Cuban, Mavs upbeat about playoffs
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is confident about his team’s chances entering the NBA playoffs despite finishing the regular season with a pedestrian 36-30 record.
The league’s defending champions open a first-round Saturday night at Northwest Division champion Oklahoma City.
Cuban believes the Mavs have as good a shot as any team to contend for the title this year.
“There was nobody that was overly impressive,” he said of the regular season. “So we’ll see what happens.”
The San Antonio Spurs, who won 50 games for the 13th straight season, are the top seed in the Western Conference.
“The Spurs have been playing great, obviously, because they’ve been shooting really well,” Cuban said. “But we’ve been that team before, too, and they were that team last year.”
Oklahoma City, led by three-time league scoring champion Kevin Durant, is the No. 2 seed in the West and among the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. Last season, the Mavs eliminated the Thunder in the Western Conference finals in five games.
The Thunder won three of four games with Dallas this season.
The Mavs struggled to a 16-19 record in the final two months of the regular season, but forward Dirk Nowitzki remains optimistic.
“I still like where we’re at now,” he said. “We still can be a dangerous team.
“We just got to let it all rip and see what happens this weekend.”