They've done it again. Once again, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks have made the playoffs, clinching a spot by beating Utah on the road in an enormous win on Monday.
This is the 15th time the Mavericks will make the playoffs in the last 16 years, an incredible feat for a franchise that had barely ever had any postseason success before Mark Cuban purchased the franchise in 1999. Although the team's streak was snapped in the 2012-13 season, when Dirk Nowitzki missed a quarter of the season with knee surgery, Dallas rebounded for a couple appearances in the past two years. Of course, this all comes on the heels of the miraculous 2011 title run.
Without Chandler Parsons, the Mavericks aren't considered any sort of threat to make noise this season. Still, it's always great to see Dirk Nowitzki return to the postseason, no matter the circumstances surrounding the visit. Nowitzki is one of just four players in NBA history to average 25 points and 10 rebounds during his career in the playoffs.
It's also incredible that the Mavericks are playoff bound when you consider they sat three games below .500 just a couple weeks ago, seemingly dead in the water with two starters absent with injuries. The resolve and fight of this team to re-establish themselves in the playoffs after being on the outside looking in is incredible. Time and time again, the team talked about winning for Dirk -- and they did just that, carrying him to the playoffs when he struggled through a shooting slump. On Monday, Dirk took back over and light up Utah all evening, despite boos being showered down on him throughout the game.
We probably won't know what seed and which opponent until the final day of the regular season on April 13, but right now, just enjoy it: the Mavericks are headed to the playoffs once more.