The Dallas Mavericks have been in the NBA since 1980. The franchise became known for its beautiful style of game and had a lot of famous players in the squad.
How many championships do the Mavericks have? Throughout 41 years of existence, Dallas managed to win the championship title only once in 2011 when they defeated the Eastern Conference champions the Miami Heat 4:2 in the Finals.
This matchup was also the first championship for German Dirk Nowitzki who spent his entire career with the Mavericks. In this article we will talk about the championship path more and how events unfolded.
First Finals Appearance
Before we move on to the 2011 championship, it is necessary to point out the first appearance in the Finals in 2006, when the Dallas Mavericks played against the same Miami Heat. They had home-court advantage and managed to take the first 2 games pretty convincingly. They had a clear advantage over the opponent in the 3rd game as well, but in the final quarter when there were only 7 minutes left the Heat managed an impressive comeback, winning the match 98:96. The fourth game was a blow-out, and the Heat defeated the Mavericks convincingly and in the next one, Dwyane Wade hit a game-tying shot.
In total, the series was painful for the Mavericks. They were actually better than the Heat, and had it not been Dwyane Wade’s magnificent performance – one of the best of all-time in the Finals – they would have sealed the first championship title before 2011. The Mavericks blew a 2:0 lead and became only the third team in the history of the NBA to do so. The Heat in their turn managed to perform one of the greatest comebacks – especially in the 3rd game when everything seemed over and the Mavericks were already planning a victory parade.
The Mavericks were not considered the main favourites of the 2010/2011 season. However, they started the campaign with an impressive 24 wins out of 29. The Mavericks had some of the best players such as Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic, Jason Terry and of course Dirk Nowitzki. They ended a regular season with a 57-25 record and they faced the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs.
Jason Terry held a team building session prior to the start of the season. At this session was a tattoo artist and Terry got a tattoo of the Larry O’Brien trophy. He told the team he got it as he believed the team would go all the way this season.
Defeating the Blazers
It should be noted that the Mavericks had a bad reputation, struggling in the playoffs and a lot of people anticipated that they would be eliminated against the Blazers. After winning the first 2 games, they lost the successive 2 – blowing a 23-point lead in the fourth game. However, they managed to put together and won the series in 6 games. Dirk Nowitzki was instrumental in the success of the team.
Demolition of the Lakers
The series against the Lakers was much-anticipated by the spectators. The Los Angeles team were the defending champions and everyone expected a tough matchup that would perhaps turn into a 7-game thriller. However, not everything went according to plan – the Mavericks crushed the Lakers in 4 games. It was shocking. The Mavericks took the first 2 games from the Lakers and the series moved to Dallas. After winning the 3rd game, in the fourth match (122-86), they set a record of executed 3-point shots.
Conference Finals Against the Thunder
After defeating the Lakers, the Mavericks faced a talented yet inexperienced team of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Thunder were not considered the favourites to defeat the opponent and the series ended in a 4:1 win for the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki had a phenomenal performance scoring 48 points in the first game. And then there was a deja vu of the 2006 Finals.
The Heat vs The Mavericks
When the 2010/2011 season was beginning the Miami Heat assembled a team full of stars. They signed LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Bosh from the Toronto Raptors. Dwyane Wade, the star of the previous Finals against the Mavericks was in perfect shape. Dallas were considered underdogs, as the Heat were so dominant in the previous series. After the Heat won the first game, they were close to winning the second one, because the opponents were trailing 88-73 in the final quarter. By showing the character, they staged a remarkable comeback and stunned the Heat.
The third game was dramatic as well. Dirk Nowitzki missed a potential game-tying shot and the Heat took the third game. The successive 2 games were offensive and a lot of points were scored. In the sixth and the final game of the series, the Mavericks won the match 112-103. In addition to Dirk Nowitzki, who was a clear MVP during the whole playoffs, Jason Terry’s pivotal shots proved to be important for the Mavericks. After the final game, Nowitzki headed directly to the locker room. However, he returned later for the ceremony, won the Finals MVP and finally ended the championship drought for Dallas.
Luka Magic Era – Another Championship Chances for the Mavericks?
After Nowitzki’s retirement, the Mavericks have received a perfect replacement – Slovenian Luka Doncic who is undoubtedly one of the greatest players currently in the league at a very young age. With Luka being a leader of the team, they have good chances of advancing further in the playoffs. They were unlucky to have been knocked out by the Clippers in the past 2 seasons. They also have a familiar coach right now – Jason Kidd, who knows a lot about the Mavericks and they might as well be contenders in the upcoming season.