If it wasn't already obvious enough from their Game 7 dismantling of the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, it's worth reiterating again just in case – something special is brewing with the Dallas Mavericks.
After being doubted in the first round against the Utah Jazz, when Luka Doncic was injured for the first three games of the series, and then again in the second round against the league-best Phoenix Suns, the Mavs have overcome all of that and punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011.
Not only did the Mavs win Game 7 in Phoenix on Sunday night, but they did so in historic blowout fashion. Dallas won 123-90 as Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie became the first teammates to score 30+ points each since Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant did it for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002.
The 33-point win was also the second-largest for the best-of-seven series clincher in league history. The fact that Dallas was able to do it as the road team made it even more impressive, as home teams had won nearly 80 percent of the time in Game 7 history heading into Sunday’s game.
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The apology tour with the national media has already started with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who tweeted at Dinwiddie and a handful of his teammates after the game to give them their due respect. Dinwiddie accepted the apology:
Even FS1’s Skip Bayless, who kept changing his prediction for how many games the Suns would win in as the series progressed, finally came to his senses… at least somewhat.
They didn’t just “moon” the Suns, Skip. They mooned you as well.
As the Mavs prepare for the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, they find themselves as underdogs again, despite holding a 6-2 regular-season record over the remaining field of teams and arguably having the best player.
But that’s how the Mavs have always liked it. They embrace being doubted even when their play suggests that they probably shouldn’t be. We’ve seen this kind of thing happen before 11 years ago with Dirk Nowitzki. Although the narratives are a little different this time around, could history be repeating itself? It sure does feel like it.