Editor's Note: Front-paged for Goosebumps
This is it. We are 1 win away from the NBA Finals. I can't believe I am able to type these very words. It is... unreal. I am literally getting chills down my back, and with every waking moment that passes, it starts to sink in more than the moment is here. I get goosebumps now when I watch Dallas. That is how close we are.
Which is what lets me know we're here. We're ready. It is time.
2006 was different. I don't even want to write about it. but for comparison's sake, I will. In 2006, we weren't the same. Terry was fairly new. Diop and Dampier were soft. Dirk was not who he is now. And, to be honest, we as fans, were not ready for a title.
We coasted through Memphis. We battled San Antonio and stole the series in exciting fashion, only to pass by Phoenix easily. The series may have gone to 6 games, but I never worried we would lose. Then, we got up 2-0 in the finals. Immature, and filled with illusions of grandeur, we started to celebrate. Championship parades were planned. We beat ourselves.
This year is different. but you don't need me to tell you that. We are not the same team. The monkey is not off our back. That is too easy. We beat it off of our back. We not only got it off, but we cornered that monkey. And now, we are 1 win away from that monkey handing us back out dignity, along with a trophy.
As fans, we are now ready for a championship. It is our time. In 2006, we were not. We have been through the hardships. Personally, I cried in 2006. And for every tear that streamed down my 11 year old face I knew it was not over. It was only the beginning. As a talented writer once said, it had to be Miami. No, it just HAD to be Miami. That series in 2006 put us where we are now. That title then would not have meant anything compared to the one we are 1 game away from getting. Words can not describe how different things are. We, the fans, after stickign through all of the years, have nothing left to prove.
He came here, and naive to Maverick ways just coasted through to the Finals. Lets face it, it was Dirk's team. Then, something miraculous happened. Terry got knocked off of his high horse. When his potential game-tying 3 bricked off the American Airlines Center rim in game 6, a man was born from the ashes that a boy had died in. He was baptized under fire by every means of the word. He is not who he used to be. Terry is no longer the streaky loudmouth he once was. He has become clutch. He plays defense now, at a good level. He can pass as well as an NBA point guard now. He has evolved his game. The JET, ladies and gentlemen, has nothing left to prove.
Jason Kidd; Tyson Chandler; Shawn Marion; Peja Stojakovic-
It is the same story told in 3 different ways. Jason played his whole career with criticism. First he couldn't shoot. Then, he couldn't win the big game. Skeptic after skeptic now bow at his aged feet. A monster has been created. Just when he was said to be too old, new life sprung. Chandler? Injuries hurt his career. He was far from the high-flyer he was in New Orleans. His career was in the slumps. What does he do? He rejuvenated his career. he got to the big stage, and performed more than ever. Marion was the old scorer from Phoenix. Without a ring in the desert, he had changed. His career took a dip early in Dallas. He found no love. His jumpshot had been lost, and his athleticism down. Most Mavs fans has lost their respect for him. He responds with an incredible season, and a Finals performance where he carried a team when they needed him most. His 15 points a game don't seem impressive until you realize those were pick-me-up points. They were when no other Maverick could score. Those points were huge. As for Peja? The old and tired shooter from Sac town? yeah. He went to NO, sure. He had a nice few years. But never again to be the shooter he once was. Instead, he flips the script. He helped us through the Lakers and Thunder series like a man on a mission. These 4 All-Star careers, winding up in the same spot. It is clear to me now, that Terry, Kidd, Marion, and Stojakovic have nothing left to prove.
Mavericks Management; Carslile-
They can build a good team, sure. But not a winning team. Not contenders... right? Cuban and Donnie Nelson. Truly an unreal package. They are to thank. They got us here. And Carslile? Well? The Robot has nothing left either. For everyone that said he was soft, look at the comebacks he has engineered. This is the coach that will win it all. Not Avery. He was weak. Weak minded. Rick is the one. Folks, he has nothing left to prove.
Soft. Scared of the moment. Can't rebound. Choker. Loser. Every. Single. Negative. Title. Is gone. Dirk has shut them all up. He played through the finger, and through the fever. Through the ups and downs, he stuck with Dallas. He is our knight in shining armor. This is it for him. These have been some of the most impressive playoffs ever. When have you guys seen a player, under the spotlight, with all the pressure in the world perform like him for 4 series? It is unreal. Now, averaging 29 points a game in the biggest stage, he is ready. In 2006, he was not. He underperformed. He was not ready. He needed to lose that series. It made him. It defined him. Without that series, he is not the Nowtizki of today. It just... had to be the Heat. It had to. Despite it all. All of the criticism. After all, through thick and thin, he is here. 1 win away. If there is anyone in the world with nothing left to prove, it is Dirk Nowitzki.
Double digit 4th quarter comeback IN Portland. 12 point 4th quarter deficit erased IN LOS ANGELES. 16 point lead vanished to dust in 6 minutes IN OKC. And a 15 point lead gone missing in 6 minutes IN MIAMI. We are not the same team. This is a different Monster. The Dallas Mavericks, as anyone can see, have nothing left to prove.
We have nothing left to prove. So all that is left is to go get that last win. Bring it home boys. Bring home that title. Not to Dallas, but to the hearts of us, your loyal fans.
Now, as always,
PS:Sorry it is so long. But this team..... I could write about them for ages. And yes. I did have goosebumps while I wrote this. Enjoy!