1980/81: The Dallas Mavericks owned by Donald Carter who paid a $12 million expansion team takes the floor with a young inexperienced team, by passing aging stars like Earl Monroe, Rick Barry, and Pete Maravich for players with less than three years’ experience. However, things did not go smoothly in the draft when top pick Kiki Vandeweghe refused to sign forcing a trade to the Denver Nuggets. The Mavericks would get off to a rousing start when the beat the San Antonio Spurs, who once played in the ABA as the Dallas Chaparrals, in their first game. However, the Mavs would win just five of their next 45 games on the way to an awful 15-67 season.
1981/82: The Mavericks three draft picks Mark Aguirre (with the first overall pick), Rolando Blackman (9th), and Jay Vincent (24th) become key starters right away, making the Mavs an exciting team to watch. However the rookie would get off to a slow start as the Mavericks won just one of their first 14 games. However, by January the team was playing better, putting together a modest four game winning streak. However, in the end the Mavericks would still struggle to finish with a 28-54 record. However, they would manage to escape last place.
1982/83: The third year Mavericks continued to improve being in playoff contention most of the first half of the season. However, the young Mavs would struggle down the stretch which included a seven game losing streak that ended their playoff hopes as they finished in 4th place with a 38-44 record.
1983/84: The Mavericks improvement continued as they got off to a fast start winning ten of their first 13 games, on the way to their first playoff appearance which they earned by finishing in second place in the Midwest Division with a record of 43-39, as Mark Aguirre finished second in scoring with 30.6 ppg. In their first taste of the playoffs the Mavericks played a tight five game series with the Seattle Supersonics emerging victorious in overtime of Game 5 by a score of 105-104. However, in the second round the Mavericks would be shot down by the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one.
1984/85: For the fourth year in a row the Mavericks improve over their previous season as the Mavericks lead the league in three pointers and fewest turnovers, during a third place finish in which the Mavs finished with a 44-38 record. In the playoffs the Mavs get off to a good start winning Game 1 in double overtime against the Portland Trailblazers in thrilling fashion. However, the Blazers would roar back to win three straight games to eliminate the Mavericks in four games.
1985/86: The Mavericks add another piece to its growing talent pool with the selection of Detlef Schrempf in the draft. In a year Dallas played host to the All-Star game the Mavericks were a high scoring squad average 115.3 ppg the second highest in the NBA, as they made the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row with a 44-38 record. In the playoffs the Mavericks would hit a sweet note as the eliminated the Utah Jazz in four games. However, in the second round they would be knocked off by the Los Angeles Lakers again falling six games. However, four of the games were decided by four points or less.
1986/87: The Mavericks had finally arrived winning their first Division Title with a solid record of 55-27. Once again, the Mavs took care of the ball as the led the NBA with the fewest turnovers for the fifth year in a row. In the playoffs the Mavericks got off to an incredible start as they slaughtered the Seattle Supersonics 151-129 in Game 1. However, the wheels would suddenly come off as the Mavs who had not lost more than two straight games, all year lost the next three games as their season was ended in the first round. Following the season Dick Motta the only coach in Mavs history would suddenly resign.
1987/88: With new Coach John MacLeod the Mavericks remained one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA, as they battled all season with Denver Nuggets for the Midwest Division Tilt. However, the Mavs would fall one game short with a solid 53-29 record. In the playoffs the Mavericks would shoot down the Houston Rockets in four games, before getting revenge on the Nuggets in six games to advance to their first Conference Final. In the Western Finals the Mavs gave the Los Angeles Lakers all they could handle before falling in Game 7 by a score of 117-102.
1988/89: After five straight playoff appearances the Mavericks hit a speed bump and begin to unravel. In what started out as an injury-plagued season the Mavericks would quickly fall apart on and off the court. First Roy Tarpley was suspended infinitely in January for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Then they started to trade away top stars like Mark Aguirre to the Detroit Pistons for Adrian Dantley who refused to even play for the Mavs, even though he would eventually show up after an eight day holdout. In another questionable move the Mavs would trade Detlef Schrempf to the Indiana Pacers for Herb Williams. The Mavs would finally bottom out in March with a 12-game losing streak as they finished in fourth place with a 38-44 record.
1989/90: After an awful season the Mavericks would bounce back to make the playoffs with a 47-35 record good enough for third place in the Midwest Division. However, things would not all go smoothly for the Mavericks. First Roy Tarpley would find himself in hot water again as he is arrested in November for Driving under the Influence of Drugs. Shortly thereafter Coach John MacLeod is fired and replaced by Richie Adubato. After finishing the season on a high note the Mavericks would make a quick exit in the playoffs as they are swept in three straight games by the Portland Trailblazers.
1990/91: The Mavericks troubles would start early as Fat Lever and Roy Tarpley are both lost early in the season with season ending knee injuries. While on the injured list Tarpley again would be suspended for substance abuse by the NBA. Meanwhile the Mavericks just could not put anything together as they finished worst then the two expansion teams (Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves) while finishing sixth place in the Midwest Division with a record of 28-54.
1991/92: Prior to the start of the season Roy Tarpley banned from the NBA for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for a third time. Fat Lever misses most of the season again, as the Mavericks begin to regret acquiring him from the Denver Nuggets for two first round draft picks. With aging stars and injuries the Mavs would struggle all season on the way to finishing in fifth place with a 22-60 record.
1992/93: The dismantling of the Mavericks continues as Fat Lever misses the entire season with a knee injury and Rolando Blackman is traded to the New York Knicks. In addition top draft pick Jim Jackson held out more than half of the season. This would all spell the recipe for disaster as the Mavericks flirted all season with the worst record in NBA history as they stood at 4-57 through 61 games. However, the signing of Jackson on March 3rd, coupled with the announcement that Quinn Buckner would take over as coach the next season, gave the team the emotional boost necessary to avoid infamy. In the final 21 contests Jackson helped the team to a 7-14 record, including two straight victories to close out the year and finish at 11-71, avoiding infamy by just two games.
1993/94: Despite the addition of Kentucky star Jamal Mashburn from the NBA draft the Mavericks misery continued as they lost 23 of their first 24 games on the way to 3-40 record at the end of January, as the team rejected Quinn Buckner’s disciplinary coaching style. The Mavs would go on to narrowly avoid history again finishing with an awful 13-69 record. Following the season Coach Quinn Buckner is fired.
1994/95: With the hopes of repeating history the Mavericks bring back original Coach Dick Motta to restore a team that had complied an awful 24-140 record over the last two years. The Mavs select Cal guard Jason Kidd with their top draft pick. Kidd would make an immediate impact as he shared Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill of the Detroit Pistons while averaging 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists on the year. With Kidd in the backcourt and Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson the Mavs had a formidable young foundation as they finished in fifth place with a record of 36-46, which was 12 more wins than their previous two season combined.
1995/96: The Mavericks would take a step backward as Jamal Mashburn goes down with a knee injury 18 games into the season. Meanwhile Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson had trouble getting along as the Mavericks finished with a terrible 26-56 record. Following the season Dick Motta would be fired as the Mavs are sold by Donald Carter to Ross Perot Jr.
1996/97: With new Coach Jimmy Clemons the Mavericks struggles continued, while the Three J’s (Jason Kidd, Jamal Mashburn, and Jimmy Jackson) continued to squabble on and off the court rumors had they were al fighting over super diva Toni Braxton. With the team not showing any improvement it was decided to scrap the team and start from scratch by season’s end Kidd, Jackson, and Mashburn would all be gone, as they are dealt in separate deals to the Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets, and Miami Heat. The Mavs would go on to finish the season with a 24-58 record.
1997/98: The Mavericks continue to struggle as General Manager Don Nelson takes over as Coach, during a 20-62 season. However, despite the poor record the Mavs have a knack for giving some of the NBA’s elite team a hard time, as they beat the Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, and Indiana Pacers. However, all the wins were overshadowing by a rousing comeback victory over the Chicago Bulls, going on a 17-2 run to force overtime where they won 104-97. During the season, former Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns star A.C. Green would make history, as he became the NBA’s all-time iron man with 978 consecutive games played.
1998/99: In a season shortened by a four month lockout the young Mavericks begin to show some promise by posting their first winning record at home in ten years at 15-10. However the Mavs were still a mile away from the playoffs as they finished in fifth place with a 19-31 record.
1999/00: The Mavericks change ownership again as internet mogul Mark Cuban purchases the team. In a promotional move Dennis Rodman is brought in. However, with his best days behind him, the Worm would be gone after just 12 games. The Mavs would struggle early on the way to their 11th straight year without the playoffs. However, as Dirk Nowitzki continued to improve the Mavs finished the season strong posting a 30-18 record over the second half including a 9-1 record in April, as the Mavs finished with a 40-42 record their best since 1990.
2000/01: In the final year of basketball at the Reunion Arena the Mavericks finally end their ten year playoff drought by finishing in third Place with a 53-29 record. Along the way the Mavs overcame the adversity of losing Coach Don Nelson for a while as he underwent treatment for prostate cancer. In his absence the Mavericks were turned over to an experienced group of assistant coaches led by Nelson’s son Donnie nelson. Meanwhile Dirk Nowitzki became the first Maverick to receive all-NBA honors when he was named to the third team. In the playoffs the Mavs would drop the first two games in Utah to the Jazz. However, they would be rejuvenated when they came home to Reunion, as they went on to win the next three games and advance to the next round. However, in the second Round they would fall in five games to the San Antonio Spurs.
2001/02: Early in the Mavericks first season at the American Airlines Centers the focus was on Maverick owner Mark Cuban and his continues battles with NBA officials, as his fines reached seven figures. In one memorable incident Cuban managed a Dairy Queen for day after saying he would not allow NBA director of officiating to manage one of the famous ice cream chain’s stores. While Cuban was a headache for the heads of the NBA, he was a true fans man, often wearing just a Mavericks t-shirt at games while rooting for the team like the average fan. In addition he would offer up several promotions that made Mavs basketball the place to be. However, promotions are not enough you also need a good team to draw fans and the Mavericks found themselves among the NBA’s elite all year battling all season for the Midwest Division before falling one game short with a franchise best 57-25 record. In the playoffs the Mavs stayed hot as Dirk Nowitzki collected 42 rebounds as the Mavericks went through the Minnesota Timberwolves like a Buzzsaw sweeping them in three straight games. However, in the second round the Mavs would be shot down by the Sacramento Kings in six games.
2002/03: The Mavericks would come flying out the gate to start the season winning their first 14 games, on the way to an impressive 17-1 start. However, as the season wore on the Mavs weakness on defense would catch up with them as the San Antonio Spurs began to chip away at a seven game deficit, eventually catching the Mavericks at the end of the season. However, the Mavericks would still end up with league’s best record at 60-22, but they would lose a tiebreaker to the Spurs for the division title and the top seed in the playoffs. Facing the Portland Trailblazers in the playoffs the Mavericks once again got off to a fast start winning the first 3 games. However, under a new playoff format the Mavs still needed to win a game to advance. Getting that 4th win would prove difficult as the Blazers won the next three games easily to force a seventh game. However, the Mavericks would avoid becoming the first team to blow a 3-0 series lead with a late 12-0 run in Game 7 to win 107-95. Facing the Sacramento Kings in the second round the Mavericks were thoroughly beaten in Game 1 at home 124-113. However, the Mavs would bounce back to even the series the next night, as Kings MVP Chris Webber suffered a knee injury. The Mavs would take advantage of Webbers absence and beat the Kings 141-137 in a Game 3 shootout in Sacramento. The Kings and Mavs would alternate wins in the next three games as the series went to a seventh game. In Game 7 in Dallas the Mavericks pulled out a 112-99 win to set up an all Texas Western Conference Finals. The Mavs would get the Conference Finals started in style by stunning the Spurs on the road with a 113-110 win as the Mavs sank a record 49 of 50 free throws. However, the Mavs would lose Game 2 119-106, but more costly was the loss of Dirk Nowitzki to a sprained knee. Without Nowitzki the Mavs would drop the next two games at home as they feel behind 3-1 in the series. However the Mavs would not go down without a fight as they stole Game 5 in San Antonio and were poised to force a seventh game as they held a 69-56 lead entering the 4th Quarter. However, they would end up being buried in a barrage of three pointers by Steve Kerr as the Spurs outscored the Mavs 34-9 in the final period to go to the NBA Finals.
2003/04: After just missing out on a trip to the NBA Finals the Mavericks added more fire power by acquiring Antwan Jamison in a trade with the Golden State Warriors and Antoine Walker in a trade with the Boston Celtics. With the new players the Mavs would get off to a slow start as Coach Don Nelson had a tough time trying to work everyone into the rotation. On the road the Mavericks struggled badly posting a terrible 16-25 record. However at home they were unbeatable posting a franchise best 36-5 record at the American Airlines Center as they posted a solid 52-30 record finishing in third place in the competitive Midwest Division. Leading the way for the Mavericks was Dirk Nowitzki who led the team in scoring and rebounding with 21.8 ppg and 8.7 rebounds per game. While Antwan Jamison gained NBA hardware by being named NBA’s 6th Man of the year for averaging 14.8 ppg off the bench. In the playoff the Mavericks would face the Sacramento Kings in a rematch of their intense second round series from 2003. The Mavs would get off on the wrong foot, losing the first two games on the road. The Mavericks would rebound in Game 3 as the series shifted to Dallas winning 104-79. However they would lose Game 4 in heartbreaking fashion as Steve Nash’s last second shot bounced off the rim in a 94-92 loss, as the Kings went on to win the series in five games. Following the season the Mavericks roster would go through a shake up as Nash signed a free agent deal with the Phoenix Suns. To replace Nash the Mavericks acquired Jason Terry in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Antoine Walker, while 6th Man Antwan Jamison was dealt to the Washington Wizards for Jerry Stackhouse.
2004/05: Despite the loss of Steve Nash, the Mavericks remained one of the best teams in the Western Conference as they got off to a strong start as Jason Terry acquired in a trade from the Atlanta Hawks for Antoine Walker averaged 5.4 assists per game. However feeling something was lacking the Mavericks would land Keith Van Horn for stretch run. The deal gave them a solid 6th man off the bench as Van Horn averaged 12.2 ppg in 29 games in Dallas. Meanwhile Don Nelson would step down and hand the coaching reigns to Avery Johnson, because in select game the team played better under Johnson when Nelson let him run the team. The change would be a boost for the Mavericks, who won their last nine games to finish in second place in the Southwest Division with a 58-24 record. In the playoffs the Mavericks faced the Houston Rockets in a first round Texas Tussle. Despite having their strong finish the Mavs stumbled when the series started dropping the first two games at home. Staring an 0-3 deficit in the face the Mavs staged an amazing 4th Quarter comeback going on a 20-0 run in the 4th Quarter to win Game 3 in Houston 106-102. The Mavericks would keep the momentum rolling winning Game 4 and Game 5 to take control of the series. After losing Game 6 in Houston, the series went to decisive seventh game, where Jason Terry and Josh Howard dominated the game as the Mavs won convincingly 116-76. In the second Round the Mavericks faced the Phoenix Suns led by Steve Nash who won the NBA MVP leading the Suns to the best record in the NBA. IN a back and forth showdown of two of the NBA’s highest scoring teams the series would go back and forth through the first four games with both teams cracking 100 in each game. In Game 5 it would be Steve Nash that would knock the Mavericks on the ropes as he scored 34 points in a 114-108 win for the Suns, needing a win at home in Game 6 to force a seventh game the Mavericks would battle the Suns into overtime where Nash again haunted his former team leading the comeback that forced Overtime and continuing his hot hand in OT as he scored 39 points in a 130-126 win to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
2005/06: After falling just short of making the Conference Finals the Mavericks returned hoping to finally beat their nemesis from San Antonio and take the next step forward, and thanks to continued strong defense they would battle the Spurs for the top record in the West all season, as neither team got a big lead all season. However, in the end the Spurs would get the best of the Mavericks in the regular season as the Mavs franchise best 60-22 record had them fall three games short of the division title, and best overall record in the West. Despite falling short the Mavericks great season would earn Avery Johnson Coach of the Year honors. In the playoffs the Mavericks would get off to a fast start as they made quick work of the Memphis Grizzlies winning four straight without breaking a sweat to set up another second round showdown with the San Antonito Spurs. The highly anticipated Lone Star State showdown would get off to a fantastic start as the Spurs edged the Mavs 87-85. Game 2 would be a different story as the Mavericks evened the series with an easy 113-91 win, pulling away in the second quarter when they outscored the Spurs 32-16, as the Mavs had four players with 19 or more points. As the series shifted to Dallas the intensity picked up as the lead seesawed several times in the 4th Quarter before Dirk Nowitzki nailed two free throws with 7.5 seconds left to give the Mavs a 104-103 victory. Game 4 would be even tighter as the two heavyweights battled into overtime tied at 111-111, as Jason Terry played the role of hero tying the game for the Mavericks. In Overtime it was Terry again who got the Mavericks going hitting the first points and helping Dallas keep the lead with a pair of jumpers in a 123-118 victory that gave the Mavericks a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 back in San Antonio would be just as exciting as the Mavericks were unable to contain Tim Duncan who scored 36 points and had 12 rebounds to keep the Spurs alive with a 98-97 win, as Jason Terry got suspended for the next game after delivering a low blow to ex-teammate Michael Finley in the closing seconds. With a chance to close the series out at home, the Mavericks clearly missed Terry as the best efforts of Dirk Nowitzki who had 26 points and 21 rebounds could not stop the Spurs from forcing a seventh game with a 91-86 win. Facing losing a 3-1 lead and losing to the Spurs again the Mavericks went to San Antonio with a chip on their shoulder as Owner Mark Cuban continued to draw criticism for his blogging during the playoffs on his personal website Blog Maverick. Surprisingly the Mavericks made it look easy at first building a 20 point lead, as Terry returned and scored 27 points, but the pesky defending champs battled back and forced overtime again. However it would be Nowitzki who would play the role of hero making the big shots at the end as the Mavericks won in overtime 119-111. After their tough battle against the Spurs the Mavs faced the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals and fell behind early losing the opener 121-118 as the Suns scored 30 points in the 4th Quarter against the tired Mavs. The Mavericks would rebound the next two games as Dirk Nowitzki led the team with two double-doubles. After losing Game 4 in Phoenix, the Mavericks took control of the series for good with a 117-101 win in Game 5 as Nowitzki scored 50 points. In Game 6 the Mavericks got off to a slow start as they trailed at halftime 51-39. The Mavericks would start to crawl back in the 3rd Quarter as they pulled to within three points. From there on it would be all Mavericks as they scored 40 points in the 4th Quarter to pull away to a 102-93 win that sent them to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
2006 NBA Finals: In the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat the Mavericks got off to a flying start winning the first two games at home easily as Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki continued their monster postseasons. Game 3 in Miami looked like more of the same as a 13-point lead midway through the 4th Quarter had Dallas planning a victory parade. However, suddenly Dwyane Wade would get hot and lead the Heat to a miracle comeback with a 98-96 win. The Mavericks stunned by the Game 3 collapse played one of their worst games of the postseason two days later as the Heat tied the series with a 98-74 win, setting up Game 5 as the key game of the series. The game would also be the best of the entire series at it went back and forth with Jason Terry battling Dwyane Wade. As the Mavericks held a slim one point lead late in overtime Josh Howard was sent to the line with a chance to extend the lead. However, Howard missed both free throws setting up Wade to be the hero, as the Heat star was fouled in the final seconds of overtime. Wade would hit both shots to give the Heat a 101-100 lead, as Josh Howard mistakenly called a time out between free throws, forcing the Mavericks to go the length of the court to try a game winning shot, which they were unable to do as the Heat took a 3-2 series lead. Following the game Owner Mark Cuban found himself embroiled in more controversy as he was fined $250,000 for criticizing the officials, while Dirk was fined $5,000 for kicking the ball into the stands. Back in Dallas for Game 6 the Mavericks hoped to regain the momentum, but it was not meant to be as Wade scored a game high 36 points to lead the Heat to an NBA Title with a 95-92 victory.
2006/07: After their heart breaking loss in the NBA Finals there was a concern there would be a hangover when the season started as the Mavericks lost their first four games, as they struggled on both sides of the ball. Facing the Phoenix Suns on the road the Mavericks finally got things turned around with a 119-112 win, as Dirk Nowitzki scored a game high 35 points, that win would spark a 12-game winning streak as the Mavericks began an incredible stretch over the next four months where they would not lose games in a row. After a brief stretch where they lost 3 of five games in early December the Mavericks began another long winning streak, with 13 straight wins to bring their record to 27-7. After a 101-98 loss on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavericks would win another eight straight as they took firm control of the Southwest Division. Following a 96-85 loss on January 25th, the Mavericks would fire up yet another extended winning streak as they would not lose again until March 11th, winning 17 straight games. In total since their 0-4 start the Mavericks would win 52 of their next 57 games. The Mavericks would go on to close the season with a 67-15 record as they won their first division championship in 20 years. The year would also bring individual accolades to Dirk Nowitzki who was named NBA MVP as he led the team with 24.6 ppg, and 8.9 rebounds per game. At 67-15 the Mavericks were heavy favorites as the playoffs began with everyone focusing on a future Western Conference Final against either the San Antonio Spurs or Phoenix Suns. However, nobody noticed the trap that was lying in wait in the first round against the Golden State Warriors who at 42-40 made their first playoff appearance in 13 years. The Warriors were coached by Don Nelson, who was at the helm for the Mavericks when things began to turn around 1997-2005, and was still there when most of the current Mavericks came to Dallas, and developed their style of play. If one did not realize how dangerous the Warriors were, one may only examine the Mavericks season, as they went 67-15, but lost all three games to the Warriors. When the playoff started it was the Warriors who dominated taking Game 1 in Dallas 97-85. The Mavs would bounce back in Game 2 evening the series with a 112-99 win. However as the series shifted to Oakland the Mavericks walked into a buzz saw, with the crowd helping to lift the Warriors to a 109-91 win in Game 3 and a 103-99 win in Game 4 to take a stunning 3-1 series lead. Led by Dirk Nowitzki who scored 30 points in Game 5, the Mavericks kept their hopes alive with a 118-112 victory. However, that Oakland buzz saw would get them again as the Warriors completed the stunning upset with a 111-86 win, as the Warriors broke the Mavs back with 36 points in the 3rd Quarter.
2007/08: Following their stunning first round exit the Mavericks again got off to a good start posting a 9-2 record in their first 11 games. However, problems were not hard to see as a three game losing streak demonstrated that the Mavs had some holes. As the New Year began the Mavericks embarked on a seven game winning streak, but in a highly competitive Western Conference the Mavericks were only in the middle of the pack of tightly bunched playoff contenders as the trade deadline approached. Hoping to pick up the pace on offense the Mavericks made a trade to re-acquire Jason Kidd, along with Malik Allen and Antoine Wright for the retired Keith Van Horn, Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, $3 million, and two first round draft picks. The deal would quickly look like a dud as the Mavericks struggled against winning teams, posting a 3-11 record, as they lost ground on the Western Conference leaders. The Mavericks would end up finishing in fourth place in the Southwest Division with a 51-31 record as they entered the playoffs with the seventh seed. In the first round they would face the New Orleans Hornets. Despite strong games from Dirk Nowitzki in the first two games, the Mavericks were hammered twice and came home needing a win desperately down 0-2 in the series. With Nowitzki scoring 32 points, with 19 rebounds and six assists the Mavs were able to get a 97-87 win in Game 3. However, the Hornets proved too strong and despite two more solid games from Dirk Nowitzki the Mavericks were eliminated in the first round again, losing the series in five games. Following their quick exit, Coach Avery Johnson was dismissed, and replaced by Rick Carlisle.
2008/09: Under new Coach Rick Carlisle, the Mavericks looked to regain their spot among the elite teams in the Western Conference. However, they would get off to a rocky start, as they lost seven of their first nine games. In danger of dropping to 2-8, the Mavs rallied to beat the New York Knicks on the road 124-114 in overtime, as Dirk Nowitzki scored a game high 39 points. The win would be the start of a five game winning streak, as the Mavericks were able to get back to .500 as the first month of the season came to an end. In December the Mavericks would shoot above .500 heading into the New Year. January would be another rough month for the Mavs as they posted an 8-7 record, suffering a four game losing streak. While the Mavericks were well on the way to another fine season, they need a strong finish to assure themselves of avoiding the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. By winning six of their final eight games the Mavericks would do just that, posting a 50-32 record, while finishing in third place to set up a showdown with the San Antonio Spurs. With Josh Howard scoring 25 points the Mavs got an early jump on the Spurs winning Game 1 on the road 105-97. After an ugly 105-84 loss in Game 2, the Mavs regained control of the series by turning the defensive screws into the Spurs, winning Game 3 in Dallas 88-67. The Mavs continued to frustrate the Spurs in Game 4, taking a commanding 3-1 series lead with a solid 99-90 win as the Mavericks balanced effort led by Josh Howard’s 25 point game overcame a 43 point game from the Spurs Tony Parker. The Mavericks would go on to bounce the Spurs in five games, as they scored a 106-93 win in San Antonio to end the series. However, the Mavericks would run into a mountain in the next round as the Denver Nuggets quickly took control by winning the first three games. The Mavericks would win 119-117 as Dirk Nowitzki scored 44 points in Game 4 to avoid the sweep, but in the end the Nuggets proved to be too strong as they won the series in five games.
2009/10: After beating the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs the Mavericks hoped they could take over control of the Southwest Division as they entered the season hoping to challenge for the Western Conference Title. In the season opener, the Mavs suffered a stunning setback losing to the Washington Wizards at home 102-91. However, they rebounded a few nights later to beat the Los Angeles Lakers on the road 94-80, as they got off to a solid start with 10 wins in their first 13 games. Over the next few months the Mavs mainly threaded water not going on a long winning streak and not going on a long losing streak. Two Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd made the Western Conference All-Star team with the game being played in nearby Cowboys Stadium, setting a new attendance record of 108,713 as the Eastern Conference won 141-139, with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat claiming MVP honors. As the break approached the Mavs looked to get stronger acquiring Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson from the Wizards for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton, and Quinton Ross. The deal paid dividends right away as the Mavericks posted a 13 game winning streak just after the break. While they slumped a bit at the end of March, the Mavs closed the season with a five game winning streak that helped them get the second seed in the West as they won their third division title with a record of 55-27. In the first round they faced the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs again, this time they were the Southwest Division Champions. In the opener it was a strong performance from Dirk Nowitzki that led the way as the Mavs star Forward scored 36 points in a 100-94 win. However, in Game 2 the Spurs answered back winning 102-88. As the series shifted to San Antonio the Mavericks went cold losing both games 3 and 4 as the Spurs took a 3-1 series lead. In Game 5 they leaned on Caron Butler who scored 35 points with 11 rebounds to lead the way in a 103-81 win. However, it would not be enough as the Spurs won the series in six games with a 97-87 win.
2010/11: After another playoff disappointment, the Mavericks looked to improve in the middle as they sent Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera to the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca. The Mavericks would get off to a good start, as they won seven of their first nine games. After a two game losing streak, the Mavs would go on a 12 game winning streak: posting a 24-5 record in their first 29 games. However, the Mavericks good start was stalled as December came to an end as Dirk Nowitzki suffered a knee injury that would cause him to miss nine games. A few nights later the Mavericks would lose Caron Butler, who had been the team’s leading scorer for the rest of the season with a season ending knee injury. The Mavericks would struggle in this stretch, losing posting a 3-10 record over a 13 game stretch, which included a six game losing streak. Once Nowitzki returned and got back to full strength, the Mavericks would get back on track, winning 18 of their next 19 games, as they held a 45-16 record as March began. The Mavericks would cruise the rest of the way, ending the season with a solid 57-25 record that was good enough for the third seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, despite finishing in second place in the Southwest Division behind the San Antonio Spurs. When the playoffs began, there was a strange sound out of Dallas, silence. Owner Mark Cuban was quiet, and the Mavericks began to take on a quiet confidence and focus at erasing their playoff failures of the past. With a strong fourth quarter in the playoff opener, the Mavs got off to a solid start beating the Portland Trail Blazers 89-81 in Game 1 of their first round series. However, after winning Game 2 at home, the Mavericks again stumbled losing the next two games in Portland. Nothing was worse than their Game 4 loss as the Mavericks lost a 23 point lead, while being outscored 35-15 in the fourth quarter of an 84-82 loss. Returning home for Game 5, the Mavs would get back on track winning 93-82 to take back control of the series. The Mavericks would go on to eliminate the Blazers in six games with a 103-96 win. Facing the two time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavericks would rally to win the opener in Los Angeles 96-94 as Dirk Nowitzki had a big game with 28 points and 14 boards, while hitting the game winning free throws with 19.5 seconds left. Nowitzki would lead the way again in Game 2, as the Mavs took a surprising 2-0 series lead with a 93-81 win. As the series shifted to Dallas, it was Dirk again, who had a game high 32 points as the Mavericks outscored the Lakers 18-6 down the stretch to take a 3-0 series lead, with a 98-92 win. Game 4 would be no contest as the Mavericks crushed the Lakers 122-86 to complete the four game sweep. Things got so bad for the Lakers, that Andrew Bynum took a cheap shot at J.J. Barrera who had frustrated the Lakers throughout the series with his ball handling skills and ability to get the big steal. In the Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dirk Nowitzki continued his remarkable post season with 48 points in the opener as the Mavericks outgunned the Thunder 121-112. The Thunder would strike back, with a 106-101 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to Oklahoma City, the Mavs overcame a rough night from Dirk Nowitzki to regain control of the series, with a 93-87 win, as Shawn Marion and Jason Terry made all the big shots down the stretch, after the Thunder erased a 23 point lead by the Mavericks. In Game 4, it would be the Mavericks who rallied overcoming a 15 point deficit in the final five minutes to beat the Thunder 112-105 in overtime, as Dirk Nowitzki scored a game high 40 points to give the Mavs a commanding 3-1 series lead. In Game 5, Shawn Marion would lead the way 26 points, as Dirk Nowitzki’s three pointer sealed the victory that sent the Mavericks to NBA Finals with a 100-96. After winning the Western Conference, the Mavericks continued their silent focus almost wanting to discard the Western Conference Trophy for the one they really sought.
2011 NBA Finals: In the NBA Finals, the Mavericks would once again face the Miami Heat. Heading into the Finals the Heat would have all the headlines thanks to the “Big 3,” led by LeBron James who joined Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami for the purpose getting a ring, or as LeBron predicted in a rally after the deal seven rings. Game 1 would belong to the Heat as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade overwhelmed the Mavericks for a 92-84 series opening win. Things looked bleak in Game 2, as the Mavericks trailed by 15 points in the fourth quarter, as Dirk Nowitzki was fighting off an injury to his left non shooting hand. Faced with a 0-2 deficit, the Mavericks went on a 22-5 run to finish the game, as Nowitzki’s layup with 3.6 seconds left gave them a thrilling 95-93 win to send the series to Dallas even at a game apiece. The Mavs would make another late charge in Game 3, but Chris Bosh gave the Heat an 88-86 lead with 39.6 seconds left. The game would come down to a final shot by Dirk Nowitzki again, but this time Udonis Haslem was able to harass Nowitzki as the shot missed, and the Heat had a 2-1 series lead. The Heat would once again control Game 4 until the fourth quarter, when the Mavericks again made a late run to make the game’s final seconds exciting. This time Dirk Nowitzki would not miss the game winner, spinning a layup off the glass with 14.4 seconds left to give the Mavericks a series evening 86-83 win. The Mavericks seven footer from Germany had perhaps one of his best performances in the fourth quarter scoring 10 of his 21 team high points, with five boards all while battling a fever of 103 degrees. Game 5 would be big as the final two games would be in Miami, setting up a must win for the Mavs. The game would once again come down to the last few minutes, and once again it was Dirk Nowitzki who carried the Mavericks, driving the lane for a go ahead dunk with 2:45 left, as the Mavericks took control of the series with a 112-103 win, as Nowitzki scored a game high 29 points. Back in Miami for Game 6, the Mavericks would come out firing in the first quarter scoring 32 points to take an early lead. This time the Mavericks would control the pace, as they kept the Heat at bay all game, as Jason Terry, who along with Nowitzki were the last remaining Mavericks from the 2006 Finals scored a game high 27 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 21 point with 11 rebounds as the Mavericks won the game and the NBA Championship 105-95. An emotional Dirk Nowitzki rushed back to the locker for some time to himself as the Mavs celebrated on the floor. This time the silence was broken, as Owner Mark Cuban and the team lit up the South Beach night life with the trophy, while Dirk Nowitzki was named NBA Finals MVP, while in a surprise move Cuban invited Mavericks founder Donald Carter, who still held a minority 4% share in the team on the stage for the trophy presentation.
2011/12: Heavy is the crown of an NBA Champion and the Mavericks found this out the hard way. After a lockout shortened the off-season celebration, the Mavericks were hit hard during the brief free agency signing period before the season started. Key players the Mavericks lost included Tyson Chandler, who went to the New York Knicks as part of a sign and trade, Caron Butler, who signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, DeShawn Stevenson who signed with the New Jersey Nets, and J.J. Barea who signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves after a breakout postseason. To make up for the lost talent the Mavericks signed former All-Star Vince Carter, while trading for reigning sixth man Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Championship banner was finally raised on Christmas Day as the Mavericks had a rematch with the Miami Heat, losing 105-94. The Mavericks would get off to a shaky start dropping their first three games, as Dirk Nowitzki was admittedly out of shape during the extended off-season, As Nowitzki got his legs back, and the Mavs got on track winning eight of nine games at home as they got back to their normal level with a strong January. However, they never quite got going to championship as they found themselves playing mediocre basketball over the final three months. Among the disappointments in Dallas, was Lamar Odom who clashed with teammates and coaches and struggled all season before being asked to leave the team in April. Despite losing four of their last six games the Mavericks held on to the seventh playoff spot with a record of 36-30.
2012 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Mavericks would face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of 2011’s Western Conference Finals. Despite their poor finish the Mavericks came out strong in Game 1, as the game was nip and tuck throughout. The Mavericks held a one point lead late; before Kevin Durant gave the Thunder a 99-98 win with a one handed jumper with one second left as Shawn Marion failed to get a shot off at the buzzer. Game 2 was also close, but in the end the Thunder won an again 102-99 as Dirk Nowitzki’s game high 31 points were not enough. Things would not get better as the series moved to Dallas, as the Thunder rolled in Game 3 to a 95-79 win, taking a 3-0 series lead. Hoping to avoid a sweep the Mavs held a 13 point lead in the third quarter. However, the Thunder surged in the fourth quarter; outscoring the Mavericks 35-16 as they completed the sweep with a 103-97 win.
2012/13: Following a quick exit from the playoffs, the Mavericks hoped to land a big star to bring them back to their championship form. However, instead they lost key parts as Jason Kidd left to sign with the New York Knicks, while Jason Terry landed with the Boston Celtics. To replace Kidd, the Mavs hoped to sign Deron Williams, but those efforts proved to be fruitless as he re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Instead the Mavericks settled on O.J. Mayo, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. Things would get even stickier for the Mavericks as they were forced to begin the season without Dirk Nowitzki, who underwent knee surgery in October. After splitting their first two games on the road, the Mavericks took advantage of a soft early schedule and beat the Charlotte Bobcats in their home opener 126-99. However, the absence of Nowitzki would soon catch up to the Mavericks, as they dropped nine of their last ten games in December, and entered the New Year with a record of 12-19. By the time Dirk Nowitzki returned the Mavericks were in a deep hole with a record of 14-23. Despite clearly not being 1005, just the presence of Dirk was enough to help the Mavericks win five of seven, but the hill was too steep to climb as the Mavericks remained out of the playoff race and below .500 most of the season The Mavericks would make a late run, posting a 10-5 record in March, but they would not reach the .500 mark until the end of the season as beat the New Orleans Hornets 99-87 to finish the year with a record of 41-41, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000.
2013/14: After missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, the Mavericks looked to improve in the off-season, as they signed Monta Ellis to a three year 3-year deal worth at least $25 million. The Mavs also signed Samuel Dalembert, Devin Harris and Jose Calderon. However, the key for the Mavericks would be the health of Dirk Nowitzki, who returned to All-Star form leading the team in scoring with 21.7 points per game. Along the way, Dirk entered the top ten NBA’s all-time scoring list passing Oscar Robertson with his 26,712th point on April 8th. Monta Ellis also had a fine first year in Dallas, with 19.0 points and 5.7 assists per game, while fellow newcomer Samuel Dalembert averaged 6.8 boards per game. The Mavericks would be in the playoff hunt all season, and thanks to a strong finish beat out the Phoenix Suns by one game for the lost spot in the Western Conference Playoff race with a record of 49-33.
2014 Playoffs: Facing the San Antonio Spurs who had the best record in the NBA and swept Dallas in the regular season. However, the Mavs showed early they would not be pushovers, as they held a ten point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 1. The Spurs would rally to win the game 90-85, but the Mavs would get the much needed split in San Antonio taking Game 2 by a score of 113-92. As the series shifted to Dallas, the Mavericks continued to frustrate the Spurs as they won the game 109-108, with Vince Carter nailing a game winning three-pointer at the buzzer. In Game 4, the Spurs built a 20 point lead, but the pesky Mavericks clawed their way back and had a chance to tie the game, but Monta Ellis missed a layup as the Spurs evened the series with a 93-89 win. The Mavericks would be without the services of DeJuan Blair in Game 5 after kicking Tiago Splitter in the head in Game 4. The Spurs would win in AT&T Center 109-103 to regain control of the series. Blair would return for Game 6, as the Mavericks with Monta Ellis scoring a game high 29 points evened the series with a 113-111 win. Although the Mavericks would never be in Game 7, losing 119-96 they would be the only team to get to a seventh game against the Spurs who went on to capture their fifth NBA Championship.
2014/15: After a hard fought loss in the playoffs to San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to improve by making several small deals for veterans to add to the team’s depth. They also secured Dirk Nowitzki for another three years, signing the future Hall of Famer for a contract worth $25 million. Nowitzki’s deal helped Dallas afford the additions. Included in the off-season additions were two players who had been key contributors to the 2011 Championship team Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea. However, the biggest addition was Chandler Parsons, a free agent signed to a three-year deal worth $46 million. Despite a disappointing 101-100 loss to the Spurs in the season opener, the Mavericks played well early in the season posting a 13-5 record. The Mavs continued their solid play into December, but looked to get even better sitting with a record of 19-8 on December 18th. That day the Mavericks acquired All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics along with Dwight Powell for Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick. Rondo however, struggled in Dallas and never seemed to fit into Coach Rick Carlisle’s schemes. On February 25th, Rondo was given a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, a day after the he had a heated exchange on the court with coach Rick Carlisle and was benched. The Mavericks would finish the season with a record of 50-32, grabbing the seventh overall spot in the Western Conference Playoff race. Monta Ellis was the Mavericks leading scorer for the season, with 18.9 points per game, while Dirk Nowitzki was terrific again with 17.3 ppg. During the season, Nowitzki climbed past Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone into seventh place on the NBA All-Time scoring list, as he reached 28,000 point and 10,000 rebounds.
2015 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Mavericks would have another Lone Star showdown in the playoffs against the Houston Rockets. Game 1 would not go in the Mavericks favor as the Rockets jumped in front early and never looked back, winning 118-108. The Rockets would also capture Game 2 by a score of 111-99. During the game Rajon Rondo sustained a back injury that would sideline him the remainder of the series, but by then his minutes had diminished. As the series shifted to Dallas, the Mavericks got 34 points each from Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki. However, with James Harden scoring 42 points and Dwight Howard grabbing 26 boards the Rockets won the game 130-128. With Ellis scoring 31 points, the Mavericks kept the brooms away in Game 4, winning 121-109. The Rockets would go on to take the series in five games, winning the finale 103-94.
2015/16: After their quick playoff exit, the Dallas Mavericks looked to go on a big off-season spending spree with some extra flexibility under the salary cap. Highlighting the additions were Wesley Matthews who signed a four-year deal worth $70 million and former All-Star Deron Williams, who came to his hometown Dallas looking to resurrect his career after a disappointing tenure with the Brooklyn Nets. One player who got away, was the Mavericks big target DeAndre Jordan. Jordan had agreed to a four-year deal with the Mavs before the free agent signing period, but his teammates on the Los Angeles Clippers worked heavily to get DeAndre Jordan to change his mind, going as far to prevent the Mavericks and Mark Cuban from getting in touch with him as he decided to remain with the Clippers. After opening the season with a 111-95 road win against the Phoenix Suns, the Mavericks got a close look to the one that got away, as they suffered a 104-88 loss to the Clippers at Staples Center in the second game of the season. Two weeks later, Jordan was booed throughout the game as the Mavericks answered the Clippers with a 118-108 win at home. That win would spark Dallas on to a six game winning streak. After entering the New Year with a record of 19-13, the Mavericks had their struggles in January as they scuffled along at 9-9. It would mark the beginning of a bad second half for the Mavericks as they had back-to-back losing records in February and March. Things would look bleaker as the season began to hit the final stretch as they went through an awful 2-10 stretch and dropped below .500. Fortunately, many other teams in the Western Conference were struggling at the same time, as Dallas stayed in playoff contention. As March came to an end, the Mavericks began to find their game, winning six straight to get back into playoffs as they finished with the sixth spot holding a record of 42-40. As the year came to an end, Dirk Nowitzki continued to move up the NBA’s all-time scoring list as he became the sixth player to reach 29,000 points. Nowitzki would once again lead the Mavericks in scoring with 18.3 points per game. Zaza Pachulia also had a big season for the Mavericks, leading the team in rebounds, with 9.4 boards per game, after being acquired in an off-season trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, while Deron Williams led the team in assists with 5.8 per game while finishing second on the team in scoring with 14.1 ppg.
2016 NBA Playoffs: The Dallas Mavericks would face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Things got off to an ugly start for Dallas, as they were outscored 26-11 in the first quarters as the Thunder rolled to a 108-70 win. The Mavericks played much better in Game 2, led by Raymond Felton who had a double-double with 21 points and 11 boards to even the series with an 85-84 win, as Steven Adams put back which would have won the game for OKC was reviewed and shown to be made after the final buzzer. After getting a split in Oklahoma City the Mavericks were unable to capitalize as they again were blown out in Game 3, losing 131-102, as the Thunder proved too much for the Mavericks in the end, winning the series in five games. The Thunder would win the final two games by double digits, taking Game 4 in Dallas 119-108 and Game 5 at home 118-104.
2016/17: For nearly 20 years with Dirk Nowitzki the Dallas Mavericks were a consistent playoff contender, but as he entered the twilight of his career, the team was entering a period of uncertainty. The Mavericks struggled right away, losing their first five games on the way to a horrendous 3-15 start. The Mavericks would play better in December, as they went into the New Year with a record of 10-24. Dallas would post winning records in February and March, but their playoff hopes withered away quickly. The Mavericks would go on to finish the season with a record of 33-49, their worst season since 1999. Harrison Barnes was the Mavs leading scorer with 19.2 points and five rebounds per game. Nowitzki who missed 28 games, would average 14.2 points with 6.1 boards per game. On March 7th in a 122-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, became the sixth player and the first player born outside the United State in NBA history to reach 30,000 points.
2017/18: After missing the playoffs for the second time in 17 years, it was clear that the time to rebuild had come for the Dallas Mavericks as they won just one of their first 11 games when the season began. Dirk Nowitzki was now a shell of his former self, but setting personal milestones as he became the sixth player in NBA history to play over 50,000 minutes. Nowitzki was in his 20th season with the Mavericks, averaging 12.0 points per game, the lowest since his rookie season in 1999. Harrison Barnes was the leading scorer for Dallas, with 18.9 ppg. Barnes also led the team in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game. Dennis Smith Jr., whom the Mavericks chose with the ninth overall pick in the NBA Draft out of NC State, had a solid rookie season with 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game. Apart from an eight-win December, the Mavericks struggled all season as they had their worst record in Mark Cuban’s ownership, finishing 24-58.
2018/19: Looking to make bold moves to improve, the Dallas Mavericks traded up to get European Star Luka Doncic. The deal saw them send Trae Young the fifth pick and a protected pick in 2019 to get the Slovenian star that some considered the best player in the draft. The Mavericks also signed DeAndre Jordan from the Los Angeles Clippers. Three years after he backed out of a deal with Dallas at the last minute, the Mavericks were able to land the star center. However, as the team was in transition, it was clear that Jordan was no longer the player that Dallas needed as he averaged 11 points and 13.7 rebounds per game. The Mavericks were a team in transition, as Dirk Nowitzki was in his final NBA season, becoming the first player to spend 21 seasons with one team. The future Hall of Famer had career-worst 7.3 ppg but provided valuable guidance and leadership for Luka Doncic, who quickly was becoming the face of the franchise. There was no better player to guide the rookie, as Dirk Nowitzki is the only player to record at least 31,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 three-point field goals Doncic could not have had a better rookie season, as he led the Mavericks in points (21.2 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg). As a result, he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. The Mavericks played well early, as they held a 10-10 record through 20 games. However, struggles away from home would spell doom, as a nine-game road losing streak through December was a cold slap of reality for the Mavericks who went into the New Year at 17-19. At 23-28, at the end of January, the Mavericks had to plan on their future. On the fringe of the playoff bubble, the Mavericks a longshot chose to sacrifice the remainder of the season by making a series of trades to help build for the future. On January 31st, the Mavericks sent Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews with two draft picks to the New York Knicks for Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, and Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis, the critical player in the trade, was already shut down for the season, recovering from a torn ACL. A week later, they sent Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson. Randolph would be released without playing a game for Dallas. Wins would be scarce the remainder of the season, as they finished with a record of 33-49.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on December 14, 2002. Last updated on March 28, 2020, at 10:45 pm ET.