We're rooting for the Chicago Bulls in tonight's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Right?
I know, in the regular season the Mavs were 2-0 against the Miami Heat and 0-2 against the Bulls. But the longer the series goes -- it's currently 3-1 Miami -- the more rest the Mavs will get against a more fatigued opponent in next week's NBA Finals.
If Miami wins tonight The Finals start Tuesday in South Beach. If the Bulls win tonight, the Finals start next Thursday in either Miami or the Windy City.
Let's not kid ourselves, as the AAC vocalized loud and clear after last night's closeout win over OKC: it's now about "Beat the Heat!" For those of you new to the Mavs' bandwagon, there is a little score to settle with the Miami Heat.
You're going to hear a lot about this in the coming days ... the summer of 2006.
The tale -- which I chronicled in a March 2009 Observer cover story -- goes something like this:
"The trophy was right there--I mean, right there," recalls Mavericks' assistant coach Darrell Armstrong, a reserve guard on that '06 team. "But we had no idea how to grab it. We're up 13 and during that timeout, I remember looking at our huddle and thinking 'uh-oh'. It was eerie. Too quiet. We had this funny look in our eyes like 'we might actually win this thing,' and we weren't ready for it."
In a lot of ways, the Mavericks are still in that huddle.
Prepare to cringe. And to salivate for revenge.
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