Sweet Sixteen

There’s lots of time left in the season, but it’s still nice to pause and consider what these Dallas Mavericks have accomplished so far. Charles and Mary invited us to the game Tuesday night, which we knew going in could be history-making in one respect. But we didn’t know at the time just how history making the night would end up being.


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.

dirkThis 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.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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