Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 NBA Finals Preview: Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavercicks

2011 NBA Finals: Dallas Mavericks vs Miami Heat
For the first time in a while I am really intrigued by the NBA Finals this year. Maybe it has something to do with the fact the two teams in the Finals are not named the Boston Celtics or the LA Lakers? Maybe its because one of the teams is lead by a 7-ft German tagged up with a band of cast-offs from other teams? Maybe its because the other team is lead by, arguably, two of the best players in the league right now? Maybe its because of the drama and controversy surrounding how those two stars shattered decades of NBA superstar etiquette, sacrificing their individual legacies to try win championships (or maybe just to play with their BFFs... lets hope some day the truth will come out)?

The Story Lines

There is no shortage of story lines for this series. The biggest one has to be that this is a re-match of the 2006 NBA Finals. In that series, the Mavs, under Dirk Nowitzki, came in as the clear favorites having the second best record in the Western Conference. They won the first two games at home beating the underdog Miami Heat. To their and everyone's surprise, and with the alleged help of refs, the Heat came back to win the next 4 straight games to take the series in six games. Mark Cuban and Mavs fans have been bitter about this ever since. With their early exit against the Golden State Warriors in Round one the next year, their window to win a championship seemed closed. But little did we know that, the addition of retreads from other teams: Shawn Marrion and Tyson Chandler along with a now 38 year old Jason Kidd would put them back in the Finals. Turns out they also get a chance to avenge the injustice (in their minds) of the 2006 Finals against the Heat.