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Friday, May 27, 2011

So it all comes to this: The NBA Finals Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat









vs.


An epic NBA season comes down to a team everyone expected to be here and another no one saw coming. Miami has been the projected favorite every since the announcement of Lebron taking his talents to South Beach. The pairing of James, Wade and Bosh put everyone on notice that Miami would be a team to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. Their union has been more celebrated than that of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Lebron said in his own words that he came to Miami to win “"Not one, Not two, Not three, Not four, Not five, Not six, Not seven...". James has more than backed his quote as he has averaged 25.2 Points 8.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists. His clutch play and great defense on Derrick Rose against the Chicago Bulls is the main reason that Miami will be playing in their first finals since 2006. Dwayne Wade has averaged a mere 24 points and 7 rebounds himself in the playoffs and after struggling mightily to live up to the standards of James and Wade while enduring most of the media’s siege on the Heat, Chris Bosh (or as some like to call him Bosh Spice) has surfaced and put up a 20 and 10 average in the playoffs. No team over the last ten years except maybe the Lakers of the early 2000s with Shaq and Kobe endured more media scrutiny then this team.



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.



Dallas on the other hand could not have been further under the radar going into this season. The L.A. Lakers were anointed by everyone (including myself) as the team that would come out the west and there were no and’s, if’s or but’s about it. Dallas just sloughed through the season without anyone really taking notice because lets face it, we all thought we knew what the Mavericks were about. The injury to Caron Butler only reaffirmed those thoughts as he was their toughest perimeter defender. Not to mention that emerging star Roddy Beaubois broke a bone in his foot and was rendered ineffective for most of the season. Their aging and arthritic roster screamed post-season meltdown with the likes of Shawn Marion (old), Jason Terry (older) and Jason Kidd (ancient). Mark Cuban has never been cheap and he overspent on a few players like Brendan Haywood (six years for $55 Million, really Cuban?) and Tyson Chandler but his willingness to spend has made for a team with experience and depth. Chandler has fortified a once porous nerf soft defense for the Mavs. His contributions don’t always show up in the box score but his energy and hustle as a big man have set the tone many a night in Big D.



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.



It’s hard to imagine that these two teams are facing each other for the second time in six years for the NBA championship. These two teams made their own path to the Finals but both got here. The differences between the two teams are amazing. Miami is the young and flashy crew that make them look like L.A. of the east coast (Joakim Noah said it best “They are Hollywood as Hell.”). Dallas is the old man band of thirty-somethings that no one saw coming. Mark Cuban is one of the most well known owners in any sport and Miami’s Mickey Arizon couldn’t be spotted if he walked right in front of you waving his hands. Miami wins with superior defense and its closers in Lebron and Dwayne Wade. Dallas attacks you at just about every position offensively and will score 150 on you in a heartbeat. Lastly, Miami was supposed to be here, Dallas wasn’t.



In summarizing, this was the most competitive and balanced season I have witnessed. A number of teams had legitimate shots at the title including Boston, L.A., Orlando, Miami and Chicago. Miami went through a gauntlet of challengers in the east as they took down a better than most people know Philadelphia team, the battle tested Celtics and the almost there but not there yet Bulls. Dallas had to endure a tough path as well as they downed the always tough Portland Trail Blazers, the two- time defending champs L.A. and a young up and coming OKC team. Both teams have had to endure there share of turmoil and doubters but in the end all the marbles will be going to either South Beach or Big D. Can the big 3 take the title in their first year of existence or will it finally be Dirk’s day of redemption. One thing is for sure, one of the greats of our time will get there first ring in Dirk or Lebron. The time is now for both men but only one can win. This is a fitting ending to an unpredictable yet highly appealing NBA season.



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

6 comments:

  1. Hey Sportaholic
    Love your blog, a great read. Im from Australia and have just started my own blog on sports aswell, little bit lost, any tips?

    ps - hopefully dallas sweep 'em 4-0

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  2. Hey Jack thanks for checking In appreciate you reading. I hope for Dallas sweep but I know its not happening. As much as I dislike Miami I have to respect them; When you have Lebron and Dwayne Wade on the same team they always have a chance. It should be a great series but I got Dallas in 7 (Insider information). As far as starting your blog man, just speak your mind and don't care what anybody says. Your blog is your blog as long. Promote yourself as much as possible on social media and anything else and you can think of. I wish you success in your journey bro, shoot me a follow and I will follow you back.

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  3. Unfortunately I think your right about LeBron and Wade
    Cheers for the advice aswell.
    http://sportscentral-blog.blogspot.com/

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  4. The Heat in six games.
    I'm no fan of theirs, but they play better D than Dallas does and I feel that will be the difference in the NBA Finals.

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  5. I hope not, but I think Heat in 6. How have you been?

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  6. Hey Mike, Jim, and Sportscentral. I think we are all in agreement about the Heat taking the series as much as it pains me to say. I still think Dallas has a chance if Dirk can have the series of his life and the way he is playing its possible.

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