Apr 21, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter (25) shoots over Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls won 93-83. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
Here is part two of the beloved MMB End of the Year Wrap Up. Lots of good stuff in here from everyone (excluding the very first answer on the page, but, well, you can't bat 1.000). Here is part one if by some chance you missed it, although I'm sure you all know better than that.
5. Which game was your favorite this season?
Lisa: I missed a lot of games. Stupid work.
Josh: So many epics to chose from. The Utah triple overtime game was wildly entertaining with a sour finish. The double-digit win against the Thunder early in the season was a nice statement that of what the Mavericks were capable of. The Boston game because of Dirk’s absurd and-one and of course, it being in Boston. But I’m going to have to go with the comeback game in Orlando. For sheer entertainment value, it was a classic Maverick four-quarter comeback that inspired visions of June 2011. It was also against a (at the time) fairly decent Dwight Howard Magic team. And of course, perhaps the most ridiculous shot I have ever seen Dirk make. Dirk’s made a lot of crazy shots, but his step-back, banker over Hedo Turkoglu was absolutely bananas.
J0shi: Game 3 against the Thunder. After two crushing defeats to start the season, you could get the sense, that the "Championship Mavs" weren't gone after all.
Tim: This is selfish, but it had to have been the Wizards game I attended as a press member. It was a significant victory for the Mavericks, after the had dropped all three of a back-to-back-to-back, but obviously I will remember it for other reasons. As an aspiring journalist, it was one of the coolest thing I've ever done, and something that will definitely happen again in the near future.
6. Give one word to describe this season as a whole, and why.
That straight up explains everything. The whole culture of the NBA shifted, and the season along with it.
Some nights the Mavericks looked like champion contenders. Others, they looked like a fringe playoff team. Dallas never really got on a real impressive winning streak throughout the year, with every promising three-game stretched floored by an embarrassing effort to a mediocre opponent. It even happened from half-to-half. The Mavericks never really found a stretch of games where they were consistently playing good basketball. Hopefully that’ll start this weekend.
Cuban talked about "dirty stats" this season and also you can adjust to a certain point, I still don't have a real clue how the Mavericks will look in the playoffs. That also applies to the Spurs, Thunder, Lakers, pretty much everybody.
How else can 66 games packed into such a tight little schedule be described? The sheer number of games was overwhelming at times, to be honest. For some reason, though, I feel as if I'm going to miss it, just a little bit. It was fun.
7. How was watching and experiencing this season different, knowing that the Mavericks were the defending champions and nothing could change that?
Lisa: I guess it's a little easier. The urgency is gone, the stigma is gone. The pain is gone. Now it's just watching basketball.
Josh: Bittersweet. Far too often I pinned to travel back to June 12, 2011 to relieve the incredible emotions and feelings of that night. It took a few games to actually get settled in as it appeared my desire watched the Mavericks lowered. But within a few soul-crushing losses, I’m happy to report that I’m back to my remote-throwing, rage-roaring self while watching games.
Tim: Every loss still stings, but it's not quite as bad. The "people are going to be gunning for these guys, being the world champs" storyline quickly faded, and the "Dirk is amazing and barely human and now everyone knows on a national level" didn't, so it was actually enjoyable to listen to broadcasts of the games.
8. What culmination of things will have to happen if the Mavericks want to make another deep run in the playoffs this year?
Lisa: Everyone needs to stay healthy. And we need a good first round. If we can make it out of the first round, anything is possible. Perhaps with rest, the team will look a little more like we expected this roster to. I'm not saying they'll win it all again. Have you seen San Antonio? I'm just saying if we learned anything from last year, it's to never count these boys out.
Josh: Lots. The Mavericks will need to avoid Los Angeles for as long as possible, as without a capable, tested big man to back up Haywood, the Lakers size is just too much between Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The Mavericks offense also has to stabilize without losing too much of the defense. If Dirk can be Dirk, Jason Kidd can keeping up his better shooting and Jason Terry keeps remember he has to shoot well on the road more, the Mavericks will be fine. Also, potential Dallas has a perfect Corey-Brewer-one-game-instant-spark replacement: Kelenna Azubuike.
J0shi: At first the core from last year will have to play like the core from last year. Terry, Dirk, Marion (on the offensive end), Kidd, Haywood, others have been more inconsistent throughout. If thats a direct result from the condensed schedule, fine. If not, they won't be able to go deep. On the other hand you have way more X-factors than last year. You need to get something out of Roddy, Carter, West, Wright, Ian. Let's say two or three of them have to have a good game every night. That's something we haven't seen on a regular basis so far.