Mavs aiming to challenge Lakers for West crown
By Tim Griffin on Oct 15, 10 08:24 A
You can't blame the Dallas Mavericks for having confidence after a 55-27 record last season enabled them to claim the NBA's Southwest Division.
It's led the Mavericks to consider their main aim this season is dethroning the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the West.
"That's our goal," Dallas guard Jason Terry told AOL Fanhouse.com. "They're the champs. We're coming for them. Last year, we were No. 2. We made some moves and this year we feel we can push them all the way to No. 1."
The Mavericks were the darlings of the late regular season last year after streaking to a 23-7 finish after the late-season acquisition of Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler. But the Spurs stunned them in the first round of the playoffs, marking the third time in the last four seasons that Dallas was knocked out in the opening round of the playoffs.
Despite 67, 51, 50 and 55 victories over the last four regular seasons, the Mavericks have won only one playoff series since losing in the 2006 Finals to Miami.
Those struggles have left these Mavericks feeling like they have something to prove once the playoffs start.
"We just kicked the bucket in the playoffs," Jason Kidd told AOL Fanhouse. "But that's a lesson learned ... I think we're hungry. We want to win a championship."
There's still a long time until April. Dallas will have an excruciating wait before their chance at redemption arrives.