Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and these indomitable, inevitable Dallas Mavericks

Inevitable Dallas Mavericks

It’s one thing to believe, it’s something else entirely to know

When I was 19, I met a woman and within hours, I knew I wanted to marry her. After over 20 years together, I was right. During my years of watching sports, I’ve often felt inevitability from the losing side. As a Kansas City Chiefs fan in the 90s and 2000s, it was John Elway or Peyton Manning. As a Dallas Mavericks fan in the 2000s, it was Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan. Dirk Nowitzki’s 2011 championship run was my first taste of rooting for an unstoppable force. Patrick Mahomes has been that for me as a Chiefs fan in recent years.

Now, there’s Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and this Dallas Mavericks team. They feel special. I know they’re special.

I’m typically a pragmatic, sometimes pessimistic sports fan, despite running a Mavericks fan site. But when Dallas traded for P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford, things changed fast. The new Mavericks crushed the Thunder 146-111 in their first game together, becoming vertical, explosive, and fun.

I’ve seen many Mavericks teams. The early 2000s Nelly-era shaped my love of basketball. The Avery Johnson teams taught me about the game’s grit. The Carlisle-era squads showed me versatility and creativity. But I’ve never seen a Mavericks team this overwhelmingly athletic and physical. They play fast or slow, above the rim or beyond the arc, halfcourt or fast break, winning through defense or offense. They’re frightening, fun, and shockingly dominant. Coach Jason Kidd has quickly melded a remarkable team.

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“The Mavericks are going to win the whole thing.” That thought hit me when Dallas pummeled the Clippers in Game 5 of the first round, with Luka scoring 35 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dishing 10 assists. Dallas won the series 4-2. Game 5 also saw Luka play joyful basketball against the Thunder, scoring 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. When the Mavericks pulled back to single digits in Game 6, I knew they’d win.

Kyrie Irving struggled in the second half of Game 1 and most of Game 2 against the Timberwolves. Yet, with Dallas down by seven, I knew he’d make a comeback. He responded with four threes, including one that put Dallas down two with 1:05 to go. When Luka isolated Rudy Gobert with 12 seconds left, I knew he’d sink the step-back three and win the game.

This Mavericks team has brought me beyond belief. I feel the Dallas Mavericks are inevitable. They’re up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals, needing two more wins to advance. But I can’t shake the feeling, and I don’t want to. These Mavericks are incredible. They’re going to win the Western Conference Finals. They’re going to win the NBA Championship. I just know it.

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