Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/7/12

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks for a lovely season, just wished that it didn’t have to end as it did. The defending champs were not able to overcome the youth and tenacity of the Oklahoma City Thunder and unfortunately lost game 4 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, but not without a bit of a fight.

Granted, I wished that they would have held onto their lead, but without shutting down James Harden, it was just not meant to be.

Dirk Nowitzki led his Mavericks team through thick and thin of everything this season, but came up short in the turning game of the playoffs and was not able to lead them to victory, this time. Dirk led all scorers with 34 points which also included 13 of 13 from the free throw line. Jason Kidd helped in the scoring by adding 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and was 4 of 8 from the three-point line. JET started the game to give some extra spark, which he did at times, but only had 11 points for the night, but back up center, Ian Mahinmi added 10 points to the mix as well.

Harden led the Thunder with 29 points, Kevin Durant was held at bay most of the game and had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Russell Westbrook, who had led the Thunder in points in previous games, only had 12 points as did Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka added 10 points for the Thunder.

We all expect Dirk to lead by example and he did not fail, but he has to have some help in the supporting cast and in this game as was the previous game, there just wasn’t a lot of support to get Dallas over the hump.

I hope that what Mark Cuban did to the team last season, and seeing what will come of next season, made this one worth it.

I will not make excuses for anyone losing, you have to come out each and every night and put your best foot forward and try to defeat y0ur opponent, but Dallas didn’t really seem to have the drive this season, for the most part anyway, that they have had in the past and I think it’s because they had already won the title and they let their guard down. Well all that does it make your opponent even hungrier to defeat you and that’s what happened here.

Now granted this is just my opinion and the last that I saw, we live in a country where we have that right and that’s what I am about to speak of.

Each and every year, you have a season of 82 games, then 4 rounds of playoffs, including the finals which takes you into June and then you get a couple of months off before you come back for training camp and open the season at the end of October for pre-season and then you’re off and running again. Well, not all of that happened this past season due to the lockout and then the shortened 66 game season.

Most of these players have been in the league for several years and each and every year they prepare themselves mentally for the season, when it’s going to start, and then they prepare themselves physically for it as well.

As champions, you have some party time in there to show off your new trophy, pick out your ring design and championship banner and have a parade if you want. Well, not all of that happened this past season as it should have to allow these players to do as past champions have been able to do. Again, I am not making excuses for the way Dallas  played this season, I’m just saying  that the mental psyche of the game weighs as heavy on you as the physical portion of the game and the two parts have to go hand in hand in order to be successful, not to mention that the team is an older team and they need more time to get the body in motion.

Now, if the stars and moons and the Earth had all be lined up correctly and there was no lockout, the players would have been able to sit down with Cuban, he would have gotten their input on the design of the rings, had the parade, and then went on summer vacation to return in September for training camp and be ready to open the season up on October 31st as they were supposed to. The difference was, they would have started 2 months earlier and would have gotten all the partying out of their systems a lot sooner and would have been ready to face their foes with a better preparedness.

Instead, get a 2 week training camp, lose some key guys to free agency and you have to basically start over, even though they retained their key guys, in Dirk, Kidd and JET, there was no Tyson Chander, JJ Barea, Caron Butler and so on and they really needed those guys. Yes, this is a business and as management you have to make the tough decisions, but you need to do what is best for your team and for your fans since they are the ones bringing in the money you have and the money you make to pay your players and to have worked so hard for the last 10 plus years to get where you are and then to lose again in the first round, I have to worry about the fans and the mental psyche of the players at this point.

Was it all worth it? What will the next season bring? Will Dallas be able to get one of the “big” key names that is going to be dipping their toes in the free agency market? Will you be able to keep some of the key guys that are currently on your roster that are going to be free agents as well? These are the important questions that I’m sure everyone will be asking and wanting to know.

If Dirk had his choice, would he make a stand to keep the guys that are here now? Will he reach out to some of those guys that are trying to see what they want to do next season? I don’t look at Dirk as being the kind of guy that campaigns out to other guys and wines and dines them to try and persuade them to play for his team. I think that if he felt that it would make a difference, he would make a couple of calls on the teams behalf, but to beg someone to play for his team, I don’t see him doing that simply because he’s not that kind of guy. I feel that he might reach out to them and ask them to come and join a great organization that tries to take care of their players and an owner that will do whatever he needs to in order to make his players happy, but he’s not a beggar, because if you have to beg someone to play for you, their heart is not really there, look at Lamar Odom.

Odom came to Dallas and at first I thought it would be a great thing for the team since he was such a finesse player and brought a lot to a team, look at what he had done for the Lakers over the last several seasons. But he came into the season, out of shape, with a chip on his shoulder, his feeling hurt because the Lakers were going to trade him and then to top it all off, filming a reality tv show during the middle of all this and it was a disaster. Then to top it all off, his wife tweets that he deserved better than what the Mavericks gave him, even though he didn’t give to them what he could have and then they let him stay home and paid him money, lots and lots of money to sit on his butt or go back to Los Angeles and be a thorn in their sides.

This is one thing that I will agree with Charles Barkley on, it is a sad situation when a team can’t penalize a player for not playing up to his end of a deal as Lamar Odom didn’t do. He chose to go ahead and leave LA and come to Dallas and they welcomed him with open arms, especially after the incident last season where Odom did the forearm on Dirk during the Western Conference Semi-Finals. So you can’t tell me that the Mavericks didn’t do what they were supposed to do. He’s a grown man for Heaven’s sake and it’s time for him to grow up and quit acting childish like the rest of the Kardashian clan and do what he’s paid to do and that is play basketball, bottom line.

Well, it’s been an interesting year and now it’s over the Dallas Mavericks and we need to sit back and see who the NBA wants the Miami Heat play in the Finals this year since it won’t be Dallas. Oh I’m sorry, did I say that out loud.

Yes the Heat will probably be back in the Finals unless someone gets the tenacity to play them hard and put them on the ground and then watch LeBron and company cry their way back to the locker room; I’d pay to watch that again! But whoever makes it, good luck and be ready next season because we will be coming back with a vengeance.

With that, I will bid you a good night and say good luck and see you next year and let’s go Mavs!

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