DALLAS -- The Mavericks tried to convince themselves all season that they didn't miss Tyson Chandler. They pointed to defensive statistics that suggested they were actually better on that end this season.
But, really, what else were they supposed to do? It wasn't the players' decision to allow Chandler, this season's Defensive Player of the Year with the New York Knicks, to walk.
But now facing a sweep at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team without a dominant big man and the Mavs still unable to take advantage with starting center Brendan Haywood mostly anchored to the bench, the truth starts to come out.
Actually, Jason Terry suggested that the truth has always been on the front burner.
"We’ve been saying that all season," Terry said. "That hasn’t got us anywhere but the seventh seed and the hole we’re in now. Tyson ain’t coming back, and we’ve realized that. I definitely say he had a great season -- Defensive Player of the Year. But it’s a presence you’ve missed -- an active big man that can cover ground. And so we don’t have that. We try to find other ways to win with the group we have."