What's so annoying as a fan, though, and I don't think I'm being too sensitive, is that the Mavs are like the Rodney Dangerfield of basketball; they don't get no respect in the press. How much of that has to do with the antics of Mavs owner Mark Cuban? Who knows. All this fan knows is that the focus is almost always on the other team, even when the Mavs win the game, as they did last night. The post-game press conference on ESPN featured the Mavs head coach for a minute or so, but they covered the coach for the Heat for at least three times as long. I notice stuff like that.
The most egregious offense, though, is that to this day members of the press do not know how to pronounce the name of Dirk Nowitzki...the "w" is pronounced as a "v," and just last night, they did it again. The man was NBA MVP the last time we played the Heat in the finals, for god's sake. Get it right!
This year's post-season presents a Mavs team that finally, in their old age, (I think they are the oldest NBA team), has become aggressive in its pursuit of the win. They are in no way the thugs that many other NBA teams are, and I cannot imagine anyone on the Mavs behaving as Odam and Bynam did during game four of the series with the Lakers. But they've "manned up," so to speak, and most remarkable has been the change of Dirk Nowitzki himself.
I've spent at least five years defending him against my husband's tirades. The DH has a point...to a limit...but he's never given Dirk his due, which means he has refused until now to add a "Mr." in front of the man's name, as he does with Mr. Chauncey Billups or Mr. Dwyane Wade. He finally agrees, now that Dirk has grown a pair, that Dirk may actually lead his team to victory. I think he's finally prepared to alter his "mister" stance because of Dirk's clutch play this post-season.
I mentioned earlier that I've got a bridesmaid's mentality when it comes to post-season play and the Mavs. I have very low expectations because I've seen them throw it all away before. Which means that I've been constantly, pleasantly surprised so far this post-season. I'm glad to go to games or watch them on TV, without overly high expectations because, even though this is likely the last year they can win before needing to start over, even though they seem on track to finally pull it out this year and not choke at the last minute, I don't expect them to actually win. But it sure would be sweet.