Mavericks a reflection of Cuban
Remember the old adage that teams take on the personality of their coach? I think the Dallas Mavericks have taken on the personality of their owner.
Mark Cuban is in many ways a great owner. Dallas went from non-competitive to competitive virtually overnight after Cuban bought the team, and Cuban has kept the Mavs at or near a championship level for almost a decade.
But Cuban also is volatile. He’s passionate and emotional and sometimes even irrational. And that seems to have spread to his ballteam.
Dallas beat Denver 119-117 Monday night to stay alive in their Western Conference semifinal. The Nuggets still lead the series 3-1, but the Mavs played valiantly to keep their season going, in a game in which they trailed most of the way.
But the Mavericks made it much harder on themselves than they had to. Dallas was whistled for three technical fouls in the fourth quarter, which by definition means at critical times.
All teams get technicals. Before the fourth quarter Monday night, Denver was handed three technicals and Dallas just one. But in the fourth quarter, when points and possessions are pearls of great price, the Mavericks gave away points.
With 11:32 left and Denver up 90-85, Erick Dampier was given a rough-housing technical, wiping out a Dallas rebound. The Nuggets were given a foul shot and an extra possession, which they turned into three points.
With 7:59 left and Denver up 97-93, Brandon Bass received a technical for arguing and staring, and Carmelo Anthony’s foul shot gave the Nuggets a five-point lead.
With 6:07 left and Denver up 102-100, Antoine Wright was given a technical for arguing a call. Chauncey Billups’ foul shot gave the Nuggets a three-point lead.
Dallas overcame those three (or five) free points and won, but it wasn’t. And it’s inexcusable. Teams have got to handle their emotions better than that, and that’s where Cuban fails, too.
His behavior in the Denver series has been poor. Yelling at Kenyon Martin’s mother after Game 3, calling K-Mart a “thug,” then failing to apologize over the next two days (and counting) is a festering story that should never have happened.
On TNT, Chris Webber made a great point, calling Cuban one of the stars of the league and pointing out that the NBA holds star players accountable for their actions and the same should be demanded of Cuban.
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