By Bryan Cross
Notorious for his controversial style and outspoken nature, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban is at it again. Despite a 5-6 record over the last 11 games, Cuban believes that his team possesses everything in a team to make a deep run in the playoffs and win the NBA Championship this year.
In an interview with ESPN radio 103.3 FM, Cuban spoke on Jason Terry’s radio show, highlighting the fact that many other teams in the Western Conference are not sharp coming down the home stretch of the regular season.
“Half the teams are sucking wind, and half the teams are playing well,” Cuban remarked. “The Lakers are getting torched at home worse than we’ve been the last few games. Oklahoma City has been playing well, but they haven’t had an injury yet — literally, not one single injury of any consequence, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep that up.”
“Utah is playing well, but not as well with [Andrei] Kirilenko out. Denver is struggling. San Antonio is playing well most of the time, when Manu [Ginobili] scores 40.”
“You look down the list, and nobody’s afraid of anybody. Nobody looks at us and says, ‘We’re afraid of them.’ Look, if we dial in, we know we can kill anybody. It’s just a question of focus.”
The Western Conference playoff race is tight as only 3 1/2 games are between the No.2 seed and the No.8 seed. The Mavericks currently sit on 1/2-game behind the Utah Jazz for the second spot in the conference playoffs.
San Antonio has come on of late, defeating several teams, including a 19-point victory over the Lakers on the road.
While Cuban stated that the Mavericks are vulnerable at times, he expects the team to step up with only a few games remaining, and that motivation, drive and determination should not be an issue.
“If you look down the list, who are the stars that beat us?” Cuban remarked. “It’s the rest of the team when we’re out there. You know, we’re shutting down Carmelo [Anthony]. We’re holding down Kobe [Bryant]. We’re holding down Brandon Roy.”
“Then we just relax, and that’s when we get beat.”
Next up for the Mavericks are the Memphis Grizzlies, but Dallas will not have Shawn Marion on the court, who has been stout on defense for the team this year.
“The big thing is we’re not panicking,” remarked point guard Jason Kidd. “We know what we have to address. We’re together, that’s not a question.”
Online Sportsbooks believe that Dallas and Owner Mark Cuban are a legitimate contender for the NBA Championship, as they have been installed as 12/1 favorite to win.