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.”
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.