Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are the Mavericks the Most Battle-Scarred Playoff Team in the NBA?

You could almost make the case for that.  And it might just be a reason why the Mavericks could be primed for one of their most successful seasons in franchise history. 

We've focused all offseason on just how playoff-tested the Mavericks are.  Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovich each have at least 10 years of postseason experience.  The rest of the squad, save for Corey Brewer, Dominique Jones, Brian Cardinal, Rodrigue Beaubois and Ian Mahinmi, all have at least five years of playoff experience.  All this postseason experience and, let's be honest, disappointment each individual player and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle have been through with other teams have shaped this 2011 Mavericks squad.

It's made the Mavericks a hungry, smart team that understands not to take a ride on that emotional roller coaster than can be an NBA postseason.

But no one put it better than Jason Terry on Sunday before the Mavs watched film of Game 3.

"You look at each individual, almost to a man, Peja Stojakovich: Sacramento vs LA, he didn't get it done. Myself and Dirk: in the Finals up 2-0, didn't get it done.  Coach Carlisle: two Eastern Conference Finals, never made it to the championship.  Jason Kidd: two Finals appearances, didn't hoist up trophy.  Someone told me the other day Shawn Marion's been to Western Conference Finals twice, hadn't got the Finals.  Those unique stories in itself (is) what drives us and motivates us to get it done this year."

We know getting it, a championship, is the goal this season.  Can this be the team that finally does it?  I think it's in better shape, both mentally and physically, than the team that made the Finals run in 2006. 
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