I'm feeling sort of nostalgic about this decade, since they managed a nice series win versus the Spurs and don't figure to be able to handle Denver. For better or worse, Mavs fans have been treated to some great playoff series and ups and downs, as this article illustrates. Dallas is all over the list of best series since the lockout:
1. Dallas over San Antonio, 2006
Simply the gold standard, for our time. Featuring an up-and-comer taking on the defending champs, this contest featured a two-point Spurs win to start it, followed by a shocking 22-point Mavs win in San Antonio. A one-point Mavs win and five-point Dallas overtime victory came next, with a one and five-point Spurs win to follow, ending with a classic Mavericks overtime win in San Antonio that featured a season-saving three-point play from Dirk Nowitzki (37 points, 15 rebounds) at the end of regulation.
Lots of emphasis on point differential? You bet. This whole list is based on how great and how close the actual games were, not any sort of misty recollections or credence slipped toward teams in the final four or two slots in the playoff bracket. This list is for those who were there, watching.
5. Golden State over Dallas, 2007
A modern classic, the eighth-seeded Golden State had Dallas’ regular season number for two straight seasons heading into this first round matchup, and proceeded to act as (should have been) expected in this first round against the top-seeded Mavericks.
7. Phoenix over Dallas, 2005
What stand out are two best friends, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, going at it on several switched screen and rolls. What also stands out are two of the best offensive teams of this generation trading high quality baskets and entertaining play.
8. Dallas over Houston, 2005
Sure, the series ended with a 40-point Dallas win in Game 7, but what we remember is the four games in the middle of this fun one that were decided by six points or less.
9. Dallas over Utah, 2001
A real shocker at the time, and a series that tipped a lot of us off to the fact that, while "playoff moxie" and "veteran doggedness" might be something to appreciate, let’s face it, talent is an asset. And Dallas had the talent enough to pull out a classic Game 5 win with Calvin Booth hitting a clutch shot down the stretch. OK, maybe "talent" isn’t the word …
17. Dallas over Sacramento, 2003
I’m sorry, but in 2003, to get to watch a seven-game series where the Kings averaged 111 points per game, and the Mavericks averaged 114.6? Come on. It was like the first time I heard the Beatles.
Honorable mention: Dallas over Portland, 2003