Under the terms of our agreement, here it is - enjoy!
Cold start notwithstanding, the Dallas Mavericks have the double: not only are they one of the best teams in the NBA, but they are also one of the best spectacles in the NBA.
It's just a Texas-big deal when the Maverick bus gets to the arena. The big German dude is a star. Jason Terry is a star. Jerry Stackhouse is a star. The owner is a star. The coach is a star. Devin Harris and Josh Howard are about to become stars. Even Anthony Johnson dropped 40 on the Nets in the playoffs. (Not to mention one of my favorite people in the NBA, in terms of being a thoughtful, reasonable, well-traveled and smart guy, is Donn Nelson.)
Simply put, this is a team you have to watch, all the friggin' time. Something's always happening. (Often it involves the Mavericks beating the Blazers by one bucket more than the spread, causing certain basketball bloggers to feel like maybe they shouldn't bet so often. But, you know, I'm pretty new to this basketball blog betting thing, and I'm only 0-2. And, for the record, I tried to bet on the New Orleans game, which Portland won, but the Hornet blogger said he was too busy. Say it with me now, Maverick fans: "a slow start is no reason not to have long-term optimism." So let's keep betting!) They'll really make you laugh, they'll make you cry, they'll leak parade routes... and they'll make you think outside the box. For instance, when I watch Dallas I think:
- Can you imagine what it would be like to have Mark Cuban as your father? I guess my real answer to that question is "no." Dad, seriously, please don't coach little league.
- If you had a team of 12 Josh Howards, would you win the title? Maybe. You'd want a little more ball handling and court vision. But I'd like to see somebody try. The D would have an arm everywhere, and I can't imagine there'd be chemistry problems. You'd win for sure, I think, with six Josh Howards, three Devin Harris's, and three Dwight Howards. With Mark Cuban's pocketbook and passion, and the impending firestorm of genetic innovations, that could happen.
- As long as we're talking about genetic innovations, how much do you want to bet that Mark Cuban will, at some point, do something involving a team of unethical international scientists that may or may not result in Cuban making an attempt to play in the NBA.
9. Mark Cuban on the stairmaster talking about Shaquille O'Neal and the Wiggles. My favorite Wiggles song is "Big Red Car," for the record.
8. I love whatever Dirk's German team is doing in their warmup circle. Later, they do it in an elevator, too.
7. Because Michael Finley's nuts needed to be taught a lesson .
6. Josh Howard blocking Shaq's shot.
5. Dirk Nowitzki kills a bug.
4. Dirk Nowitzki kills an exercycle .
3. Avery Johnson losing his noodle .
2. Not sure if this is good or bad. Dirk dancing around as Mick Jagger/Santa Claus .
1. Josh Howard's face after he gets an Avery in the Johnson. I recommend watching that like seventy times.