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2011 Dallas Mavericks' NBA Playoffs: My Top 10 Observer-ational Moments

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10. It was a simple offensive rebound and putback layup off the glass, but when Shawn Marion produced it at the end of the third quarter on April 25 it gave the Mavericks a 14-point lead over the Blazers in crucial Game 5 of the first round, and it restored confidence in the Mavs two days after they blew a 23-point lead in Portland.

9. I know it wasn't a positive play for the home team and it came in a loss at American Airlines Center, but Kevin Durant's West Finals Game 2 dunk over Brendan Haywood -- his eyes level with the rim -- was one for the ages.

8. After watching the Mavs waltz to a playoff-record 20 3-pointers, the Lakers' Andrew Bynum cheap-shot forearms J.J. Barea on a drive to the hoop near the end of Dallas' Mothers Day Massacre 36-point win that caps a sweep over the two-time defending champs. Helpless and hopeless, L.A. resorts to thuggery in a series that doesn't even last a week.   

7. After being mocked by a fake-coughing Dwyane Wade and LeBron James before Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki calls them "childish" and "ignorant." Nope, this wasn't your same ol' soft Mavericks.

6. With the Mavs comfortably ahead late in Game 6 of The Finals and Miami scrambling to get back in the game and hang on in the series, 2006 demon Wade is officially exorcised as he dribbles the ball off his foot and out of bounds. Not even his flailing and flopping can stop the Mavs from a title.

5. Yeah, the Mavs erased a 16-point deficit in the second half at Staples Center in Game 1 of the West Semis May 2, but not until Kobe Bryant back-rimmed his potential game-winning 3-pointer did we really think they had a chance to actually win the series.

4. Down 15 points with five minutes remaining in Game 4 of the West Finals in Oklahoma City, the Mavs frantically force overtime and then take control when Jason Kidd accepts a pass from Nowitzki and makes a calm, cool corner 3-pointer.

3. In pivotal Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Mavs hold a 5-point lead in the final minute with the shot-clock winding down. Despite being hounded by James, Terry rises up and nails a 27-foot 3-pointer that seals a 3-2 lead. The Mavs have never been closer to a title; the AAC has never been louder.

2. After trailing 88-73 with seven minutes remaining in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Mavs use Wade's exaggerated posing and preening as fuel for an epic comeback climaxed by Dirk's lefty layup over Chris Bosh for a 95-93 win.

1. In a classy move, owner Mark Cuban summons Don Carter to the championship stage in Miami's American Airlines Arena. The 77-year-old founding father of the Mavericks is the first to lay hands upon the NBA championship trophy. Tears.

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