Quantcast 2011 NBA Finals: Dallas Mavericks vs Miami Heat

 

One and One

 

Despite the pining and unfounded love the Heat have received from the national media during the coverage of the NBA Finals thus far, the Dallas Mavericks refused to lie down and came back from a 15 point 4th quarter deficit in Game 2 to tie the series at a game apiece. That victory should set the tone for the rest of the series and as I look toward the remaining games, I see the Mavericks finally staking claim to the title they so desperately desire.

Dirk Nowitzki came to life during the Mavs’ late game rally, finishing the heat off with a left-handed layup and relying on his middle finger with a torn tendon that has been the center of controversy the past couple days. The team will only go as far as Dirk can take them and he is playing the best basketball of his career at precisely the right moment. In addition to the game winner, Dirk added seven other big points while contributing on defense and rebounding. He outshined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and if he continues to do so, the series will undoubtedly shift in the favor of Dallas.

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Jason Kidd looks ageless and Shawn Marion has turned back the clock and is playing like the Matrix of old. Offensively, Marion gives Dallas a terrific boost and viable option that they have relied on in key situations. In addition, his defensive aptitude has been and will continue to be the major edge in this series. LeBron James was shut down at the end of Game 2 and the only way the Mavericks will continue to win is with Marion shutting down the self proclaimed King. Kidd has been the steady force that has guided the Mavericks to the Finals and the team needs to rely on him and DeShawn Stevenson in order to shut down Dwyane Wade. Wade has been a constant nightmare for Dallas, but the team may finally have the pieces in place to slow him down.

 

 

The Mavericks supporting staff still have some great potential for improvement. Jason Terry has made me crazy his entire career in Dallas by combining heroic scoring with a tendency for bone head plays. He made some key shots in the remarkable comeback but almost gave up the game by leaving Mario Chalmers wide open for a vital three pointer at the end of the game. Turnovers have been a constant problem for Jason and if Terry is unable to score, then he becomes an enormous liability on the defensive end. Peja Stojakovic can only get better as this series goes on, and in doing so he will give the team a major boost offensively which will allow them to spread their offense more efficiently, creating more open looks for the rest of the team. J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and Brandon Haywood played more effectively in the second game as well, which should improve now that the jitters of playing in the Finals have probably passed.

The third game of the series will be played Sunday in Dallas and is a must win for each team. As the world seemingly follows this series as either the Heat winning or the Heat losing, the spotlight will shine on the Mavericks if they continue to fight and improve on the way to conquering Miami and winning their first ever NBA championship.

 

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By: Jake Wertheim
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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