Re: I'm tired of this "Nellie made Dirk" stuff.
The Mavs face weaker competition than they faced with Nelson. It's really that simply.
The Kings team that bumped them in the first of '03-'04 and the 2nd of '01-'02 would be a front runner for the title this year.
'02-'03 they lost in the West Finals to San Antonio. They were taken to the brink by a Chris Webber-less Kings team and a Blazers team that ran of out gas in Game 7.
I know it doesn't seem like it but the Mavs are essentially the same group Don Nelson had. They simply aren't running into competition as tough as before as early as they did under Nelson.