crazy colored glasses

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Gutless German

I'm known for making crazy predictions (i like to call myself the pro-sports prognosticator) which have a way of turning about to be pretty good. Sometimes they are completely outlandish, sometimes right on. So it was with great amazement that I watched this NBA season as the Dallas Mavericks ran roughshod over the league in the regular season, and would email my buddies and say "didnt i tell you this would happen in the finals last year". I picked the Heat to win the title last year (I always have a hard time choosing against Shaq), and even when they were down 2-0 to the Mavs, stuck by that prediction. It was doing that same final that I told my friends "You know what, the Mavs are going to destroy the league and coast to the title". I was positive this was going to happen, so I felt some what validated by their great regular season.

Then the postseason started.

Only twice in the history of the NBA has an 8 seed defeated a 1 seed. Never has it happened in a best of 7 series. So although the Mavs/Warriors first round matchup troubled me, I stuck by my prediction of the Mavs winning the title. I even got an email fom one friend asking if I wanted to ammend that prediction. I said of course not.

Then inexplicably Avery Johnson tinkers with the starting lineup that the Mavs have used all season. Why would a 1 seeded team do that. Its like he was gearing up for the inevitable upset. They then went on to play tight and uninspired the whole series... culminating in last nights Game 7... when for no reason, Avery pulls his star forward Dirk Nowitzki with about 5 minutes left in the game and the Mavs down 20. Was he worried about next season and his star players very fragile psyche (maybe), or did he just concede to his old mentor (Don Nelson).

My problem with what went down falls on Dirk. Any star player worth his weight would shake off his coach and stay in the game and try to put that team on his back and carry them to the win... or put up a good fight and lose graciously. Did the big German do that, nope... he took out his mouth piece and gutlessly sat on the bench the rest of the game. Never once tapping his coach on the shoulder and saying let me have one last go at them. As a Lakers fan I never give up on a game. I always know I'm one Kobe barrage away from winning a game.

Has there ever been an MVP (its widely thought Dirk will win this year) who would do that. Look at the other contenders, and tell me any of them would, Nash, Kobe, McGrady, Lebron... nope, they would all go down fighting. It was a gutless performance by one of the premiere names in the league. The Mavs deserved to lose. Look out Rockets and Jazz... these Warriors are for real.



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