What now for Mavs?
WFAA Sports Blogger
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM
Updated Friday, May 4 at 5:40 PM
So, the Mavs laid an egg in their biggest game of the season and now a miracle is a necessity if they wish to stay alive in the 2012 NBA Playoffs after a ‘not-as-close-as-it-sounds’ 95-79 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. To clarify, the Mavericks need that miracle because they are now down 0-3 in a best of seven series; a hole in which no team in NBA history has ever climbed out of. In all likelihood, the fate of the 2012 Dallas Mavericks was sealed yesterday.
Time of death: 10:56 pm.
Now, the Mavericks must go through the motions of concluding a series despite knowing in the back of their minds that any real effort they put toward coming back against the Thunder will likely be futile. The Dallas Mavericks are professionals. They’ll all say and do the right things while putting forth a legitimate effort, but it won’t be enough.
In addition to just being in that hole, the Thunder are a very good basketball team. In some cases a team in a 0-3 hole has some kind of hope to cling to while dreaming of making a historic comeback, but that’s not the case in the 2012 version of OKC/Dallas. There is good reason why one of these teams is a two seed and the other is a seven.
Is a comeback possible? I guess. Is a comeback probable? Uh, no.
So what happens now for the Mavericks? There are a few things to watch for as this awkward season comes to an abrupt finish. Specifically, tomorrow may mark the final time we see longtime Maverick and fan-favorite Jason Terry with ‘DALLAS’ stitched across his chest. A polarizing figure at times, Terry cemented himself into Maverick lore last summer by capping his tremendously productive and memorable time in Dallas with a championship.
Terry obviously did not play as important a role in the run as Dirk Nowitzki or Tyson Chandler, but it was still clear that the trophy could not have been won without Jet's bravado and unbelievably clutch scoring. As has been the case with the team, this year has been a bit rockier for Terry, who made it known that his contract situation was on his mind throughout the season. Still, Terry poured his heart into this season the same way he did throughout his whole Maverick career.
Over time, the decision to part ways with so many members of the 2012 title team in order to put together a proper title defense will be judged based on how those players perform and what the Mavs do with their additional cap flexibility. This offseason has the potential for a full on overhaul. Terry has been a part of the Mavericks since 2004 and could be gone. Additionally, Jason Kidd will be 40 years old next season.
The Mavericks have made it clear that free agent point guard Deron Williams will be their number one priority this offseason. Dallas would love to bring Kidd back if they are able to haul in Williams, but only at a reasonable price. Kidd has expressed interest in returning, even in a backup role. But you have to wonder if he’ll ultimately hang ‘em up if the situation isn’t just right.
There is still another game (at least) to be played in this series, but it’s realistically not about the basketball anymore. As a Mavs fan, considering how unlikely it is that the Mavericks advance in the playoffs, it’s about taking in the potential last moments in Dallas for a few Maverick legends.
Kevin Brolan is a contributor to DallasBasketball.com and HoopsAddict.com. Follow him for mind numbing thoughts on basketball, most sports, and general nonsense at @kevinbrolan.