DALLAS -- For the Dallas Mavericks, the moment has arrived. Through 82 regular-season games and postseason games, they have arrived at the Western Conference finals, four games from returning to the ultimate goal. Not one Mavs player has finished journey.
Jason Kidd has played in two NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry were each there five years ago. Shawn Marion and Peja Stojakovic have each played in the West finals.
Coach Rick Carlisle is in his third conference final with a third team. He's also looking for his first ring as a head coach.
The goal is now so close, but Carlisle said his veteran players understand that the focus -- one game, one quarter at a time -- doesn't change.
"I don’t have to preach much," Carlisle said. "These guys are very experienced. We’ve all been humbled too many times to not respect where we’re at and how we got here and how we need to proceed. Things are very fragile in this league. We all understand that. Whoever your opponent is this time of year is going to be a terrific team and nothing’s ever guaranteed. So, we’ve got to stay in the present and kind of deal with each moment as it comes."