Friday, May 27, 2011
So it all comes to this: The NBA Finals Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
They did bring a lot of that heat (no pun intended) on themselves by saying things like: We enjoy the bullseye. Plus, there's going to be times when we lose 2-3 games in a row, and it seems like the world has crashed down. You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade is coming down again, but it's not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games." (Said Dwayne Wade). Lebron on racism playing a factor in his the backlash he received: I think so at times. It’s always a race factor,” And then there was Chris Bosh’s whole ‘Crygate” situation. This team had no time to learn things together. As soon as the season started they had a bull’s-eye on their back for those statements and gestures they made. The best thing about that is how it made the Heat focus even more and take those shots from the media as motivation. It has served them well and they now find themselves four games away from what Pat Riley envisioned when he blew up his entire roster and signed the best free agent class in history of James, Bosh, and Wade.
The most important factor in Dallas’s run has to be the resurgence of Dirk Werner Nowitzki. The German assassin has always been mentioned in the same breath as the greats of the game today but he always had the monkey on his back of being a choker. Ironically, the team that mostly put that title to Dirk was the Miami Heat. Dirk’s Dallas’ team in 2006 infamously collapsed against the Dwayne Wade/Shaq led Heat team after building a 2-0 lead against Miami. Even though it wasn’t entirely Nowitzski’s fault (The man averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds for the series for goodness sake) he became the scapegoat. When you’re the best player on your team, right or wrong you have to take the brunt of blame. I’m sure Mark Cuban would argue with me that the refs had a lot to do with them losing the series but I’m not buying that. Dirk has had a certain look in his eyes this post-season. They show a man who is determined to clear his name and bring home a ring. He has been nothing short of awe inspiring in these playoffs as he just torched his opponents. He surgically dismantled the Lakers defense with an array of fadeways, pick and pops, and dead on shooting. He did the same against a younger more athletic Thunder team that threw everyone in Oklahoma short of Brian Bosworth at him. Dirk has always had the talent but now he has the will and toughness it takes to win. That’s something that has to be learned and can’t be taught. As evident by his 28.4 points a game this post-season, Dirk has come ready to put a stamp on his legacy. He doesn’t want to join the Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone club of great careers with no ring to show for it club.
Editor’s note: I will be breaking down the match-ups in my next post.
Make sure to tune in to blogtalkradio for the Sportaholic Radio Show as special guest Robert Snelling joins me to discuss the NBA Finals and other sports topics this Saturday May 28, 2011 at 3:30 central time.
The link for the show is www.blogtalkradio.com/sportaholic