NBA Finals

A while ago, before the league MVP was announced, Mavericks owner Marc Cuban, whose blog I list in my links to the right, was beating the MVP drum for Dirk. And he was right.

His reasons at the time were simple: basically leading a team, through strong fundamental play, who LOST the league's MVP in the off-season, back to a winning position.

From Cuban's Blog on the issue:

A team loses last years [sic] MVP of the NBA.
- Then it loses its 2nd leading scorer to a division rival.

- Its coach is in his first year as an NBA coach.

- The team is successful in turning its approach to the game around 180 degrees from offense first, to defense first.

- Four of its top 8 players are injured for weeks or months at a time.

- This isnt [sic] a team of 4 all stars.

- This isnt [sic] a team of 2 all stars, like the teams in the standings ahead of it.

- this is a team of 1 All Star.
- This is a team that most sportswriters picked to be in the bottom half of the playoff hunt with some saying they would barely make the playoffs and could fall out with injuries. This is a team that no sportswriter I can think of, predicted would win anywhere near 60 games. This is a team that has clearly exceeded the expectations of everyone who follows the game.

So what happens to this team ?

It can set a record for most wins in franchise history this week, 61.

Besides winning 60 or more games, what has the leader of this team accomplished ?

He has hit game winning shots.
He has blocked game winning shots.
He has made passes to game winning shots.
He has been a leader on the court and off.
He has taken the responsibility to carry this team on his back.
He isnt [sic] (Cuban obvioulsy doesn't like the apostrophe) out doing endorsements, selling basketball videos, doing commercials, doing the interview circuit or promoting himself in any way. He just goes to work and busts his ass every single day.
He is a role model in every sense of the word, on the court and off.

There is no player more valuable to his team than Dirk Nowitzki.
Dirk should be the MVP of the NBA.

I happen to agree - I did then, and I do now as well. I've liked Nowitski for a long time - I heard him do an interview a little while ago where he said that when he first showed up in Dallas, he was a tall dude who could make an outside jump shot. Now he's an animal, able to defend, take the ball inside, and most importantly, put a team on his back when it's necessary.

He scored 50 points the other night, and the rest of his line wasn't too shabby either.

This will be an interesting finals series, with two first time teams playing for the first time in a long time.

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