Champs Must Become Road Warriors





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – If a championship run does nothing, it forges a certain bond among the men that remain to defend it and hardens their resolve at doing it by any means necessary.

That would also help explain why the Dallas Mavericks seem undaunted by the prospect of having to hit the road in this postseason to try to defend that title.

From Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry on down, the Mavericks have a clear vision of what it will take to battle their way through these playoffs. And they know it’s just as difficult either way, but especially in this particular season, given the nature of the lockout and all that it has wrought.

That said, this is a relatively rare thing for the Mavericks, to be operating from this vantage point in the Mark Cuban era. More from Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram:

For just the fourth time in Mark Cuban’s 12 full seasons of ownership, the Dallas Mavericks will finish this season with a losing record on the road. Sunday’s 112-108 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers gives the Mavs just a 13-17 record on the road with only three road games remaining.

Because the Mavs (34-27) will be starting this year’s playoffs on the road, it would seem they’d be concerned about their inability to grab more than their share of victories away from home.

“Not at all,” guard Jason Terry said. “The regular season is going to have no meaning on what the playoffs will mean.

“Obviously you can blame it on the schedule. Every team has gone through it, but it’s not as what it would be in a regular season.”

The Mavs play their 31st road game at 8 tonight at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City against a Utah Jazz squad scrapping for its playoff lives. Dallas’ final two road games are Saturday in Chicago and April 26 in Atlanta.

If they hope to repeat as NBA champs, the Mavs realize they must find a way to win at least one road game in every series, barring upsets by teams seeded lower than them.

“In the playoffs, unless you get home-court advantage, you’ve got to win some games on the road,” center Brendan Haywood said. “Hopefully we’ll get it done.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a concern.”

It’s actually a huge concern for the Mavericks, if they are indeed interested in mounting a legitimate defense of their title. There was some concern earlier this season if they had enough juice leftover, after all of the comings and goings after the title run and the season-long Lamar Odom drama, to even make the playoffs.

They’ve taken care of that. Now we’re going to find out if they are up to the challenge of defying the odds and everything we’ve seen this season and scrap their way back to the contender’s realm in the postseason.

And instead of doubting them, as we and so many others did this time last year, we’ll sit back and see how Rick Carlisle and his crew try to make it happen.

17 Comments

  1. Miguel says:

    Last year we thought Dallas would be KO’d by the Lakers but Dallas swept them. NBA is where amazing happens…
    noone can be so sure what’s gonna happen.

  2. dAve says:

    Some of these comments are really weird…

    As a german, I’d love to see Dirk back in the finals. But I don’t hink it will happen. OKC & Memphis will be way to good come playoff time. Maybe L.A. too because of their frontcourt. Dallas doesn’t have anyone how can really dominate in the frontcourt… even defensivly. The Mavs only have a chance if their 3-Ball is falling, but it won’t happen throughout the whole playoffs again. They have guys like West & Cartner now that are no reliable shooters. sorry Dirk, but you gotta live with just 1 ring… But thats still more than LeBron has :D

  3. lakermig says:

    i really doubt they’re gonna get past the first round

  4. Coach Dee says:

    Did Sekou wrote this article for Dallas or for the Los Angeles Lakers?

  5. str8ker says:

    THE PRESS JUST HATES KOBE, FORGET THE PRESS!! KOBE DOESN’T NEED GUYS WHO CAN ONLY WRITE ABOUT BASKETBALL TO VALIDATE HIS CAREER, AND GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS, THAT WON’T STOP HIM FROM GETTING THE FINALS MVP! SO LEBRAN OR WHOEVER ELSE THE PRESS LOVES, GET THAT REGULAR SEASON MVP BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE THOSE GUYS WILL NOT GET THE FINALS MVP CUS THAT’S ALL KOBE TIME!! FORGET THE PRESS!!

    • Sick says:

      how can kobe get the finals mvp???
      he wont be in the finals… LOL

    • dd def says:

      in response to an article about the mavs needing to step up their game on the road to have a chance at winning in the playoffs you say all of this? i recommend a cat scan cause your brain isn’t firing on even one cylender.
      i’m beginning to think people don’t bother reading articles, they just see an oppurtunity to blurt random oppinions about whatever the hell.
      so i’ll follow suit, in response to this article, i don’t think romney will beat obama.

  6. When the plaoffs start we will seperate the men from the boys and the mavs will be hungry to prove they belong you got the finals mvp who can carry a team and get his shot off any time and terry coming off the bench og kidd runnin point marion with the d on the others teams best player there goin to be a hard out, when the game slows down and its a half court game that the playoffs are never under estimate the heart of a champion

  7. denzel41 says:

    the ball is round anything can happen….Playoffs is very different from the season games, playoff games drain metal stability from player so only team with player who does not CHOKE can really win it all,,,,, MAVS all the way… Dirk, terry, kidd, VC and the rest will do what needs to be done to defend the title…..

  8. anonymous says:

    Three NBA superstars are injured or aren’t really sure if they’re injured or not. One star is Dwight Howard, who is suffering from a herniated disc. Kobe Bryant suffering from a bruised left shin. And Derrick Rose who seems to miss every other game with an ankle sprain.

    To read more about the Most Valuable Star go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress,com

  9. Celtics says:

    I Hope Dallas can do a repeat And im sure not counting them out as everyone expected them to be a first round knockout last year. When the playoffs come Dallas seems to always perform at there highest level and can beat any team as proven last year. But Without Chandler as a SOlid Defender Barrea Stevenson and Peja Dallas lacks the bench Presence.

  10. Belizeboy says:

    Terry is right. None of this will matter when the playoffs start. All that will matter is who is healthy and who isn’t. Last night Dirk had a bad game and in the playoffs I think he will step up his game.

  11. RR says:

    YOU GUYS ARE SO IN LOVE WITH LEBRON JAMES AND YOU CAN NOT SEE THE WORK KOBE HAS DONE. IT IS A SHAME THAT YOU LOVE LEBRON JAMES SO MUCH, AND HATE KOBE AS MUCH! LOL,

  12. Lakerfan says:

    can we please stop talking about mavericks title defense. I get theyre are defending champs but lets be realistic, theres no way they repeat. They’ll be lucky to make it out of the first round. They are no where near the team of last year, one i still have a hard time believing won it all. No barea is big, no inside presence on offense and dirk is soft and seems completely content with having one title.

  13. anonymous says:

    Three NBA superstars are injured or aren’t really sure if they’re injured or not. One star is Dwight Howard, who is suffering from a herniated disc. Kobe Bryant suffering from a bruised left shin. And Derrick Rose who seems to miss every other game with an ankle sprain.

    To read more about the Most Valuable Superstar go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

  14. Baller says:

    Dallas had a bad season start and with the Odom farce this season never managed to get the right rotation to build habits. Injuries in the compressed schedule did the rest. They were always behind OKC, Spurs and LA from midway of the season and now its pretty much final, that they will not have home court advantage against any opponent the might face. All these things have been clear since a while and now they are just official so it’s the same for any team with a seed lower than 4th:
    —> You will have to win on the road to win it all.<—

    Was that really a message we needed to hear or is this article for the slow guy prix who keeps commenting bs on every other article?

    I wish Dallas a great deep playoff run, but they will have a hard time against Memphis, the Lakers or the Spurs without home court. I think we will see Spurs vs Lakers and Memphis vs OKC in the 2nd round and if Memphis takes down OKC the Spurs will represent the West. If the Bulls have to go through the Knicks and the Celtics they will finally fall against the Heat, that is just to tough a run to reach the finals.