NBA Playoffs 2011: The Heat and the Mavs Show They Are Experienced

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIMay 25, 2011

Expect a battle when the Mavs and the Heat get together.
Expect a battle when the Mavs and the Heat get together.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I almost went ahead and wrote this article last night because I was pretty sure the Heat would win tonight.

Like the Mavs last night, the Heat showed that they had been there before and made the plays down the stretch to put the series away when it counted.

Let's face it: If you've watched these two series it is obvious that the Bulls and the Thunder are every bit as good as the Mavs and the Heat.

But they don't know how precious it is to have a chance to win a ring.

Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do, however, and that's why they've been making the plays when the game is on the line.

Between them, they have 34 All-Star appearances, three MVPs, two scoring championships, five Finals appearances, but only one ring.

Last week I asked the question: Is this the Heat's last best chance to win a championship?

I still think that's a valid question.

Both the Thunder and the Bulls are terrific young teams. And they're only going to get better in the years to come.

And this year, they were both close. The Bulls stomped the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Finals and out west the Thunder managed to win Game 2 in Dallas and wrest home court from the Mavericks

But when things got tough in Game 4 of both series, it was the two teams who had the experience who ended up winning the game. The teams who knew how tough it is to get this far that reached down and snatched victory from defeat.

The teams with four all-time greats who knew how hard it is to even get back to NBA Finals. They made the plays when it counted.

For all his bluster last summer, you don't think LeBron knows how precious this chance is. 

Dude didn't know how hard it was when he slipped into the NBA Finals earlier than anyone expected back in 2007. He sure does now.

Expect all of these guys to bring when they finally get together in a week or so.

Because both teams know it isn't easy to get a ring. And all of these guys want one.