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The  Dallas Mavericks return home to play the Houston Rockets tonight, and find themselves down 0-2 in the series.  After a week of "As the Basketball Turns" involving situations with  Rajon Rondo and "General Basketball Hospital" with injuries to Chandler Parsons and Devin Harris (Harris expected to play tonight), it's finally time to let go of the soap opera and get down to some real basketball. Essentially this means the Mavericks must win tonight, period.  No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win an NBA series, and since it would seem unlikely that the Mavs would be the first one to do so, it's a must win.

Now the good news. Despite the loss of Chandler Parsons, which does sting a bit, and the loss of Rajon Rondo, which (if we're honest) also stings a bit on the basis of what might have been had things clicked, we still have the guy we need, and he is healthy.

Dirk Nowitski is by far the greatest Maverick ever and by such a substantial margin that there is no one else even close. To win a championship this year we do not absolutely have to have Rondo or Parsons, but we must have Dirk.  We must also have Dirk playing like Dirk, and the Mavs recognizing that we must have Dirk playing like Dirk.  

Dirk playing like Dirk is a fearsome thing for opponents. When Dirk plays like Dirk, he is virtually unstoppable offensively, and as he showed in game two of this series, he is also still capable of being a factor on the boards, having led all rebounders with 13 for game two.  More importantly Dirk playing like Dirk will eventually if not immediately draw the double team, which essentially creates a juggernaut out of the Mavs flow offense, as when  correct spacing is employed there is consistently an open man. This was demonstrated time and time again during the Mavs championship run of 2011.   Dirk drawing the double team also frees up space for J.J. Barea and Monta Ellis to drive, which is their specialty and which in turn frees up space for outside shooters, which frees up, oh well you get the point.  

Here is an interesting statistic to support this.  During the 2014-2015 season the Mavs were 8-1 in games in which Dirk scored 25 or more points. In the event you are wondering, we must go 4-1 to win this series from a position of being down to 0-2 in a series that goes seven games. 

While Dirk is aging he is still capable of big nights and the fall away jumper is still  lethal when dropping. To win this series the Mavs must get Dirk going early and often.  Pause to think for a moment about what it means to be number 7  on the NBA all time points list, which Dirk happens to be. That's number seven. All time. Out of everyone who has ever played in the NBA. Ever. A player whom we have and Houston does not. 

Let's go Mavs, take a trip on the Dirk train one more time. 

Owner and Senior Guitar Instructor at Creative Guitar Learning - Contact Randy at  
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