Sunday, June 19, 2011

DALLAS -- Every great championship run has that one great moment, a tipping point, a moment of truth or simply one moment in time that means a little more.

What was it for the Dallas Mavericks? Here's a look at what some Mavs believe was their moment:

Dirk Nowitzki
"I think really if you look at it, the [Game 4] loss in Portland must've been the one that turned it around a little bit. We were up 18 or whatever going into the fourth. Lose it again, everybody says, 'Here go the Mavericks again, the same old [thing]. They can't close it, they can't win.' For us to come back in that Game 5, regroup, get a huge win here and then close it out in 6, I think that was big. Looking back now, I think that was kind of the turning around [point]. Then going to L.A. and winning Game 1, Game 2, kind of showed us we could compete with the best of them this year, and that gave us a lot of confidence. So I think early in the playoffs that snowball kind of started with that Portland loss. We kind of carried it through with believing in each other. If one guy was down, another guy stepped in. I think that's how we did it all season long."

Jason Terry
"In every series, there's a turning point. You look at our [Finals] series and that [Miami premature celebration in Game 2] was the initial turning point... '05-06 flashed right before my eyes. I honestly tell you, if I wouldn't have known the consequences of what would've happened, a fight would've broke out immediately after that situation ... And then inserting J.J. Barea into the lineup; gutsy call. Coach [Rick] Carlisle will never get as much credit as he deserves, but I have a new respect for him.

Jason Kidd
“All I know is Dirk said they [Portland] weren’t going to come in here and get a win [in Game 5]. He was going to do whatever it took. That’s the only thing that stands out [after the Game 4 collapse]. And he made sure of that."

Rick Carlisle
"Gosh, I don’t know. I’d have to think about that. I guess if I was really going to look fondly on a few moments, it would be guys like Brian Cardinal being ready to step forward and play significant roles in a championship series. A guy like Ian Mahinmi coming into a very challenging situation in Game 6 and getting a couple of big buckets, making a couple of loose-ball plays and having a positive impact when Tyson Chandler is in foul trouble. I mean, that’s huge. DeShawn Stevenson and just what he stood for all year; his toughness and grit was a big part of our team and who we were."

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