Sunday, April 20, 2008

Adversity nothing to fear

Adversity and the Mavericks haven’t left each other’s side much this season. Breakups don’t last long. They always find a way to get back together.

So it shouldn’t come as a shock that warning sirens are sounding after Game 1. The Mavs squandered a double-digit halftime lead, as the Chris Paul-led Hornets roared back to post a 104-92 victory in opener of the best-of-7 series.

Dropping one game on the New Orleans’ homecourt is hardly a cause for panic. Far worse had been dealt with.

“I love adversity,” Mavs coach Avery Johnson said. “That’s just my whole deal. It’s not that I’m always looking for it, but when it comes, I like to hit adversity right in the face. I think when you love adversity and you have a lot of courage under fire, when you’re in some adverse situations, it tells you a lot about yourself.

“It can help build confidence, so even though it appears to be challenging, and it has been, I think a lot of great things have come out of this season. We’ve found out a lot more about ourselves, we found out a lot more about our players and it’s been a different kind of year.”

What did those players find out about themselves?

“We were a weak team mentally, as far as when we faced adversity,” Jason Terry said. “I think we’ve gotten stronger and stronger as the years went on. You add a guy like Jason Kidd and it obviously helps in that department, a guy who’s seen it all, been to the Finals and been in adverse situations. We’ve learned tremendously and grown.”

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