DALLAS -- There is apparently a silver lining to having a 10-game losing streak against your first-round foe.
Delusional? Maybe. But it’s definitely the right mindset for the Mavs to have.
The Mavs know better than anyone just how hard it is to beat the Spurs. They understand the need to execute almost perfectly and play as hard as possible just to have a chance to pull out a win over the Western Conference’s top seed.
The Mavs put themselves in position to end their drought against the Spurs and strike the first blow in the series Sunday afternoon, only to crumble in crunch time. They acknowledge that they let a great opportunity slip away, but choose to view the outing as one that confirms their confidence that they can compete with a foe that has dominated Dallas the last couple of seasons.
“If you don’t believe that you can beat a team, you should just stay home,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “That’s how you have to go into a series. You can lose 20 times to a team, but you’ve got to go in with a fresh mindset, be ready to go to battle and then leave it all out there and then see what happens at the end of the series.”
The reality is that the odds of the Mavs winning four of six games after snapping a 10-game losing streak against the Spurs are awfully slim. But the Mavs are focused on preparing for Game 2, not figuring out probabilities.
“We’re just ready for Game 2,” Vince Carter said. “Nothing we can do about that [losing streak]. It is what it is. We’re coming to play to win. We’re not playing because we want to get rid of a 10-game losing streak. We’re playing to win the series. I’ll leave that [losing streak] for y’all to worry about really, to be honest with you. We’re not going out there to play to not lose our 11th. We’re going out there to win four games so we can move forward.
“I think we have a chance.”
The Mavs have a chance. Maybe it’s one in a million, but like Rick Carlisle look-alike Jim Carrey’s character in “Dumb & Dumber,” they’re excited about the opportunity.