Dallas Texas Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have become one of the best teams in the NBA and are on track to defend their title. They continued their winning streak with the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, and finished with 44-16, the second-best record in NBA history. In addition to their success on the court, the Mavs have committed through their foundation to making a difference in North Texas through community programs. Through the addition of grants, the MAV's Foundation has built 44 safe playgrounds throughout the North Texas community, including the first ever safe play center in Dallas, Fort Worth, and two new ones in Austin.

The Mavs have teamed up with the Dallas Rising Stars, a nonprofit organization, to feed more than 1,000 children who need food, shelter and medical care.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 124-73 on Sunday to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Dallas ended an 11-year absence from the playoffs and surprised the NBA world when they rallied from a 2-0 deficit to upset the Utah Jazz in three games, including two in the first round. The sweep ended a series against the Houston Rockets, known to Mavericks fans as the Mother's Day Massacre, as Dallas celebrated its first victory over the Rockets in a playoff series since 2004-05 with a 122-86 victory. It was the Mavs' first postseason sweep since the 1954-55 NBA era.

The first half on Wednesday night wasn't quite as pretty, as evidenced by the fact that Dallas was 59 points worse than the Clippers in the second, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

In 2010, the Mavericks lost to the San Antonio Spurs and entered the playoffs as runners-up. Dallas returned to the winning track in 2014, winning 49 games and challenging the San Antonio Spurs for seven before retiring.

Dallas also qualified for the playoffs the next two seasons, but in those three appearances the team never got beyond the first round. While Nowitzki and Co. reached the NBA Finals twice, the Mavs missed the playoffs three times in that time, doubling the number of miscues in a single period. Speaking of NBA Finals, in 2011 they got their first playoff win in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

The Mavericks opened the series with two wins at home, but then lost three games in a row to Miami and missed out on the NBA title. The Mavericks finished the season with 57-7 wins and finished third in the Western Conference. Dallas won three of two games, but the Mavericks lost three - straight in Miami to miss the NBA title for the first time in franchise history.

Dallas won just 36 games and lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavericks' playoff series ended with a 3-3 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game Seven. Dallas entered the second round with the third-best record in league history against the Houston Rockets, but a third straight loss in Houston was too much.

Dallas moved into the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat and took inspiration from a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game Seven in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat won their first-ever NBA title after beating the Mavericks in the 2006 Finals, while the Mavericks recovered to win their only NBA title in seven games. After a scoreless series in Miami, they moved back to Dallas, where they defeated the Heat in six games in a best-of-seven series to secure their first NBA championship.

The following season, the Mavericks traded Mark Aguirre to Adrian Dantley of the Detroit Pistons midway through the season. The Mavericks moved into the state-of-the-art American Airlines Center in the 2006-07 season and defeated the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs for their first ever NBA title. In the following seasons, they moved back to Dallas for the second consecutive season.

A deal with the Milwaukee Bucks also allowed the Mavericks to acquire the rights to Dirk Nowitzki and a first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Doncic will lead the Mavericks to their NBA debut and lead them to their first playoff appearance since the 2006-07 season.

Although it's only a preseason, I'd be interested to see what kind of reaction the Bucks have tonight. The Mavericks have had a tough start to the season and will see the opener against the Phoenix Suns as a good opportunity to get a win. Dallas will have to show its best side as the new Phoenix Sun presents a tough challenge on Wednesday, meaning Carlisle could throw in some interesting personnel shuffles and matches against Phoenix. This Mavs team has great expectations of them, and they're up for the challenge.

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