First credit must be given where it’s deserved! The Dallas Mavs were simply the best TEAM in this year’s NBA finals. Lead by finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs have a tremendous bench, which in my opinion was the difference in the championship.
While I still am of the opinion that the Heat are a more talented team, the Mavs proved that the title cannot be won on talent alone. Jason Terry carried them in the first half when Dirk couldn’t find the hoop, sprinkle in JJ Barea and DeShawn Stevenson, Tyson Chandler’s tenacity on the glass, Jason Kidd’s basketball IQ, and great team chemistry, which gave Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks their first title.
The Mavericks success came on their ability to find their shooting touch. Hitting 50% from the field and 46% from the 3 point line is the same kind of shooting that sunk the Lakers in 4 straight, and it seemed like they found their rhythm in game 5 and it carried over to game 6 to clinch it.
Kidd, Terry, Nowitzki and Marion slayed their demons in the finals, all 10 plus year veterans who have all experienced playoff and finals disappointment, can now call themselves champions.
The Miami Heat put the heat on themselves from the beginning of the season. With Bosh, Wade and James, making a proclaimed championship or fail mandate, the pressure was too much to overcome. Where do they go from here? For all of the talent they have, 3 great players do not a team make. They will have to get a true point guard and a big man who can intimidate and rebound in the middle, as well as additional depth across the board. They will surely be active in the free agent market if they are to get back to the finals. They simply didn’t have enough fire power to close. The emotional and physical toll was just too much for 3 players to bear.
LeBron became the NBA villain, wrongly I would say, why because of the manner in which he decided to depart Cleveland? Again his finals performance was less than stellar, one has to ask why? I have some opinions of my own. LeBron is a drive player, credit the Mavs for taking away his ability to drive, as well as intentionally fouling him on break aways. The next thing is, he will need to develop a mid-range and pull up jump shot. The Mavs just evaluated the strength of LeBron and made a team effort to take it away. One on one has never worked against a team and the Mavs help defense was as outstanding as their offense
In the end, the same growing pains that plagued the Heat all year long reared its ugly head in these finals. One thing is for sure, you may be able to hide your inefficiencies and weaknesses during the regular season and maybe even the early rounds of the playoffs, but once the finals begin, head coaches really make a name for themselves by finding ways to exploit your those weaknesses to beat you. And your weaknesses will manifest themselves in pressure situations.
Rick Carlisle and staff made great adjustments, line-up changes and decisions. A coach with a complete team and he knew exactly what to do and how to get it done at the right times. Erik Spoelstra at times seemed to have no answer or remedy for the adjustments made by the Mavs coaching staff. Even when the Heat offense seemed out of rhythm and he rarely came out of a timeout with a clear cut adjustment or play. I’ve said all year, the Heat have had to overcome the best of every team in the league (opponents), as well as I believe coaching inefficiencies.
As the Mavs celebrate, the Heat are left to ponder what could’ve been and what will be necessary for the outcome to be different the next time they are on the finals stage.
- Seth Joyner