Chandler Parsons was in street clothes, or whatever you call this. Deron Williams tried to gut it out but couldn’t. J.J. Barea tried to hop it off on one leg. Salah Mejri was a punching bag that took one too many beat downs. Justin Anderson‘s shoulder was hurting. David Lee dealt with the always troublesome plantar fascia. Zaza Pachulia was way, way beyond his usage rate as of three months ago. Wesley Matthews never even missed a game when he was expected back around Christmas and finally the biggest daddy of them all, the tall baller from the G, that dude Dirk Nowitzki could barely even exit the floor in Games 4 and 5.
The Dallas Mavericks were eliminated last night, but they went down giving it every single ounce of fight they had left it the tank.
A depleted roster, guys playing hurt anyway, minutes restrictions lifted to try and go get something done, and the exhausted expressions on the faces of Barea, Matthews and Nowitzki told you all you needed to know.
The Mavericks lost. Their season is over. But there’s no shame at all in how they went out.
There are so many questions to be addressed in the days and weeks going forth, but we’ll get to those in due time. Particularly of note is the future of Dirk and therefore the future of the Mavericks but like I said, we’ll get there. Believe me, we. will. get. there. Cause there is oh so much to talk about. But I want to hit on something a little different than what every major news outlet is touching upon in this current journalism time window.
First, as hometown as since it sounds, let’s give these guys some credit for the fight they showed the past ten days against an astronomically better Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.
A team with two superstars –n0 matter what nonsense Mark Cuban is spewing– against a team with one superstar who’s best days are years behind him and is a decade only then the pair opposite him.
But Dirk Nowitzki gave it everything. Just like he’s given this Mavericks team everything since he arrived with his *NSYNC haircut 18 years ago.
Yes, it’s been that long. My whole lifetime has been five years of crap and then the Dirk Nowitzki era. It’s all I’ve known and all my friends have known and it’s been simply remarkable.
The 6th All-Time Leading scorer and the recently achieved 14th All-Time Playoffs leafing scorer, passing three more Hall of Famer’s just this postseason in the form of Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Scottie Pippen.
The final game of the season personified how this season went.
Deron Williams and David Lee were out, J.J. Barea hobbled up and down the floor, and yes, even Charlie Villanueva played. Wesley Matthews couldn’t hit a shot. Zaza Pachulia showed 2015 flashes and praised Dirk on his potential way out the door. (Another we’ll see in an article littered with them)
But two of the Mavericks very, very few young talents, Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell, both had impressive elimination games.
Dirk Nowitzki could barely make it off the court, though, and that stings like no other.
I’ll write on Dirk and the future soon, but even though the season has ended and the Mavericks only led in Game 2 and lost Games 1, 3, 4 and 5 by 92 points, there’s zero reason to hang your head.
Unless you’re tired, like our hero is.