The Mavs advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs after beating the Portland Trail Blazers in six games to find themselves in a match up with the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only were the Mavs about to face the two time defending NBA Champions, but the Mavs would have to win the series without home court advantage. Many experts had Portland as the favorites over the Mavs in the first round and in the second round the Mavs certainly were not thought of as favorites against Kobe Bryant and company.
The Mavs and Lakers started the series off with a tough fought Game 1. After the first quarter the Mavs showed the Lakers that they weren’t just going to lay down and be content with making it to the second round. As the game went on the Lakers showed why they were the two time defending champs and took control of Game 1 with a double digit lead. The Mavs, however, would not go away and stormed back on a run led by their captain Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs took a late two point lead over the Lakers, but the Lakers would have one last chance to tie or win the game. With the game on the line everyone knew who was going to have the ball in his hands, the Black Mamba Kobe Bryant. Not only did the Mavs not want Kobe to get a shot off, the Mavs didn’t want him to get a clear shot to tie or win the game; and that’s exactly what happened. Kobe got an open shot from beyond the arc to win the game, but as clutch as Kobe has been and still is he was unable to knock down the shot and the Mavs overcame a double digit deficit and survived Game 1 against the Lakers at Staples Center.
After the Mavs stole Game 1, everyone expected the series to go as expected with the Lakers coming out on top. But again the Mavs decided to go against what people expected and won Games 2 and 3. Somehow, some way the Mavs were up 3-0 on the defending champion Lakers. Even on the verge of elimination, Kobe and the Lakers said they were confident and still expected to win the series. Maybe that motivated the Mavs. Or maybe the Mavs were just that hot. Or maybe both. Either way the Mavs were ready to close out the series in Game 4 and the game proved to be no contest. The Mavs bombarded the Lakers with three point shots and the game was decided by half time. Just to make sure there was no chance what so ever of any kind of come back, the Mavs came out in the second half just as hot as they were in the first half.
After beating Portland, the team many felt was a match up problem for the Mavs, in the first round the Mavs had now beat the reigning champs. Not only did they beat the champs, but the Mavs swept the Lakers in four games. No one saw the series playing out the way it did, but that’s why they play the games. Now the Mavs advanced to the Western Conference Finals to face the Oklahoma City Thunder, the young, athletic, fast, dangerous, up and coming team in the West.