This veteran, Championship team has lost its defensive minded center, a sparkplug little guy, and a defensive wing man. They face opponents that get up for them every night and they've been struggling a bit to start this season.
"You can’t look at their record and say that’s who they are. They have championship experience with a lot of the guys on their roster, and they have a lot of veteran guys who can get the job done. So they’re a lot better than what their record really shows."
As it turns out, the above quote was from Paul Pierce talking about the Mavs but it could just have easily been about the Celtics and you could draw plenty of parallels between the two franchises.
They both won a title against a favored and hyped up opponent by emphasizing teamwork and stepping up their defense. Dallas has lost Chandler (Perkins), Barea (House), and Stevenson (Posey) from their Championship rotation. Pierce and Nowitski were even drafted in the same year and had career long questions answered when they each won a title.
Of course not all comparisons are perfect and each situation is unique. Still, it is hard not to feel a certain degree of kinship with this team - especially since their victory over the Heat still gives me warm fuzzies.
For more coverage on the Mavs, see Mavs Moneyball.
Note: Jason Kidd is injured and not expected to play tonight. Hey, that sounds familiar too.