Crow-Eatin' Mavs Donuts: 'Dark Side' No More
DONUT 1: "Dirk is a Robin." I have said that Dirk Nowitzki is David Robinson ... You can win with him and he's a Hall-of-Famer and all, but until you have a Tim Duncan-level player, too, you can't win a title with him. Perhaps I was wrong about everything. Perhaps David Robinson could have won a title without Duncan. But he didn't. But we know another area I was wrong. You can build a champion without a player better than Dirk. Dirk seems to be doing just fine with the mantle "Most Clutch Playoff Performer in the NBA."
DONUT 2: "It's easier to build a champion around a traditional power forward than Dirk Nowitzki." I was wrong in at least three areas.
I was assuming that a traditional power forward would be a good defender and good offensive player, more than Dirk in one area and less than Dirk in another. You know, a power forward that scores in the post and plays defense.
Wrong a): Dallas won a championship; that should be enough. But let's make this hurt me a little more.
Wrong b): Dirk won games in the fourth quarter scoring in the post.
Wrong c): Dirk's defense looked (this crow tastes awful) perfectly solid. He destroyed Pau Gasol. Destroyed. Pau is the ideal "traditional power foward" that I'm talking about there. Solid offense, solid defense. Dirk destroyed him on both ends of the floor.
DONUT 3: "The Mavs Brain Trust (MBT) has overvalued Dirk and undervalued what he requires around him to succeed." The thinking was that Dirk is the type of great year-in and year-out All-NBA type player that you go ahead and put a solid team around and hope you get lucky with a few deep runs in the playoffs.
Dirk is better than I said he was and so is the roster around him. Wow. Cue up Carlisle's Game 6 post-game presser where he talks about not what players can't do, but what they can do. This is what is to be known as "The Carlisle Way" from now on. It's business-seminar-circuit stuff.
With that one concept, Rick Carlisle can get paid $60,000 a speech until the day he dies.
Quick, Mike Fisher or David Lord or Michael Dugat, write this book.
DONUT 4: "Dallas' salary structure has made it so that they will always be good and never be great. They keep paying guys like Jason Terry and Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood." They think they can put together a bunch of really solid players and win in the NBA? Hilarious. Everyone knows that you get 2-3 high dollar guys, then you fill in the rest with role players. And a $3-mil-a-year role player is essentially the same as a $9-mil-a-year role player. Dallas clearly has too many guys getting paid 5 mil plus a season. It can't work.
Hmm. I think it did.
DONUT 5: "It is time to blow it up." Minnesota was smart to get rid of KG and start over. After all, they are already four years ahead of Dallas in the rebuilding process. What sort of stupid comment is that?
It's the kind of stupid comment I've made dozens of times.
What's a better way to spend the lockout: Saying, "Ricky Rubio might end up being a pretty good PG'' or "Yes. We. Did."?
DONUT 6: "Dallas should trade Dirk." I didn't say that, did I? I am so glad that the old DB.com Boards are gone and no one can search exactly how many times I said that it was so futile around here that Dallas should trade Dirk and move on. I was the one.
I said it.
I shouted it.
I blew it.
DONUT 7: "The Dark Side." Dallas is Utah. Whatever you think of Karl Malone's Utah teams, you have to think of Dirk's Dallas teams. That's just the way it is, people.
Today's Truth: You can think whatever you want about Karl Malone's Utah teams and it has no correlation with Dirk's Dallas teams. To think otherwise? That's so 2010.
DONUT 8: "Sure, Dallas CAN win, but they WON'T." This was one of my favorites. It was so certain. Of course, if everything broke the right way, Dallas theoretically could win. But they would not.
What was wrong? Well, everything did not break the right way for Dallas. … and these Mavs won anyway.
Beaubois basically never got on the floor. Butler went out halfway through the season. Haywood went down in the Finals.
Portland was the team no one wanted to see in the first round. LA was the two-time defending champion that the NBA certainly wanted to see matched up against the Miami Clown Machine. OKC were the kids with youth and legs and energy (and that Durant sports drink commercial that seemed like was on an endless loop in my medulla oblongata). Miami steamrolled EVERYONE in the Eastern Conference and Micheal Jordan's caddie was calling that guy who shut down MVP Derrick Rose the GOAT.
Nothing. Nothing broke Dallas' way this year.
The worst road to the playoffs they could have had. And injuries. They could not win it this year, but they did. I'm telling you, this crow does not taste better after you've had a few bites.
DONUT 9: I'm convinced. Fish tried to convince me all these years, but it took the win to prove to me that I'm a Dark Side Moron. I'm convinced. I'm investing the piddling amount of four dollars a month for the DB.com Premium Mavs coverage. They are champions and I want in! I'm ordering the Mavs t-shirts from the DB.com Store! Dirk likes ‘em and Tyson likes ‘em and Fish and Beau designed ‘em … they are ours and I want one or three!
DONUT 10: I'm also spreading this word and eating my crow all over DB.com Boards. Join us. Serve it up.
DONUT 11: "Every team since 2006 has lost the next round after beating Dallas. Dallas is the team no one wants to beat in the playoffs." Yes, that was true. Even Miami lost in the first round the next year. But you know what? These sort of statements of facts just don't really matter when you have a coach that is losing in the Finals and decides that the best thing for the team is to make his Hall-of-Fame savant point guard shift over to play a little off-guard position and to start the 5'10" guy that is currently shooting 5-of-23 in the Finals. Seriously. Carlisle looked down the bench, saw 5'10" and 5-of-23 and thought to himself, "Hey, I think this can work!"
Yeah. Smart move.
Another example of Dallas defying what I thought was conventional wisdom.
"One-and-done." Remember when Mark Cuban said, "A lot of people have said we are ‘The One-and-Done Boys"? That was actually Fish's buddies Ben & Skin on ESPN Radio. But when Cuban said thatm unbeknownst to him, he was also talking about me. I've seen one-and-done. I assumed it.
I was wrong.
For this Dallas Mavericks fan who thought he KNEW stuff, that last bite of crow tastes the worst. … and somehow also tastes the best.