All of season and up to the trade deadline, Maverick fans such as my self were waiting for the Mav's to trade for a player to help this team "get back on track," or "change the culture of quiting."
All we really got was Matt Carrol and John Hollins. Sweet.
The non-move really made me shake my head and prep for an average season, probably losing in the first round of the playoffs, but no real hope for the future.
Then a very odd thing happened. Jason Kidd and JJ Berea started to run this team away from the idea they were losers. The last month of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs saw the Mav's play with something that I haven't seen in them since the Phoenix series of 06, Heart and a desire to prove that they were the better team.
This new found drive started getting my hopes up about this team again. I started thinking to myself, "you know what, maybe this team doesn't need Dirk to be the leader, maybe it can be Kidd, or JET, or some games even JJ."
Then the Spurs happened. I knew going into that series that the Mav's were going to beat them. Even if the Spurs had Manu, I think the Mav's just match up well with them, and could take that series.
For the same reasons that I thought the Mav's could beat the Spurs(and ultimately did), is the same reason I don't like the probability that they take this series vs the Nuggets.
The simple idea is mental toughness. And I don't know if the Mav's have enough of it. The Mav's knew they could take the Spurs, they believed it. So even when Parker was scoring any way he wanted to, they just knew they could come back.
That's not there in this series. When Denver literally punches them in the mouth, the Mav's won't take it, look back, wipe the blood from their face, and hit them back even harder. Na, that's not the way the Mav's work. They will look around with their hands up, waiting for a whistle to bail them out. Sometimes it will, but the whistle won't bail you out four out of seven games.
So the problem that I thought was gone has come back. We need heart. Heart that says "we aint takin' this shit no more," or even "hit me one more time mother fucker, see what happens." And unless something changes over the next few days, I don't know where its going to come from.
Miles and Miles of heart.