Rest assured, there’s no panic among any Dallas Maverick players the morning after their Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat. The shoulders won’t shrug. The morale won’t lapse. The efforts won’t fall flat. While it’s obvious that the Mavericks have a smaller window that perhaps other franchises who could have crashed the 2011 NBA Finals, it’s the Mavericks’ veteran core of players who are well-suited to handle the frustrations that came with last night’s loss.
Consider the guiding hands of this franchise, starting with its star player, Dirk Nowitzki. Even with a torn tendon, there’s no doubt that he will play through it (since it’s his non-shooting hand) and maintain his poise and execution throughout the rest of the series. At nearly 33, Nowitzki has seen well over a decade of action in the NBA and knows how to not only play through pain but frustrations as well. And even if he’s a rookie on the largest stage the league can afford him, it’s still not enough to shake his confidence.
The same can be said of the other leaders in-house for Mark Cuban’s team. Consider point guard Jason Kidd who has directed some incredibly savvy performances on courts for most of his 38 years. Jason Terry is 33-years-old and a poor shooting night one night is here today and gone the next. Same with long-distance shooter Peja Stojakovic, who is also 33. Even Tyson Chandler has been around for nearly a decade in the NBA in the middle.
While the Mavs aren’t all savvy veterans, there are more than enough around to handle the pressure that comes with being down early in a series. There’s also enough ability around the floor to handle Nowitzki’s injury — if it even affects him at all. If Dallas loses this series, it will not be because they lost any hope or panicked in this new position. It also won’t be because of Nowitzki’s opening game injury. Instead, it will simply be because they were outplayed by the Miami Heat — one great team over another.