On the 10th anniversary of the Dallas Mavericks’ legendary NBA championship season, let’s look back on how the home team beat all the odds.
The 2010-11 season arguably had some of the best teams in NBA history playing at the exact same time. In the West, Tim Duncan and the Spurs weren’t what they once were but they were still a force to be reckoned with. Kevin Durant and the Thunder were establishing their dominance after their third season after the move from Seattle. And then there was late great Kobe Bryant and the defending NBA champion Lakers looking for three in a row.
Not to be outdone, the competition in the East was just as fierce as the West. The Kevin Garnett-led Celtics were the last team to win an NBA championship besides the Lakers in the previous three seasons and were looking to do it again. The post-Jordan era Bulls had finally found their footing and were looking to a new batch of young stars led by Carlos Boozer to make some noise. And then there were “The Big Three” Down in Miami. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James joined forces in the offseason to start the era of the superteams. Even Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying, “They basically formed Voltron” down in Miami.
While our beloved Mavs didn’t have the names, notoriety, or legacy of the other top teams of the 2010-11 season, what they did have was Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and a squad of young, hungry players and wiley veterans who knew their roles and played them to very, very well. Still, with the ocean’s worth of competition out there, the odds didn’t look good. Luckily for the Mavs, odds were made to be defied.
Losing their division to the San Antonio Spurs meant the Mavs were going to take the long road to the crown. Their four-round playoff run started with a somewhat tense but never really in question six-game series win against the Portland Trailblazers. Dirk led the way with multiple double-doubles, reminding the world why he’s considered one of the best power forwards to ever play the game.
Then came the conference semifinals and the series that all but guaranteed that the Mavs were playing on another level. The Mavs took on Kobe Bryant and the back-to-back champs and sent ‘em home with four straight losses. After that, it was all over. The Mavs beat up on the Thunder with a 4-1 series and told the superteam down in Miami to sit down and wait their turn with a 4-2 series win, putting the dagger in the heart by winning the final game in Miami’s own arena.
Many say the Mavs’ win was the end of an era. NBA players get together in the offseason to decide if they want to chase rings together now. And while the Mavs have gone through the woes of rebuilding and trying to find their way back to the NBA Finals, no one can take away the year the Dallas Mavericks went head to head against some of the best teams of the 2000s and won it all.
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