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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Tony Romo

2010 NBA Finals Preview

May 31st 2011 15:15
This is a rematch that one man has relished more than anyone else. This is a shot at redemption, most likely the last one, for one of the NBA's biggest stars. This series dates back to 2006 when the Dallas Mavericks blew a 2-0 series lead against Dwayne Wade and Shaq in a series that featured an epic collapse from Dirk Nowitzki. The man who is perhaps the greatest player in Mavericks' history has took it upon himself to lead his team back to this moment. Will they get their vengeance. One thing's clear, they won't go down without a fight.

The 2006 Finals have haunted this team ever since, and the word "choker" has long been associated with the name Dirk Nowitzki. That is, until this season. The man largely blamed for what happened in 2006 and the loss to the eighth seeded Warriors in 2007. Nowitzki scored just eight points on a team that won 67 games and was considered to be one of the best teams in recent memory. That's all behind the man born in Wurzburg.

It's difficult to describe the drastic difference in Dirk's postseason play that happened this year. The shot were finally falling and the legendary work ethic was paying it's dividends on basketball's biggest stage. He and the Mavs didn't wilt when the Blazers tied the series 2-2 when the Mavs were up 2-0. It seemed like deja vu, but the Mavs showed they were a changed team and won the next two games.

The Lakers were supposed to be easily into the Finals after the Spurs were bounced out by the Grizzlies. The Lakers imploded, and the Mavs exploded on their way to a surprising sweep. The Mavs showed they were for real, and Dirk Nowitzki had the series of a lifetime. He obliterated the Thunder and had the highest true shooting percentage in a playoff game in NBA history. Dirk was brutally efficient, got to the line with ease, and turned in a performance that has skyrocketed his reputation.

The Heat's journey to this point has been well-documented, and LeBron James cemented himself as the NBA's best player after a playoff series against the Bulls that we can simply chalk up as being dominant. There really is no other word to use to describe the clutch shots, the efficiency, and the remarkable defense against the league's MVP who actually wasn't my MVP.

This is tantalizing matchup that we need to savor in. It's so captivating because of the storylines surrounding this game. It's the Big Three trying to prove the doubters and "haters"- one doubter being Mavs' owner Mark Cuban- that they are the best team in the league.

So far in the playoffs, Chris Bosh is easily the best player that Dirk Nowitzki will be guarded by. He's far more athletic than Gasol, Ibaka, and Aldridge as a defender. I think Nowitzki wins this battle though. Shawn Marion played superb defense against Durant, but LeBron isn't going to be pushed around as easily. Again, Marion is better at defending LeBron than the guys he has faced in the playoffs right now. Deng and Iguodala play good D, but they aren't as physical on the ball as Marion. But nobody can guard LeBron at this point.

The Mavs don't really have anyone to take on D-Wade either. Jason Kidd has turned into a good defensive player, but Wade is too fast and is incredible at attacking the rim. I don't see how Kidd can contain him, unless if Wade gets gassed out like he did against the Bulls. I doubt that's going to happen.

These are two unquestionably talented teams that fully deserve to be at this point. Sports are all about matchups and utilizing matchups. This series is definitely winnable for both teams, but I think the Heat have the better matchup against the Mavericks. It's going to be close considering the fact that the Mavs have the far better bench.

I've been very critical of the Heat over the season, but they really proved me wrong against the Bulls. I rarely ever pick series to go seven, but I do think these will be six hard-fought games. Want an MVP? I think Wade gets his second one against the Mavs in the Finals. He's going to rise up and show us he is the second best player in basketball behind LeBron. Yes, I just said that Wade is better than Kobe, but that's a debate for another day.
Trying to Duplicate 2006
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2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by nbageek

June 1st 2011 02:14
Should be a great series. A very close first half, anything can happen here.

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