Mark Cuban: Everybody wrong
PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s hyperbole to say that nobody believed in the Mavs, but they were probably the most doubted 57-win team in NBA history entering the playoffs.
Portland was a trendy upset pick, in large part due to the Mavs’ troubling trend of premature playoff exits. That recent history combined with the fact the Mavs won only one of their final 10 games against West playoff teams caused many -- and I’m guilty -- of projecting the Mavs to be on vacation by May again.
“Everybody thinks we didn’t have what it takes,” Mark Cuban said. “Everybody was a prognosticator. Everybody was wrong. Our guys just showed a lot of heart, so I’m really proud of them.”
TNT’s Charles Barkley is driving the Mavs’ bandwagon in the second round, having declared that they’ll defeat the two-time defending champion Lakers in six games. That will be a minority opinion.
“Not a lot of people picked us to win this series. Not a lot of people are going to pick us to win the next series,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who has repeatedly referred to the Lakers as heavy favorites to win the West. “We’re just going to go out there and keep competing, play smart and play off each other like we have all season, and we’ll see what happens.”
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Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the upcoming NBA draft and possible moves the Mavericks could make.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.