L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks: An epic early season matchup?


Mark Cuban has pointed out on more than one occasion that he is in the entertainment business. No, he wasn’t referring to his role on the TV show Shark Tank. He was referring to his other job as the owner of a franchise in the NBA. Cuban is, of course, correct. The NBA is about entertainment and whenever possible entertainment with a dash of drama.

NBA schedulers could not get Mavericks vs. Clippers in Dallas on the calendar quick enough.

Do you remember the classic Bill Hader SNL Weekend Update skit where he came out as Stefon, New York City correspondent? If Stefon were pitching this game against the Clippers and Mavericks in Dallas he might say “This game has it all…”. Stefon would steer off course after that and ramble on about bizarre characters and such. This game, however, does appear to have it all.

  • NBA Hall of Famer – Check in Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce
  • Former NBA Champion – Check, Mavericks won it all in 2011
  • Best players at their position – Check in (arguably) Chris Paul and Blake Griffin
  • High Drama – Check in… well, you know.

On the surface, this might seem a bit odd when you consider the opponents. The Clippers are once again a championship contender. They boast a core that has been together for years and is battle tested. Their coach has a championship ring and their owner is the richest in the NBA. They play an exciting style of basketball and are on most expert’s lists of top four teams with a chance to win it all.

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The Dallas Mavericks? Eh.

Since they won it all in 2011 the Mavericks have spiraled downward. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t a hard crash that left them deep in the lottery, it was more a slow burn that finds them treading water in mediocrity. Aside from their future Hall of Famer and entertaining owner, the Mavericks are, well, uninspiring. They are the hamster in the hamster wheel. Too good to get a high lottery pick and not good enough to earn a high playoff spot.

They are stuck firmly in NBA purgatory.

This is no doubt one of the most highly anticipated NBA games between a 5-2 team and a 3-4 team in the history of the association. Don’t believe me? Stop reading right now and click on the video below if you haven’t already seen it. Look at the effort ESPN put into promoting Wednesday night’s Clippers-Mavericks game.

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Hilarious, right?

While Phil Collins’ song “Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)” was a good choice and fits the video to perfection, there were other options. How about “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb? “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. “Miss You” by Aaliyah. What song would you have used? Leave me your thoughts in the comments. I’m honestly curious!

DeAndre Jordan replaces DeMarco Murray as the most hated “De” in big D!

ESPN doesn’t usually go all out for a game like they did for this one. The catalyst of this manufactured rivalry of course is not Dirk, or Doc Rivers, or Cuban. It’s not CP3 or Blake. At the center of the most highly anticipated game in history between a 5-2 and a 3-4 team is Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

DeAndre is public enemy number one in Dallas. Did he root for the New York Giants over the Cowboys? Did he publicly proclaim that some things are in fact quite small in Texas? Did he forget the Alamo? Nope, as it turns out, he just changed him mind.

“HOW DARE HE!”, said every NBA fan in Dallas.

DeMarco Murray, who famously left the Dallas Cowboys this year to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, owes DJ a huge thank you! After signing his 5-year $42 million contract with the Eagles, Murray became a hated man in Dallas. At least for one night, that venom from Dallas sports fan will be re-directed from Murray to Jordan.

DeAndre replaces DeMarco as the most hated “De” in big D!

I’m sure DJ would be happy to hear from you, DeMarco. A “You’re welcome” emoji, maybe the thumbs-up, would be appreciated and appropriate!

Tonight’s game, for Dallas fans, is the Purge: NBA Edition. It’s their opportunity to scream, to yell, to boo to let DJ and the Clippers know how mad they are. Cuban has already called out the Clippers on their past. Dallas fan Trevon Dulworth has prohibited Jordan from cheering for the Cowboys. There is clearly a lot of anger in big D and the NBA could not wait to broadcast it.

Personally, aside from a flood of boo’s rarely, if ever, seen in American Airlines Center and possibly some video shenanigans by the Mavericks aimed at DJ, I expect a boring game. I am certain the Mavericks will come out energized by the crowd, the energy, the buzz of a nationally televised game and wanting to rebound from an early loss at the hands of the Clippers. However, when the hoopla dies down, the Clippers, who will no doubt rally around their center, are the better team.

In the end, the Mavs and their fans will be all sweaty and will have effectively gone nowhere. After all, that is what the hamster in the hamster wheel does.