Wednesday, October 17, 2007
BREAKING NEWS: Mavs Show Actual Signs of Toughness
Ever since the resurgence of the Dallas Mavericks under former coach Nellie and the horrible dancer himself, Mark Cuban, the Mavs have emerged as one of the elite squads in the league.
They've become annual regular season juggernauts, topping off at 67 wins in '06-'07. The problem is they've only had one miniscule obstacle (which has led to other problems): outside of head coach Avery Johnson, the Mavs have had absolutely NO toughness.
Their lack of toughness (i.e. heart, balls, testicular fortitude) showed its ugly head in the first round of last year's playoffs, which was set up to be the Mavs' coronation as one of the best teams ever. The Golden State Warriors attacked Dallas like they were a bunch of Stanford preppies (no offense, Ty) wondering around Compton on New Year's Eve, beating them in six games as an eighth seed.
This came only a year after the Mavericks blew a 2-0 lead against the Miami Heat in the Finals. The theory goes that their lack of toughness contributed to these playoff collapses.
That makes what Josh Howard did last night so significant to me. (Though we all know Brad Miller is no Bill Laimbeer.)
Are the boys in blue ready to turn the corner and actually show the world that they're not just a bunch of jump shooters who shrink up in the postseason, complain after every call, make excuses for their shortcomings, and get pushed around by smaller, tougher opponents?
God knows I hope not, but if Tuesday night's incident is any indication, they may be on their way.