2011 NBA Finals Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat…This is Not LeBron Vs. Dirk…

The champ…15 strong

There can be only one and during the 2006 NBA Finals Dwyane Wade showed and proved he was the one. Wade was Finals MVP and the Heat bested the Mavs 4-2 after dropping the first two games. There was much uproar Miami and Flash (as he was called then) were the fortunate recipients of referee calls resulting in an inordinate fouls called for the Heat.

The year is now 2011…

Miami has caught so much wreck this year for forming South Beach Soultron. Journalism has thrown objectivity out the window and is openly rooting against the Heat on shows traditional and alternative. You would think the entire nation is in Philly. LeBron is proving all he needed was a couple of his friends and is playing some of the best basketball of his career.

No one did it alone. Not Mike. Not Wilt or anyone else. Get off that bullcrap.

His composure on the floor is so professional and he already looks like an all time great (he’s not Mike…yet).

Despite having the NBA’s most selling jersey I anticipate a lot of people not watching this series because they know what is inevitable.

LeBron is not a criminal. Get over it. The hatred this team has received borders on insanity (even in Cleveland). I don’t begrudge the Heat for their press conference/party to market the new squad to their fans. I think people hated that LeBron didn’t go to whoever team they are a fan of and turned the tables on the system most are used to. Would you have done the same thing in your profession (leaving for a better opportunity)? People know deep down Miami is on to something very special with two of the top three players in the NBA and arguably the best power forward no matter what people say. Bosh is talented in Miami’s offense despite not having a definitive post up game.

It will be interesting to see how the refs call this series. Will they send players to the line or let it be physical? Miami is gonna beat Dallas up if refs call the game as they should.

I found it absolutely crazy folks thought this team wouldn’t be in the position they’re in to win it all. Of course Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller have made  difference none of us saw coming but there’s simply too much talent in a league not our father’s to say definitively the Heat wouldn’t be here. What were people thinking? I just don’t get it. Someone enlighten me.

Please? I don’t get the hate. I understand it but everything has led up to now and I don’t see any team in the league as it’s constructed stopping Miami 4 out of 7.

Dirk Nowitzki is getting a whole lotta lotta shine (link is a Bill Rhoden video on Dirk). He’s been incredible. Check his stats from the field and the line but this is no Western Conference battle. Miami has played stellar defense these entire playoffs and have just three losses (in a better conference IMO) to the Mavs two.

Wade and LeBron will be a problem for Dallas. Who will guard either player with successful consistency? How will Dallas keep Wade out of the lane after Miller screens his man and LeBron hits him with a pass in stride? Their versatility will be a highlight this series regarding rebounding, blocks, steals, loose balls and assists.

When Miller then gets out to screen LeBron’s man how will he be stopped from doing a number of things ultimately adding to the score?

Let’s go position by position:

Point guard: LeBron is the point guard and he’s actually the best in the league if we label him what he truly is and has been these entire playoffs. He’s been very poised and gets everyone involved just as they hit their spots but since most won’t characterize James as a one let’s do it the conventional way.

Jason Kidd at 38 is the oldest point guard to lead a team to the Finals and one of the greatest ever at the position. He’s like Law as he aged in the Tekken series…steady and capable but slow to his veteran. He will pass up a basket to find a teammate with a better opportunity. He still is very craft and will rip you if you slip.

Mike Bibby will hit a three here and there and bring the rock up early but won’t play late as the Heat go to their Big Five lineup now that everyone is “healthy”. He doesn’t have a shot on defense no matter who is in front of him as his knees are all but gone.

Advantage: Dallas because Kidd will hit threes if left open and is a great leader seeking to stamp his career in champion validation but we all know who the point guard is for the Heat.

Two guard: Dwyane Wade can taste it. He wants another ring. Dallas has no answer for him. Nothing. I’ve dug his professionalism these entire playoffs on and off the floor doing what he does so well. He’s gonna find his spots and take his shots as he and LeBron take turns pummeling the Mavericks defense interior to perimeter.

DeShawn Stevenson can be a pretty good defensive player when he wants to and will score in bunches if he evades your focus. He will not give up despite common knowledge Wade is gonna murder him on offense.

Advantage: Heat. Big.

Small forward: No need to say anything here. LeBron vs. the Matrix?

Advantage: Heat. Like universe sized.

Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki has played out of his mind. He’s put up one of the great playoff games in recent memory (Durant did come close in the loss) and has shot the lights out. I’m not to cool with his 7.5 board average because in this series he will have to do it all for Dallas to have a shot. I mean it all. I wanna see him get on the floor and sneak down in the lane after his own shot to get that big board that will create another Dallas possession. He has been here and has a lot to prove to himself, his city and fans of the league. Can he do it basically by himself?

Chris Bosh is 18.6 and 8.9 down low. He’s stepping up and dispelling the same label Dirk has stared in the face his entire career…soft as tissue paper. He’s hitting big shots and has led Miami in a few big games these playoffs. We all knew he had the talent but his confidence and passion level are off the charts.

Advantage: Dallas. I gotta give it to Dirk here because he can’t be guarded one on one. That step back fade off one leg is unstoppable.

Center: Tyson Chandler has been everything defensively. He’s really asserted himself and is always available for the lob. His game is actually noticeable.

Joel Anthony is the last line of defense for Miami. He’ll get a basket when the opportunity presents itself but is no threat offensively.

Advantage: Dallas.

Bench: Udonis Haslem is an anchor but other than him and Mike Miller what else do you see (Sorry Fab Fiver)?

Dallas is bringing it with Jason Terry, J.J Barea, Brendan Haywood and Peja Stojakovic. Corey Brewer will see time as well because of his athleticism and youth.

Advantage: Dallas.

Coach: Erik Spolestra did something nice with the Heat after all the drama that seemed to almost overwhelm this team at times throughout the year. While I don’t see enough plays called, he’s becoming a better in game coach as time wears on. LeBron will guard Dirk in opportunistic moments. Spolestra will not let Dirk get off like the rest of these teams have.

Rick Carlisle has modified his style a bit with the Mavs. While I wouldn’t call them a defensive juggernaut they aren’t the scrubs of the past. Carlisle deserves a lot of credit and could be one of the first run and gun coaches (of name) to win a ring. He will double LeBron and Wade will be  in many spots.

Advantage: Dallas. Carlisle has the experience.

How the home team has done in the three games of the 2-3-2 Finals format and how it was 2011 playoffs done up to this point…

Prediction: Miami is powered up and ready to crush. We are going to see things out of LeBron and Wade that we might not ever have seen. They will be unstoppable because they’re will not be compromised. I don’t see either player being stopped and I think Bosh can do just enough to cancel out Dirk Nowitzki. Yeah I said it. The Heat defense is just too good and Dallas won’t be scoring in triple digits every game of this series. Just ain’t happening.

Once Miami figures out the Dallas zone it will be a wrap. Miami will not be able to rebound in this defensive set and this is where Miami will get out on the break where there is opportunity.

I’ve said 5 vs. Philly, 6 vs. Boston and 5 vs. Chicago so I gotta go with the Miami Heat in 5 (LBJ Finals MVP) one mo’ time. LeBron gets his first of many rings and Cleveland’s nightmare becomes a reality. Yeah, it’s starts now. Prepare for it Heat haters and you won’t be as affected emotionally. I’ve caught a lot of flack from folks looking at me all crazy for picking the Heat all year (not from this site) so don’t flip flop now ’cause you see something excellent in Miami. We don’t do pink socks and flip flops here.

Enjoy the series NBA fans. :)

PLAYER NAME, TEAM NAME GP PTS PPG REB RPG AST APG Total Avg
1
Dwight Howard , ORL
6 162 27.0 93 15.5 3 .5 258 43.0
2
Carmelo Anthony , NYK
4 104 26.0 41 10.2 19 4.8 164 41.0
3
LeBron James , MIA
15 390 26.0 133 8.9 82 5.5 605 40.3
4
Chris Paul , NOH
6 132 22.0 40 6.7 69 11.5 241 40.2
5
Kevin Durant , OKC
17 487 28.6 139 8.2 48 2.8 674 39.6
6
Derrick Rose , CHI
16 434 27.1 69 4.3 123 7.7 626 39.1
7
Dirk Nowitzki , DAL
15 426 28.4 113 7.5 41 2.7 580 38.7
8
Russell Westbrook , OKC
17 405 23.8 91 5.4 108 6.4 604 35.5
9
Zach Randolph , MEM
13 289 22.2 141 10.8 31 2.4 461 35.5
10
Dwyane Wade , MIA
15 356 23.7 108 7.2 61 4.1 525 35.0
11
Danny Granger , IND
5 108 21.6 28 5.6 16 3.2 152 30.4
12
LaMarcus Aldridge , POR
6 125 20.8 45 7.5 8 1.3 178 29.7
13
Kobe Bryant , LAL
10 228 22.8 34 3.4 33 3.3 295 29.5
14
Rajon Rondo , BOS
9 126 14.0 49 5.4 86 9.6 261 29.0
15
Manu Ginobili , SAS
5 103 20.6 20 4.0 21 4.2 144 28.8
16
Chris Bosh , MIA
15 279 18.6 134 8.9 17 1.1 430 28.7
17
Paul Pierce , BOS
9 187 20.8 45 5.0 25 2.8 257 28.6
18
Marc Gasol , MEM
13 195 15.0 146 11.2 29 2.2 370 28.5
19
Kevin Garnett , BOS
9 134 14.9 98 10.9 23 2.6 255 28.3
20
Tony Parker , SAS
6 118 19.7 16 2.7 31 5.2 165 27.5

Check out NBA Finals 2006 same squads. Check the expert picks…especially the makeup. Interesting or typical?

A quick 2011 Finals preview…

 

13 Responses to “2011 NBA Finals Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat…This is Not LeBron Vs. Dirk…”

  1. Mizzo says:

    Kevin McHale becomes coach of the Houston Rockets.

  2. HarveyDent says:

    I don’t want to say it’s foregone conclusion yet that the Heat win the series but I’m getting close. This team or collection of talent as their critics call them when trying to be polite are playing chess while everyone in the league are still trying to set the rules for checkers and the fact that the three of them (Bosh, Wade, and James) outsmarted all the NBA cognoscenti by putting this team together and accelerating the chemistry process. The paradigm has shifted so that players realize they can truly be free agents now and pool their talents and decide where they want to go instead of being move across a game board by players in the owner’s box. It’s already happened in NY with ‘Melo plainly stating he wanted to play for the Knicks whether he was traded or signed after his contract ended. Despite the upcoming lockout, the game has changed off the court and the players are the ones who will lead it.

    All power to the people!!

  3. Mizzo says:

    Power to the people…

  4. Temple3 says:

    I found it absolutely crazy folks thought this team wouldn’t be in the position they’re in to win it all. Of course Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller have made difference none of us saw coming but there’s simply too much talent in a league not our father’s to say definitively the Heat wouldn’t be here. What were people thinking? I just don’t get it. Someone enlighten me.

    People were thinking the Lakers would be focused for Phil’s final season and a chance to three-peat again…people were thinking that Kendrick Perkins would remain in Boston and that those two teams with much more chemistry — and more height and girth on the block would run Miami out of the gym.

    They weren’t crazy. Who could have imagined that the wheels would fall off the Lakers and that Boston would set sail without their anchor? Miami winning THIS SEASON was not a foregone conclusion for me. I thought they would compete and be a very, very tough out, but I was not certain that they could prevail this season. Next season, to me, seemed like their first break through opportunity because I believe the shelf life of the Lakers and Celtics surely would have expired by this June.

    With that said, we certainly agree on the impact of Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. You know I feel Spoelstra spilled coaching formula on Arroyo’s shoes by making Mario Chalmers take baby steps. Had those 3 players been in the mix for the entire season, Miami probably wins close to 70 games…then the prognostications look different.

    Also, it’s worth noting that Miami stumbled out of the gate and down the stretch against elite competition.

    I agree that the hate seems to know no bounds. Nonetheless, the on court skepticism at the beginning of the year was, in my mind, well founded AND not entirely based on factors pertaining to the Heat.

  5. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    A good friend of mine said today that the Heat are not a team. I wonder if Mike Miller felt that he wasn’t part of the team when Shawn Marion powered through his chest to make that bucket on the block. Did Haslem feel that way when he was knocking down J’s to beat the Bulls? Does Chalmers feel that way when he bangs in 3s while James and Wade are off their games?

    It’s totally out of hand. People need to respect that this TEAM is where they are now because of their stumbling blocks; because of fiddling with the rotation; because of losing close games; and because of what Doc Rivers said (that the media and fans created adversity)…

    Can’t we all just get along???

  6. GrandNubian says:

    @T3 Excellent points……I totally agree. Sometimes it takes adversity in order for one to see the light. This is no doubt what happened to Miami.

    I won’t sit here and say I expected them to be here. Like T3, I thought next year would be their year. With Haslem going down early on in the year, and Miller injuredI thought it was a wrap for them. I honestly thought Haslem wouldn’t return this season.

    The best thing that happened to this TEAM is the adversity that they went through…..even Wade said it in an interview. People wished all kinds of hatred, bad karma, and ill will towards this team but they endured. (NOTE to all those haters…..be careful for what you wish for)

    I said before the beginning of the playoffs that if the Heat accept the role as the “Villian”, it would be bad news for the rest of the NBA. They’ve accepted the role. All that’s left now is to finish what they started.

  7. Mizzo says:

    We said this a long time ago here. Maybe it gets lost in my prose but judging by my covering sports seat I saw the sharks circling the entire year. Many times I had a look of frustration, anger, disgust and even sadness merely listening to the questions asked and also being privy to the little side discussions behind the players backs.

    The envy of it all…

    IMO opinion this was true hatred that I just don’t get. I’ve seen and heard of it in the past obviously but when it smacks close I’m taken aback.

    I’m very glad I spent time in Cleveland just to see the Heat and see the cloud swirling that seemed to be as destructive as recent American tornadoes.

    We are in a time where professional athletic talent no longer is the story…the story now is how can “I” relate to the story.

    And they say athletes are egotistical arrogant people…

  8. GrandNubian says:

    Word!!!

  9. RBD says:

    It’s a long season. The next time somebody stumbles out of the gate and panic erupts, remember the allegedly imperiled Miami Heat.

    As to the “power to the people” comments re: labor. I tend to doubt it’ll work out that way. If the owners succeed in getting existing contracts reduced, an idea that sounds patently illegal, the power will clearly be in management’s hand.
    The problem with the current contract situation is not that Kobe Bryant makes $25 million or whatever. It’s that DeSagana Diop and Jerome James et al made $10 million.
    Of course, it seems rather disingenuous for the owners to hand out such contracts and then beg to be spared from themselves.

  10. Mizzo says:

    That’s the case for every sport.

  11. [...] 2011 NBA Finals Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat…This is Not LeBron Vs. Dirk… – The Starting Five [...]

  12. Terrence says:

    The Miami Heat are Hollywod!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcGjec8kYq0

    Perennial NBA draft hopeful Dontrevius Wenters talks to street ball players of NYC at the legendary West 4th Street courts about how the Heat have gone Hollywood:

  13. [...] I was wrong about this series but with everything considered, Dallas was the better team. The Mavs simply wanted it more and LeBron James’ off season of hell begins in earnest. There is no one alive that can rationally take anything away from Mark Cuban and the Mavericks. Nothing…and anything said in the contrary deserves no homage. [...]

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