Once upon a time the Lakers and Mavericks were rivals of sorts. The two teams tangled three times in the postseason during the 1980’s. Naturally the Lake Show took all three of the encounters though each series became increasingly more difficult with the 1988 clash going a full 7 games in the Western Finals.
Ever since Mark Cuban resurrected the decaying Dallas franchise he’s had one target square in his crosshairs – the Los Angeles Lakers.
Well, Cubes, be careful what you wish for.
Way back in September the loud mouthed billionaire made the bold claim that his squad could contend with the two-time defending champs. Flash forward to May and his stacked squad will get a chance to prove their owner right.
After being only minutes away from a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals some years ago only to blow the lead and then the series, the Mavs have been a perennial underachieving team. Their six game series with Portland in the first round resurrected some of those ghosts of epic fails past but the veteran unit was able to hold on and advance.
For the Lakers the Mavericks are just another team standing in their way. For Dallas this is much more. This is validation.
Therefore it’s going to take a lot more than the lackluster approach taken against New Orleans. And it will certainly require much more of Pau Gasol than a half-hearted effort. Pau gets a pass due to his illness and the fact that 50% of Gasol is still better than 100% of Okafor. Still, this series is going to require championship focus and effort from the opening tip.
We’ll get into all the specifics of the series in our LSL preview later.
Right now this is about Cuban and his wish finally coming true. Hey, if you want to be the man, you gotta beat the man.
Bring it on, Dallas!
If history is any indication then we know how this will ultimately end. Of course all Cuban will do is blame the officiating then turnaround, yell at David Stern that his league is “fixed” and insult somebody’s mother.