The Sweetest First-Round Exit

8 May 2014 by Winston Zhang, No Comments »

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The dust has settled, the heart-rates back down to normal levels. The Dallas Mavericks’ 2013-2014 season is in the books, and it ends with a 49-33 regular season record and a pretty epic 7-game series against the best team in the NBA this year, the San Antonio Spurs. By all means a successful season, given the goals that were set at the beginning of the year, but it did end on somewhat of a damp squib, with a Game 7 blowout loss.

But you know what? I have never felt so good about being knocked out in the first round, ever.

I’m really excited about the future of this team now, with some solid building blocks in place with the likes of Dirk, Monta, B Wright and more, and I’ve always been really excited at the thought of trades and free agent signings and so on. But every now and then I remember that all the team-building plans and thoughts about future cap space/draft picks/signings in the world don’t mean squat if you can’t just sit down and appreciate what the team is right now, and what they actually produce on the court.

I’m so glad I did so for this playoff series. I only caught Games 2, 3 and 6, and about one half of Game 4, due to clashes with my own personal schedule, but even this limited viewing gave me more than enough happy and hype moments to last the rest of the offseason:

I was roaring along with this one; the raw emotion of the moment overcame me:

We have truly been blessed with buzzer-beaters this season, and this was the biggest one of them all:

Dirk can still take it to the hoop:

Blair does big-man fast breaks better than Kaman:

He also made screens highlight plays:

Let us also never forget Monta Ellis and his 4th quarter feats of flight and clutchness:


For someone who averaged just 6 boards a game in the regular season, Dirk can really turn it on in the playoffs:

All future articles which contain any mention of a refereeing mishap going against us should contain this .gif:

I’m sure I’ve missed some things; everyone has their own favourites of course. And one should never discount the contributions of the likes of Marion and Calderon. But all of the above ones really struck a chord with me. Whether it was roaring along with Dirk or seeing all of my own emotions being played out perfectly in Carlisle Facespeak, I was well and truly caught up in the moment.

It’s a first-round exit and the Mavs have loftier goals than that. But they tackled this season in the best way possible, and showed everyone that there IS value in trying instead of tanking when you don’t have a championship-caliber roster.

I’ve said it before; once Vince’s shot found the bottom of the net, our legacy for this season was sealed. It didn’t matter from then on how many games we won or lost; the Mavericks would be seen as on the up and up regardless. So to be able to have the big, overarching worry overcome, AND have so many amazing memories all in one playoff series?

I’m a happy man.

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