Quick Pick for the 2011 NBA Finals: the Miami Heat vs the Dallas Mavericks

It's bound to be a titanic battle between Miami and Dallas
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

I will be rooting, cheering my heart out, for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, and Peja Stojakovic – those veterans of postseason failure who are on the threshold of netting the NBA’s biggest prize.

But it won’t be easy. In fact, the odds don’t favor them at all. These Mavs, once again in these playoffs, are tagged as underdogs.

Can Dirk continue carrying the Mavs
through to the title?
(image by Bill Baptist/Getty Images)

Most pundits predicted the Portland Trailblazers to zoom past the Mavs in round 1. Brandon Roy flashed his old form on a couple of occasions, but the Mavs were just too much.

Almost everyone predicted LA would romp past Dallas in round 2, but the Lakers got nary a victory.

A lot of people (this writer included) expected Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to push Dallas to the limit in round 3. The Thunder were done by Game 5.

And now majority are yielding to the talent and will of the Miami Heat. Many fans feel like it’s 2006 all over again – with the Heat humbling Mark Cuban in the most prestigious stage in all of basketball.

And they might as well be right.

Why? Because the Miami Heat are hotter than they have ever been. They have learned to close out games. Chris Bosh has played his part in the Heat Trinity instead of being the designated third wheel. Dwyane Wade has proven he doesn’t need to put up points in bunches to help his team win. Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller have justified their pick-ups. And, of course, LeBron James has taken his team (it is his team now, make no mistake about it, Wade notwithstanding) into peak form. They have not lost at home. They have displayed the ferocity and tenacity that, coupled with their unequaled pool of skill, can topple any and all opposition.
The Miami are heavily favored to win
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By all accounts and purposes, Miami is the big bad wolf out to blow everything down and, when all the debris settles, claim the golden trophy.

But that’s exactly how the Dallas Mavericks want it. That’s where they’ve thrived all season long. That is the main difference between now and 2006. Whereas Dallas was full of itself 5 season ago, they now know more than ever that humility is the quality that separates the pretenders from the contenders.

I recall last year when the deepest free agent class in recent memory was the stuff of talks and dealings all over the league. Where was Amar’e going? How about Bosh? Wade? Of course everyone waited for James’s now infamous Decision. And as for Dirk?

He was under the radar. No hoopla. No drummed up fancy-shmancy trimmings. Here was probably the best European import of the past decade free to go where he pleased, free to explore the possibilities, free to discard all those years of frustration in Dallas by jumping ship.

Only he didn’t. He stayed the course.

And look where he has steered his team.

That, too, is the main difference between now and 2006. Nay, that is the biggest difference between these two teams.

Whereas on one side we have a sense of entitlement, on the other we have sense of urgency. On one side we have seen the brashness and pomp of youth, and on the other the muted and self-effacing modesty of experience. We have a team hinged on this generation’s “I want it all NOW” attitude, and another team built on the collapses and tribulations of history.
Can Jason Kidd finally win one?
(image by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

A tad too dramatic?

What else can be more dramatic? It’s the NBA Finals. In many ways, this series will define how the next few years of the NBA will be played out, how teams will view building their roster. On some level, this is a battle for the very soul of the NBA and perhaps even basketball.

And so for all our sakes, I hope Dallas wins.

Dallas. 5.

JJ Barea must continue his surprising play if Dallas
wants to cool down the Heat
(image by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
LeBron James is back in the Finals, and
he won't be satisfied with anything but the title
(image by Victor Baldizon/Getty Images)
How will the Matrix respond in his first trip to the Finals?
(image by Victor Baldizon/Getty Images)
The Jet's game must be on if Dallas is to avenge their 2006 loss.
(image by Glenn James/Getty Images)
Will Tyson Chandler grab enough boards and alter enough shots
to help Dallas win?
(image by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade looks to repeat the magic of 2006
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Here's a nice video preview for the Finals:

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2 Comment

Thanks for visiting my page, will regularly follow your posts too! Great read on your thoughts about the series! My site could really use a lot of pimping up like yours, though! Haha! :)


Ey Favian! I love your writing style. Funny as hell, but fat with substance! I had to copy-paste a bit of html for some of the widgets here, but it's all very do-able even for someone as un-techy as me :) Hope Dallas wins! But the Heat are damn strong :(