The last time an NBA Champion subsequently returned to the playoffs and repeated a title run without holding homecourt advantage in the first round was when the Rockets won as the sixth-seed in 1995. Currently, the Mavericks find themselves in a potentially similar scenario heading into the playoffs, as they can no longer finish higher than sixth this season. Dirk Nowitzki acknowledges that the significant offseason roster changes have had an effect on the team, and added that only time will tell if the decisions made this past off-season would have been worth it (Brad Townsend of SportsDay DFW reports). Here's more of the latest we've heard out of Dallas:
- Mike Heika of SportsDay DFW quoted Nowitzki as he shed some light on teammate Jason Terry:"Hopefully, he'll play well, and we'll have a deep run. If I was in his shoes, that's what I would be focusing on, playing my best and helping this franchise ultimately win a couple playoff series." Terry, who will turn 35-years-old in September, is due to become a free agent this summer.
- In a separate article, Heika documented coach Rick Carlisle's thoughts on Terry as the team's X-factor: "He's not just a scorer, he's a play-maker. He has the ability to be a difference-maker defensively for us, and when he's out there scrambling, and getting loose balls and putting himself into position to get steals, we're a different team out there. So we need his total game, and his focus should be a basketball player and not just a scorer.''