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Old 11-01-2006, 08:26 PM   #1
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Angry Mavs Won't Raise Banner in front of Spurs

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks are letting the San Antonio Spurs off easy in their season opener Thursday night.

Rather than raising the banner proclaiming themselves "2006 Western Conference Champions" in front of the state rival they beat along the way, the Mavs are saving the ceremony for their second home game.

That's right, Mark Cuban is skipping a chance to rub it in.

"Because opening night is its own celebration, we wanted to do the banner raising separately," Cuban wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. "In addition, winning a conference championship is not our ultimate goal. So the banner raising was more as a thank you to the fans than anything else."

Cuban might have done it -- if he thought it would bother the Spurs.

"I love to stir things up," he added. "But this is at our place, not theirs. Raising the banner doesn't stir things up in front of our fans."

Artificial gestures aren't needed to stoke a matchup between the teams that had the two best records in the West last season and are among the favorites to win it all this season.

The Spurs and Mavs played one of the best playoff series in years, and possibly the best ever in the second round, with Dallas pulling it out in overtime of Game 7 in San Antonio. The Spurs seemed to have it won until Manu Ginobili shocked everyone by fouling Dirk Nowitzki on a drive to the basket, letting the big German sink the tying free throw at the end of the fourth quarter.

The subplots were as terrific as the games. There were built-in storylines like Mavs coach Avery Johnson's close ties to the Spurs and longtime Dallas star Michael Finley now playing for San Antonio. Others developed, from Mavericks guard Jason Terry getting suspended one game for punching Finley to Cuban making fun of San Antonio's River Walk.

Dallas went on to beat Phoenix to become Western Conference champions for the first time. The Mavericks were halfway to winning it all, then blew a big, late lead in Game 3 and wound up having to watch the Miami Heat celebrate their title in Dallas.

Between Dallas going into the season aiming for two more wins and San Antonio trying to reclaim its spot atop the state, conference and league, it's obvious why this matchup was picked to highlight the third in the NBA's series of opening nights.

"I think it's great," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "To get out there right off the bat will wake us both up for the start of the year."

Terry was even more enthusiastic.

"I love it, love it," he said, smiling wide. "Why wait? Let's get it started. The team that wins this, obviously, is not going to (automatically) win the championship, but for us it does give us a little edge if we can come out on top. It's definitely what everybody wants to see. It's a good test for us early."

It may not be a full evaluation, though. Spurs point guard Tony Parker is battling a sprained ankle and may be a game-time decision.

"I have to convince Pop," Parker said Wednesday. "If I feel a little bit of pain I'm not going to take any risks. ... Hopefully it will be fine and I'll be ready to go."

Both teams come into this season with new looks.

Dallas has five new rotation players, leaving Johnson the challenge of figuring out how to divvy up the playing time among Greg Buckner, Anthony Johnson, Devean George, Austin Croshere and rookie Maurice Ager.

San Antonio has two new centers after giving up on Rasho Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed during the playoffs. Francisco Elson likely will join the starting lineup, with Fabricio Oberto getting more minutes.

AP writer Elizabeth White in San Antonio contributed to this report.
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Old 11-02-2006, 02:00 AM   #2
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wussies!

iam just messin... its gonna be a great game tomorrow. hopefully parker plays. i can honestly say tomorrows game will be a preview of the western conference finals.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:39 AM   #3
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i would wait till they play the worst team on their schedule so there isnt a miami heat like collapse when their heads arent in the game
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:39 AM   #4
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although JUST raising a banner isnt the same as gettin those rings...haha....jk
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:58 AM   #5
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the Mavs n Spurs are the 2 most boring teams to watch in the nba
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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They're doing it when Nellie and the Warriors come to town. Maybe it's to let Nellie be there for his contributions. Or maybe to rub it in his face that Avery did what he couldn't. I have no problem with not doing it in front of the Spurs. Why poke the bear? Plus then we have to listen to Spurs fans say we only raise championship banners. j/k

Not sure if it's a preview yet or not. First game of the season for both teams. I don't expect the same quality of game we'll get later in the season or in the playoffs. But I'm ready for it none the less.

Thank goodness the NBA likes boring basketball. They sure have both teams on tv enough.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
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I'm just bothered by it because it won't be shown on national tv so I and other out of state fans can view the ceremony. I'm in college right now and the GSW game won't be shown on national tv.

Like I stated on another messageboard, that was a hard fought for Western Conference title. I respect that more than championship honest, even though that would have been nice as well.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFFL
I'm just bothered by it because it won't be shown on national tv so I and other out of state fans can view the ceremony. I'm in college right now and the GSW game won't be shown on national tv.

Like I stated on another messageboard, that was a hard fought for Western Conference title. I respect that more than championship honest, even though that would have been nice as well.
get outa her with that crap.....you respect them more for a WCC than the championship???????? nah
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:19 PM   #9
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They're doing it when Nellie and the Warriors come to town. Maybe it's to let Nellie be there for his contributions. Or maybe to rub it in his face that Avery did what he couldn't.


i think its to rub it in Nellies face.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:35 PM   #10
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yeah kent, they're not exactly on the best of terms lately, are they?
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eauclaire447
get outa her with that crap.....you respect them more for a WCC than the championship???????? nah

Yep, cause the teams we beat to win the Western Conference were more difficult than the Heat. Unlike some fans, I really don't need a ring to justify how good my team is. Of course, I would love to have a championship, but in this case we gained a lot of respect winning the West, that we didn't have before. Now if the West was sorry as hell, then it would be a different situation. The Banner really wouldn't be anything to brag about.
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:36 PM   #12
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thats the dumbest thing ive ever heard
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:50 PM   #13
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Not sure if it's a preview yet or not. First game of the season for both teams. I don't expect the same quality of game we'll get later in the season or in the playoffs. But I'm ready for it none the less.

silent, i didnt mean it in a sense that whoever wins tonight will win the series come playoff time. what i ment to imply is that these are the two teams that will be in the western conference finals.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:01 PM   #14
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It's all good ssk. And I can only hope that this will be the wcf. I try not to leave myself open to too many blatant homer comments!!! lol
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacerRaptor
thats the dumbest thing ive ever heard

Sorry.

We get grief for complaining about not winning the championship but when we try to appreciate what we have people still got a problem with it. Can't win for losing.
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