The Dallas Mavericks just shocked the basketball world by overcoming a 2-0 series deficit against the 64-win Phoenix Suns. The heavy underdog Mavs, led by head coach Jason Kidd, blitzed Monty Williams’ Suns by winning four of the last five games of the series, including a 123-90 Game 7 blowout in Phoenix. It was an historic win that propelled the Mavs to their first conference finals since 2011.
But now the stakes are raised, as it’s one thing to upset a good Phoenix team but beating the three-time champion Golden State Warriors will take a herculean effort.
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd knows this challenge will be the toughest with the experienced and battle-tested Warriors on the other side.
Here’s what he had to say following his team’s upset series win over the Suns.
“We’re still learning each other. We’re still finding ways to get better. We’re playing a very special team in the Warriors when you talk about dynasty and one of the best coaches to ever do it.”
“So we’ll celebrate this, enjoy this today and then we’ll close the book and get ready for Golden State. But I don’t know if we have arrived,” Kidd continues.
Bay Area Legend & Mavs' Coach Jason Kidd on playing @warriors:
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) May 16, 2022
Mavericks Won First Playoff Series In 10 Seasons
The Mavericks won the franchise’s only title in 2011 with a monumental upset of the Miami Heat and their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs beat the Blazers, swept the defending champion Lakers and defeated the rising OKC Thunder 4-1 in the conference finals. It’s easily one of the greatest postseason runs we’ve seen. The aforementioned Kidd was the point guard on that veteran-laden Mavs team.
While their round one series win over the Utah Jazz was expected, their dismantling of the Phoenix Suns wasn’t. No one picked them to beat the Suns, just as no one picked them to beat the Heat in 2011. Kidd is a great motivator and he’s well-respected, having played the game at the highest of levels for a long time. He also improved tremendously from his head coaching stints with the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, where he made his share of mistakes.
This Team Is Led By Luka Doncic And Role Players
This Mavericks team doesn’t have much playoff experience, so Jason Kidd’s understanding of the postseason has proved invaluable as his team learns on the fly.
Although they had two classic playoff battles with the Clippers the previous two seasons, losing one in six games and the other in seven, no one gave them a shot against the defending Western Conference champion Suns, who’d beaten them 11 consecutive times prior to the series.
In the series clincher, Doncic (35 points) and his co-stars Jalen Brunson (24 points) and Spencer Dinwiddie (30 points) combined for 89 points, just one shy of the Suns’ total team output. Doncic will need that type of all-star impact from his supporting cast to upset the talented Warriors.
The Mavericks won the season series 3-1 against Golden State, but playoff basketball is a different beast.
Dinwiddie says his team understands the huge challenge they are facing in Golden State.
“They are one of the most historic teams of all time. Their nucleus is still intact,” Dinwiddie said. “Jordan Poole has been playing amazing. So, we will have our work cut out for us.”