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05/03/2012

Dallas Mavericks' defense of NBA title never had a chance

AX241_51ED_9As much credit as Mark Cuban deserves for helping create an NBA championship team, he deserves equal parts blame for helping to destroy it. He had one more year of Dirk Nowitzki in his prime and he elected to take one of the best NBA players ever and surround him with a collection of old guys and disguise it as "going for it".

The Mavericks never had a real chance to defend their NBA title.

Oklahoma City Thunder 95
Dallas Mavericks 79 

Thunder lead this series 3-0. Game 4, which is not necessary, is Saturday night in Dallas.

No NBA team has ever won a playoff series down 0-3. 

"They threw a great game at us and we needed to be a lot better than we were," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the game.

There is no way in hell these Mavericks will become the first. This is an old team that knew the score before this series began, and once they fell behind 0-2 they were done. There is pride, then there is foolish pride. 

"The Mavs just aren't good enough to beat OKC," TNT analyst Charles Barkley said after the game.

Back on Dec. 13, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle chided me when I asked him about Dirk Nowitzki being 33, nearing the end of his prime, and the team not electing to re-sign so many parts of the title team. "I don't know that question is that important to anybody but you. You are talking about something that is in the future."

He is right. I was.

The problem now is this is what the future looks like: Down 0-3 in the first round, and an old team preparing to turn another year older.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com 
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