Here, Dirk sinks one of his 22 points. This is the camera-phone view of Dirk’s signature shot from our amazing seats. More and more all the time, heseems Bird-esque. Anyone else besides me think that’s the best comparison? Maybe it’s the closest, but Dirk is such a unique player (size/skill-wise) that it still doesn’t quite capture all he can do. By the time Dirk is done, we may end up saying that Larry Bird was “Dirk-esque.”
The game ended the way most Mavs games do this year: another victory. This time, it was a trouncing of the New Jersey Nets. Final score: 102-89. What was most amazing is that even when the Nets got close at one point in the third, it hardly seemed like a real threat. You got the feeling the Mavs were playing with them, like a cat with a chew toy. There was never any real sense of danger, or a feeling in the AAC that the Mavs might lose.
Check out this cell phone video from our great seats (sorry for the poor sound quality…):
Note how much this team passes around, and hustles for the offensive rebound, before going in for the kill.This is a team with swagger…a confidence that I have not seen in them before. Dirk seems supremely confident. But the person I noticed it from the most was Erik Dampier, who was just dominating. I used to detect a slight tinge of fear in his eyes. When plays didn’t go his way, he’d let out a dejected sigh. Tuesday night, he was defiant, and he had one of his best games of the season. (12 points, 13 rebounds).
These Mavs spread it around. Even though they have several genuine superstars, as the video shows, they play like a TEAM. Tuesday night, they had five players with double digit scoring. But as amazing as all this is, none of this gets to the three records they set Tuesday night.
First, they won number sixteen in a row. That’s a franchise record.
Second, they are now the first team assured of a place in the NBA playoffs. From what I can tell, that means they could actually lose every remaining game and still be assured of a playoff birth.
Finally, however, the most amazing stat of all…
With Tuesday night’s win, the Mavs become the fastest sports team to ever reach 51 wins within 56 consecutive games. That right, not fastest basketball team, but fastest sports team. Ever.
According to ESPN, not only has no basketball team ever done this, but no NHL team and no Major League Baseball team, either. And, even though it’s theoretically possible over several seasons, no NFL team has come close to a streak this long.
Gives you pause, doesn’t it?
This is a very, very, VERY good team. A dominating team.
And it’s fun to watch history being made before our eyes.