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Sports Then and Now



Big Three is Not Enough as the Dallas Mavericks Rule the NBA 16

Posted on June 12, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks claimed their first NBA title.

Though most of the attention and focus was given to the Miami Heat and their “big three”, the Dallas Mavericks and their superstar Dirk Nowitzki stole the show and the Larry O’Brien Trophy as the NBA Champions for the 2010-2011 season.

After losing two of the first three games of the series, the Mavericks won the last three games, including a 105-95 victory in game six on the Heat’s home floor, to win the first title in team history.

Much will be written about the “collapse” of the Heat and disappointing fourth quarter performances of LeBron James in the final three games of the series. However, what is truly deserving of ink is the grit and determination of Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and the Mavericks.

For the last decade the Mavericks have made a habit of posting a great regular season, only to fold in the playoffs. Over a 10 year span, they lost in the first round of the playoffs four times, the Western Conference semifinals four times, the Western Conference finals once and the NBA finals once. Read the rest of this entry →

NBA Playoff Preview: Are Kobe and LeBron on a Collision Course? 3

Posted on April 16, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Caviliers in Los Angeles

Will this be the year when LeBron James and Kobe Bryant meet in the NBA Finals?

After a season in which several new faces and teams made some noise, most still anticipate the NBA Playoffs to be a showcase for the top stars in the league.

With LeBron James now only weeks away from decision day regarding his future, the Cleveland Cavaliers will enter the 2010 playoffs as the favorites in the Eastern Conference. However, there are a number of tough challengers ready to follow the lead of the Orlando magic from a year ago and crash the playoff party.

Kobe Bryant and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites in the Western Conference, but with every team in the Western Playoffs having at least 50 victories, it could be a tough road back to the championship for the Lakers.

Eastern Conference:

With a 61-21 record, the Cavaliers enter the playoff with the best record in the NBA. The key for the Cavs will not necessarily be the play of superstar LeBron James, but whether his supporting cast can play at a high level throughout the playoffs. Center Shaquille O’Neal was brought to Cleveland to help James win a title, but he played in only 53 games and his availability for the playoffs is in question.

The defending conference champion Orlando magic went 59-23 and appear to be as strong, if not stronger, than a year ago. They won’t surprise anyone this time around, but with Dwight Howard, Vince Carter and a quality supporting cast, the Magic are a formidable opponent. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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