May 27 2011 11:55AM

You Can Never Be "Too Old" To Win In The NBA ... 2.0


Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

Said it before and I'll say it again, "If you want to win in the NBA, you can never be too old."

Who's the oldest team in the NBA if you go by average age? Miami Heat.

Who's the oldest team in the NBA if you go by age weighted by minutes played? Dallas Mavericks.

With the Mavs winning the Western Conference championship Wednesday, we are now one Miami win away from seeing the two oldest teams square off in the 2011 NBA Finals.

And wasn't it just yesterday that nearly everyone was trumpeting a changing of the guard, with the young guns taking over the game?

Wasn't it just yesterday that people were saying the Lakers and Celtics were getting too old and that's why they lost--neglecting the fact that they just lost to older teams themselves?

REPEAT AFTER ME ONCE AGAIN: YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO OLD IN THE NBA!!"

In the modern era--since going to a four-round tournament in the 1984 NBA Playoffs--25 of the 27 champions had an average age of 28.0 or older, which is unusual since less than 30 percent of the teams annually reach that age demographic.

Face it: Old teams are winning teams .. The eight oldest squads this year--all over 28.0 average age--had winning records and all made the playoffs.

Conversely, if you look at the eight youngest NBA teams, only the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder even made the playoffs.

As bright as their futures are, it is just so tough for the young guns to knock off older teams as they advance in any NBA Playoffs. The only two young squads to do so and win NBA championships in the modern era are the 1990-91 Bulls and the 2008-09 Lakers.

The Thunder surely will learn from their mistakes in the 2011 Western Conference Finals with the Mavericks, just as these old Mavs learned from their exploits in their younger days, collectively playing for nine different teams in the process.

Dirk Nowitzki, 32 ... Played in 11 NBA Playoffs, 3 Conference Finals and this will be his 2nd NBA Finals.

Jason Kidd, 38 ... Played in 15 NBA Playoffs, 3 Conference Finals and this will be his 3rd NBA Finals.

Jason Terry, 33 ... Played in 7 NBA Playoffs, 2 Conference Finals and this will be his 2nd NBA Finals.

Shawn Marion, 33 ... Played in 8 NBA Playoffs, 3 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

Tyson Chandler, 28 ... Played in 6 NBA Playoffs, 1 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

Peja Stojakovic, 33 ... Played in 11 NBA Playoffs, 2 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

Jose Barea, 26 ... Played in 5 NBA Playoffs, 1 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

Brendan Haywood, 31 ... Played in 6 NBA Playoffs, 1 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

DeShawn Stevenson, 30 ... Played in 6 NBA Playoffs, 1 Conference Finals and this will be his 1st NBA Finals.

These nine Mavs, who are Dallas' main minutemen, are instrumental in pushing their team's average age--however you measure it--to the 32-to-33-year-old range.

The critic sees that and says they're too old to win ... Silly fool.

The student of the game sees that and says, "Is it too late to sign Jerry Stackhouse?"