The brutal truth: Mavs can't repeat
One-dimensional offense, poor veteran play dooms Dallas' postseason
For the Dallas Mavericks, the 2012 season has been an advanced-placement class in the perils of the "championship hangover," a powerful force that drags down title-winning teams after they reach their sport's mountaintop.
Although it's been part of conventional wisdom forever (even being referenced in a 1942 newspaper article), the hangover's existence can also be proved statistically. After adjusting for the spread of competition in each season, 97 of the last 134 champions (72.4 percent) in North America's four major professional sports saw a decline in winning percentage the year after capturing their league's title.
Whether due to psychology (winning has been known to breed complacency), aging, tougher schedules, having the proverbial "target on your back" or even good old-fashioned regression to the mean, there's definitely an invisible anchor that weighs down defending champions.
To read more of why Dallas can't repeat, become an Insider today.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Gasol, Griz overcome Spurs in 3OT thriller
- Sources: Celtics, Mavs talking Rondo trade
- Hawks send Cavaliers to 'embarrassing' loss
- Harden plays spoiler in overtime at Denver
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Starring Woes
- Former running mates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade shared in frustration Wednesday with their teams' plights.