Tuesday, June 12

If The Dallas Mavericks Had Won

With the Cleveland Cavaliers half-beat and not looking like they have any fight at all left in their system, the Spurs might be on their way to cruise on to their fourth title in nine years. They can start their partying at this very moment and no one would complain that they were celebrating prematurely; the fact is they won't, since the Spurs are too focused and too experienced. Could this be the NBA Finals everyone was expecting? Compare it to the NBA Finals of last season and there would be a complete U-Turn in the please-the-fans meter. The sad part is that not a single person can do anything about it but watch as the events unfold before our very eyes: when Tim Duncan hoists up the fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy of his career.

One thing I thought we could do: play the 'What if' game. So let me shoot you a 'What if'. What if the Dallas Mavericks went on to win the first round, would everyone be happier? Not only the fans, but also the players themselves. Let's analyze things.

Let's start with reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki. He has got to be the most obvious case of an emotional-turn-around had the Mavericks won the first round. Over millions of NBA-watchers criticized and persecuted Dirk for his dismal showing when his team needed him the most. What kind of an MVP is he right? That's what a million other viewers were wondering as well. Come on, leading a team into the regular season history books of fame only to non-lead the same team into the playoff history books of shame? That's crazy. I have already had my share on the Dirk issue, and I personally believe that he did deserve the MVP and not the million criticisms against him. However, what would have happened had he led his team back from the 3-1 deficit and won the first round? One thing I can tell you is that his MVP-deserving status would have lit up ten folds rather than if they had just stomped on the Golden State Warriors to begin with. The last 3 minutes of Game 5 would have been the highlight, and Dirk Nowitzki would have been receiving his Maurice Podoloff Trophy in front of the thousands and thousands of Maverick-fans at the very heart of the American Airlines Center. All the criticisms would be sealed shut and not a single person could have been more happier other than Dirk Nowitzki himself especially at that very moment he receives his MVP Trophy. Let's continue.

Here's a surprise: The Golden State Warriors could have been more happier had they lost in 7 games to the Dallas Mavericks. Considering their ugly exit, their tremendous first round upset of a history-booked team was overshadowed and tainted by the Utah Jazz series. Cheap shot after cheap shot followed by a thousand technicals and ejections, Baron Davis and company were looking more and more likes thugs in the world's eyes. Sure, the Baron Davis facial over shot-bloker Andre Kirilenko was amazing, but look at the trade-off: The Warriors did not have a graceful exit. They were sad, angry, and pissed. Throw in the other million Warriors-fans who were also sad, angry, and pissed. The Utah Jazz sat on the face of the Golden State Warriors and there was nothing anyone could do about it. We have to admit that the Warriors had a chance to take all those games and sweep the Jazz, but it didn't really unfold as such.

How would the Warriors and all the Bay Area fans feel had they lost in 7 games to the Mavericks? One word I could think of to describe it would probably be 'gratified'. They pushed the Mavericks to the limit and almost stole it away even though they had no business in doing so. Like Don Nelson said, they didn't even deserve to be there. They rewarded us and themselves with jaw-dropping basketball and probably some of the most fun games to watch in a long time, and they would have been happy with that. They would have exited the playoffs gracefully and the world would applaud their efforts. Throw in the fact that Baron Davis pulled a hamstring and the Warriors' prides would have been saved a couple more degrees. Despite the loss, they would have left the arena in pride and feeling like champions and looking towards a bright future. Think about it, they got trumped by the Jazz anyway, so might as well let the Dallas Mavericks go in there and beat some Jazz-ass.

Further into the playoffs, what would have happened? I'm guessing a thrashing of the Utah Jazz would commence, the same way the Spurs did. Let's not discuss it any further. Moving on, what about the Suns and the Spurs series? It is possible that Robert Horry's tackle was influenced by the fact that Jason Richardson did the same thing to Okur a few days before. Every small thing counts, it could have possibly been a factor. If the Warriors hadn't made it to the second round and Horry did not get to see Jason Richardson clothesline Okur, would Stoudemire and Diaw have been suspended? Who would have made it to the Conference Finals to face the Dallas Mavericks? Whoever it may be, one thing we have to consider is the theory of match-ups. Here's how it goes: Phoenix Suns owns Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Mavericks owns San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio Spurs owns Phoenix Suns. It would have been a pretty interesting thing to watch. We'd be watching Western Giants battle it out on court for the NBA Title; instead of watching just the San Antonio Spurs stink-face the Utah Jazz and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's possible that either the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, or the Phoenix Suns could be here now at the stage of the NBA Finals facing some weak Eastern Conference Champion. Wouldn't that be more interesting? Could that have saved us and the NBA from the 6.3/11 ratings of the Finals opener?

Chances are, it could have. The only problem is, it didn't happen. There's nothing wrong with hopes and dreams; too bad a lot of them are only 'What ifs'. One thing I'm sure of that I learned from the current NBA Finals: picking up a good book when the NBA Finals are on.

What do you think? What if the Dallas Mavericks had won?

1 comment:

Dennard said...

Dallas doesn't own the Spurs. They bet them in one series in one year. A year where Tim Duncan played at 80% the entire season. Please believe me, Dallas didn't want it with the Spurs.