The NBA Finals 2010/11: Dallas vs Miami

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Friday, May 27, 2011 with 7 comments
Perhaps two of the most dramatic conference finals endings ever happened over the course of two nights during this past week.  First it was the Dallas Mavericks who in the waining minutes of games 4 and 5 made the OKC Thunder look like school boys and then there were the star players for the Miami Heat Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, the team that was dubbed as the team who couldn't close when it mattered, who powered the Heat to a thunderous and definitive win over the Chicago Bulls in game five.  The team who couldn't close ended the game on an 18-3 run in the final 3 minutes that sucked the air out of the United Center and ended the championship dreams of the team who'd earned the best record in the league, had the Coach of the year, and who's star was the NBA MVP in Derrick Rose.  The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat now prepare to do battle in the NBA Fnals and I would have it no other way but be warned of the perception that the media will force upon you. 

The elephant in the room is the fact that many, many, fans and basketball professionals will do whatever they can to say negative words about the Miami Heat while praising any Heat opponent as the greatest team ever.  It's happened all year and now it's slowly happening again as the media are making Dirk Nowitzki out to be the messiah and by comparing him to Larry Bird in what I can only describe as an attempt at the sympathy fan vote.  Dirk is a hell of a talent, a great player and yes throughout his career at times he has been virtually unstoppable but with that being said, the Mavericks have always found ways to lose; Larry Bird on the other hand has 3 NBA championships to his name.  Let me be very clear here, I'm not saying that Dirk isn't a great player because he is and if the Heat had a spot for him, I would gladly take him so my words aren't coming from a place a of hate as with so many folks who speak about the Heat.  Even as I type this, I just saw an ABC commercial advertising the NBA Finals and the tag line was the Big Three of Miami versus a team of veterans led by Dirk of the Mavericks.  Just be advised that the Miami Heat are just as loaded with hungry veterans as Dallas.  These teams are extremely similar in their make up but the Heat is much more deeper than the Big Three, deeper than most basketball "experts" give them credit for being.  At times you must use logic and not your heart, does one honestly think that winning a championship means more to Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Peja, or Dirk than it does Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier, Mike Bibby or Lebron James?  Winning a championship matters equally the same to all of those guys who have battled each other in the league for years.  As my regular readers know very well, yes I am a Miami Heat fan, a long time Miami Heat fan, since the days of Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, PJ Brown, and yes even Jamal Mashburn.....that was painful to type.  The Miami Heat are entrenched in my soul, my heart and now I will give my honest assessment of the 2010/11 NBA Finals.

The trophy above, the Larry O'Brien trophy is was it's all about!  Yes these teams met in 2006 for the title with the Heat winning in a stunning comeback after being down 0-2 but that doesn't matter now, both of these teams are completely different yet they're both as hungry as ever.  Two stars, Dirk Nowitzki and Lebron James are looking to cement their legacy in the annals of time, Dwyane Wade is looking to add to his already Hall of Fame career, Chris Bosh, wanting to shed the label of soft once and for all, and then you have the veterans on both sides, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Peja, Shawn Marion doing battle with Erick Dampier, Juwan Howard, Mike Bibby, and Big Z to name a few who's only mission is to be able to look in a mirror and call themselves a champion at the biggest stage.  Again that trophy is what it's all about, the winner, four wins away from hoisting that trophy and exorcising past playoff demons once and for all.

Usually lost in the journey is the fact that it's just basketball, simplistic and beautiful, either you make shots or you don't and this series will have very interesting match ups.  For all of the true Mavericks fans in Texas and scattered aross the US, I love you and appreciate your passion and yes I know your pain.  Lets sit back and enjoy a great series.  To all of the fans who are picking the Mavericks to defeat the Heat just because you're Haters or because you don't like Lebron James for whatever reason my break down below will be for you.  If  you truly know the game then you will understand the truths below.

Argument 1.  Miami will not be able to defend Dirk.

That could be possible, but he can be slowed down and the key to this will be Chris Bosh.  Bosh has been playing great thus far in the playoffs and if he can make Dirk work on defense, his offense may be affected due to slight fatigue.  The Mavericks will counter the Bosh/Dirk match up by playing a lot of zone and also by at times using Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood to guard Bosh while Dirk becomes the floater due to lack of trust in him defensively.  If the later happens the Mavericks will have no protection at the rim leaving Wade and Lebron free to attack.....Advantage Heat.

Argument 2.  The Mavs bench is better than the Heat's.

That's a great argument that can be made, the Dallas bench is probably better than the Heat's bench but if you look at it from strictly a scoring standpoint the Big Three's production for Miami makes it possible for the Heat to have less scoring from its bench than Dallas.  In other words Dallas needs its bench more for scoring while Miami uses it's bench more for defense, rebounding and at times scoring.  With that being said if defense really wins championships then the advantage goes to the........Heat.

Argument 3.  The Mavs have Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd is a Hall of Fame player and even at his advanced age I would love to have him as a member of the Heat.  At this stage in his career is basically a jump shooter who plays good defense. The Heat has Mike Bibby who at this stage in his career is basically a jump shooter who has played good defense thus far in the playoffs.  Historically Bibby has converted a higher percentage of his 3 point shots than Jason Kidd has, Kidd has made more but he's played longer, Bibby has the higher percentage.......Advantage Heat.

I'm not saying that the Heat are invincible and that there's no way the Mavericks can win, all I am saying is that for the people who are choosing the Mavericks just for the hell of it, please pay attention to the match ups that are in front of you.  These teams are extremely similar when it comes to personal and desire and the smallest details could make the difference on whether you win on lose.  The Heat have lost only 6 games in the last 2 and a half months and they won't lose four now.  When one enters a gun fight would you rather have 1 big gun or 3?