Sunday, June 12, 2011

What is the Mavericks Mindset Going Into Game 6?

Rick Carlisle's Sunday morning shootaround media session lasted an almost record-short one minute and 53 seconds.  Individual players' interviews weren't that much longer.  That's because eight hours prior to tip off of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, there's not much more these players and the Mavericks head coach can say about their Sunday night matchup with the Heat.

"This is Game 7," Jason Terry proclaimed on the American Airlines Arena floor.  "This is our approach tonight.  We're trying to get this thing done tonight."

If what the Mavericks have done previously this postseason is any indication, the odds are in their favor.  Dallas is 3-0 in closeout games this year.  Plainly put, they've ended playoff series when they've had the chance.   Whether it was the Blazers, Lakers or Thunder, Dallas got it done.

"It's been a killer instinct," center Tyson Chandler said when I asked him about the team's approach going into series-clinching games.  "Understand that you don't want it (the series) to go on, that you don't want to give the other team any hope, any chance.  You finish them while you can."

So what is the Mavericks mindset as they are just one win away from reaching that goal, winning the franchise's first-ever NBA title?  From what I've been able to glean, they're focused and relaxed while trying to maintain a bit of an edge.

"Same thing we been doing throughout the playoffs: we keep a certain amount of focus," Chandler said. "You don't change anything.  You don't try to get overhyped or animated, anything like that.  You just focus on the game, focus on execution, what you can do to succeed.

"This has been a very intense two week period," Rick Carlisle said during his 100-yard dash-like interview.  "It's an extended period yet it seems to go by quickly.  You just kinda roll with it.  I embrace the intensity of it and I know our guys do."
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