Over the course of the season and playoffs, certain things have entered my mind, and surely they are parallel to that of yours. So, here it is, me getting out some pre-Finals thoughts, then hoping to hear your thoughts as well.
If you're one of those people (I am often one of those, so no shame in it) who only comes on sites to share their own ideas and not to read others', this is your cue to shoot down to the comment section.
My opening thought is this. WOW. Destiny. This was meant to happen. If we wanted to get our first ring, it just had to be this way. There was no other way. There is no other way to live down the NBA Finals in 06' other than by beating the very team that robbed us then. I could rant on about how perfect this is, but you guys already know.
Next, I realized we might be in trouble. Whether or not you believe referees take an active interest in games or not, ask yourself this: If refs did in fact favor teams, which side would they favor? In other words, if Stern asks them to play an active interest, which story is better to generate revenue for him? The 'Dirk and Kidd getting their ring' one is nice, but there is no doubt that Stern would make more bank off of the Big 3 starting off their dynasty in style.
That being said, onto the actual series. As many have said and all know, this is not the same team. We don't get rattled. We make comebacks now. The game is never over until it's actually over. A 10-0 run by the other team no longer means we're dead. Being down 12 with 3 or 4 minutes to go no longer means we should pack our bags. Most importantly, if we see a 15 point lead crumble down to 4 or 5 with 2 minutes left, it no longer means we're screwed. We are stronger. The important part of this is that whether we win or lose the series, we will have played great. We won't give games, and games will not be given to us. We will have to take every inch against this Goliath, but if that is what it takes for Nowitzki to get a ring, then good luck 'Bron.
Also, I thought of how much sweeter it would be for us, the fans, to win. Think about it. We, the fans, have stuck through it all. Heartbreaks, the good, the bad, the injuries, the trade talks, the panic. We're here. We have bandwagon fans, sure. Every successful team does. But our long-term fans are unlike any other. Our players, they stick around. You didn't see Dirk leaving for New York. You didn't see Kidd taking a back-up Role in Boston or LA to get a ring. To LeBron, any five titles he wins will not be as sweet as the one Dirk will. He stuck with his team. When the going got tough, Dirk got stronger. Our losses added to his strength. This is a quality no longer seen in the NBA or other sports. Loyalty has been replaced by illusions of grandeur. Players have forgotten that is not the quantity of rings, but the quality. If quantity was the case, then why don't seven or eight superstars go to the same team and take paycuts? Because many players understand that it is where you win them, and how you win them. Boys win titles at other buildings. Men win titles with their own team.
My final thought is one that I know will come true, and thus piss me off royally. On ESPN or NBA.com, somewhere, we're going to see a match-up board. Comparing position by position. I know this is routine, but I'm sick of it. Our PG through Center won't guard their PG through Center. Also, we run so many pick and rolls and play so much Zone defense it is stupid to compare positions. Also, NO SHIT that our bench is better than theirs. The question is not who is better, it is who will bring what they need. We NEED our bench to score so we can win. They don't. Look at tonight. They beat the Bulls with only 14 points not coming from the big 3. In this series, their bench can score 25 and ours can score 35, so to the average person they will assume our bench played better. This is a fallacy. By the time the series is over, their starters will have outscored ours. It is the truth. So for us to win, our bench needs to outscore theirs, and when they do they should not be revered as saints, they should just be acknowledged for accomplishing their task.
Brace yourself, ladies and gentlemen. This is going to be a series where everyone has to play to win. We don't need Dirk to score 40 to win. The fact of the matter is that if basketball were a perfect world, and every player was always consistent, we are the better team. So this series is ours to lose.
I'm really tempted to end this thread with a "Whether we win or lose" anecdote. But that is not the case. With this Mavericks team losing will not be tolerated. Not anymore. I'll see you guys on the other side, and I'll see you with one more banner to hang in our castle.
Now, as always,