MIAMI (AP) — Here's where all their age and experience, heartbreak and disappointment actually benefit Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.
They've had two days to get ready for Game 6 of the NBA finals, knowing they are one victory from the first championship for each of them and the first for their franchise.
Yet their steely resolve remains.
They refuse to allow themselves to envision taking the Larry O'Brien Trophy from commissioner David Stern.
Skeptics might say they're spewing "one game a time" cliches, but they've acted this way all postseason, especially Nowitzki.
He and Jason Terry are still scarred by Dallas' collapse in the 2006 finals against the Heat, the same team they'll try knocking out Sunday night.