 from 3-point range and Peja Stojakovic went 6-6 from the 3 point range. The Dallas Mavericks went 20-32 from 3-point range. When a team is on shooting streak like the Mavericks were,  any team would be hard pressed to keep up.

However, the Lakers did not put up much of a fight to stop the Mavericks 3-point shooting spree. Most of the 3 point shots taken by the Mavericks were wide open baskets because of the Lakers poor defense. Just as many villains have acted when their plans were foiled by the superhero, the Lakers showed how much they despised losing the series. Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum committed flagrant fouls when the game was out of hand. Both players were ejected from the game, but there was no reason to make those fouls. The fouls were committed because the players were upset by losing and being swept by a team they considered less talented.

Through all the talk of how the Lakers were going to win, the unsportsmanlike conduct and a history of losing in the playoffs, the Mavericks overcame it all. The Mavericks are now moving on to the Western Conference finals with well deserved victory. Every superhero has his day and the Mavericks certainly have had theirs by defeating the defending Champion Los Angeles Lakers. Now the Mavericks await their next challenge as the other Western Conference series is still on going. The Dallas Mavericks have to rise to the occasion once again. Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see how this Dallas Mavericks story truly ends.


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