Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finals Matchup: Mavs vs Heat

Finally, an NBA Finals without the same select few teams who battle it out for the trophy every year.

Some like to call it a 2006 Finals Rematch as well as an opportunity for revenge for the Dallas Mavericks, but I believe its a fight between the two players in the NBA who deserve the Larry O'Brien Trophy right now more than anyone else: Dirk Nowitzki and Lebron James.

While Lebron is trying to get his first ring and prove himself worthy of being the league's best player while constantly being overshadowed by Kobe and his 5 rings, Dirk is just trying to win his first championship-in what some believe to be his last shot-to prevent going down in the history books ringless.

This is hardly a "2006 Finals Rematch" considering the fact that both teams have drastically changed since then.

The Miami Heat have acquired the beyond helpful addition of Lebron from the Cavs this season, as well as Chris Bosh from Toronto. Since 06', they've also added Mike Bibby and Joel Anthony to their starting line-up which leaves Dwayne Wade as their only starter who played for the Heat in the 2006 Finals; Udonis Haslem is the only other player on their roster who shares the 06' Finals Trophy with Wade.

As for Dallas, they've stacked up their bench with great players-such as JJ Barea, Peja Stojakovic, and Brendan Haywood just to name a few-to give them the title of one of the league's best benches. Since 2006, they've also acquired Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, DeShawn Stevenson, and Jason Kidd to their starting line-up. Aside from Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry is the only other Mav who was on the team in the 2006 Finals.

All of these additions have helped out both teams tremendously.

Lebron and Bosh are obviously a huge help to the Heat as they're both on the list of the best players in the league today. Bibby plays a great role at being a consistent performer at PG as well as going down in the books as being top 20 in 3-pointers made. Chalmers is a great back-up who brings youth to their team as well as gaining another great shooter in Mike Miller.

Tyson Chandler remains one of the most helpful additions to the Mavs as he brought their defense to another level while back-up center Haywood gets the job done as well. Jason Kidd was an outstanding acquirement to the PG position as he runs the floor in a smart manner while being 2nd in all-time 3-pointers made, 2nd in all-time assists, and 3rd in all-time steals, as he'll go down in the hall of fame as one of the best players at his position. Peja brings a spark offensively as he is another player who is all-time in 3-pointers made. Shawn Marion helps out Dallas on the offensive end as well with his awkward hook shots that fall in almost every time. And lastly, JJ Barea brings speed to this older team with his small size and ability to cruise by opponents to the basket, just to name a few.

With both teams improved since their last Finals meeting, this shall be an interesting series to watch. Will the great Lebron James be able to be contained? As well as the un-guardable Dirk Nowitzki be able to be guarded? Will the Miami Heat's suffocating defense be able to stop one of the league's top benches? All of these questions are in the air as the two best road-teams battle it out for the 2011 Trophy.

Lets look at the teams' regular season match-ups:
11/27/10- Mavs win 106-95
12/20/10- Mavs win 98-96

Caron Butler, who won't be playing in this Finals matchup due to his season-ending injury, played a vital role in both of these games as he scored 30+ points in each.

Although Dallas won both regular season meetings with Miami, most say it wasn't such a feat as it was during the Heat's slump when they were still "getting used to each other" as a new team.

Many analysts think that it will be the Heat in 6 or 7 while others think the same for the Mavericks. Either way, it would be a surprise if this series ended in 4 or 5 games.

The fight for the ring will begin Tuesday, May 31st at 9pm on ABC as the Heat will continuously be trying to prove themselves to be the best team in the league that they promised they'd be when Lebron and Bosh decided to bring their talents to South Beach, while the Mavericks will be trying to prove that they're a different team this year then they've been every other post-season as they've lost in the first and second round every year.

The 2011 Finals schedule is as follows:
Game 1- Tuesday, May 31st at 9pm ET on ABC
Game 2- Thursday, June 2nd at 9pm ET on ABC
Game 3- Sunday, June 5th at 8pm ET on ABC
Game 4- Tuesday, June 7th at 9pm ET on ABC
*Game 5- Thursday, June 9th at 9pm ET on ABC
*Game 6- Sunday, June 12th at 8pm ET on ABC
*Game 7- Tuesday, June 14th at 9pm ET on ABC
*If Necessary


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Finals Matchup: Mavs vs Heat