The Mavericks have been a franchise in the thick of things for years and they now have their first chance to win it all.
The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat will meet in game six of the 2011 NBA Finals on Sunday night. Dallas lead the series 3-2 and as such they can clinch the NBA title with a victory.
The Mavericks have never won the NBA title before with the closest they've come being the 2006 NBA Finals where they lost to the Miami Heat in six games.
The Heat are a team returning home with one chance left to silence all of their critics. Miami first drew attention to themselves during the off-season when they signed Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
However when the regular season came around Miami struggled, at least at first, before hitting good mid-season form. They then finished second in the tough Eastern Conference and have been among the favorites to win the NBA title ever since.
Many critics of the Heat were never too impressed with coach Erik Spoelstra, a coach who had never won a playoff series before this season. Critics also pointed out that neither Lebron James nor Chris Bosh had ever won an NBA title before and the mediocre play at the start of the season led to a series of mocking headlines.
If Dallas win game six or game seven all of those critics would be proven right as Miami's hopes for a title this season would go out the window.
Home court advantage helps redeem Miami's chances despite the fact that they are down 3-2. Games six and seven will come from Miami, if both are needed, and the Heat are 9-1 from home in the playoffs.
The one loss they have suffered was to the Mavericks however and that's a fact that has to give Dallas some confidence.
Game six is scheduled for Sunday night at 8pm ET with television coverage available on ABC.