- Created on Sunday, 12 June 2011 23:37
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
A year later and he has succeeded in leading the Dallas Mavericks to its first NBA title in franchise history and earned MVP honors in the process. However, if you ask him, it is the team approach that got the Mavericks to the top of the basketball world.
He would likely consider Game 6 to be a perfect example of the concept. On a night when he had a very hard time getting started missing 11 of his first 12 shots, the team was still in contention throughout the first half. They traded the lead back and forth with the Heat the first two quarters, but managed to end the first half in the lead, 53-51.
“I couldn’t get in a rhythm today for some reason,” Nowitzki said. “The team carried me all night long. (Terry) came out aggressive. I’ve got to give it up to the fellows. They were unbelievable tonight.”
The Heat briefly took the lead in the early minutes of the second half, but lost it 16 second later and never regained it.
Miami had one of its most complete team efforts in regards to scoring for the playoffs with five players scoring in double figures and the top four only being separated by four points. In the end, they needed someone to step up and take over the game and no one did.
“All I remember is telling those guys that they deserved it,” Miami forward Chris Bosh said. “Hands down, they were the better team in this series. … All we can do is just admit it and move forward.”
The win helps erase the bad memories left from the collapse the team had in 2006 to the very same Miami Heat. After getting out to a 2-0 lead in that series the Mavericks proceeded to drop the next four to lose the series. Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki, and owner Mark Cuban are the only principle members of that team that are still left.
With the win the Mavericks are able to remove a special distinction that had helped them earn the label of ‘soft.’ They had been the only team to have ten or more consecutive 50+ win seasons and not a single NBA title to show for it. It might have taken them 11 seasons, but they finally got that first elusive championship.