NBA Finals 2011: Previewing Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks Rematch

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NBA Finals 2011: Previewing Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks Rematch
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

With both teams winning their respective conferences, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are on a collision course for a rematch of their 2006 clash in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Everyone remembers that series for a few things. Dirk Nowitzki's Mavericks jumping to a commanding 2-0 lead then tragically collapsing to lose the next four. Dwyane Wade getting free throws every time someone breathed on him. The NBA assigning official Danny Crawford to Games 3 and 6, both Mavs losses by three or fewer (Dallas is 4-18 in playoff games officiated by Crawford, including a 1-16 stretch).

Dallas fans are both haunted and outraged by the developments of that tragic series. Dwyane Wade was historically good, though his efforts were augmented by shooting 73 free throws in the last four games. The Mavs were only two wins away, then lost three heart-wrenching games out of four.

That is as close as the Dallas Mavericks have come to winning their first NBA championship.

Now, they're playing as well as any playoff team in recent memory, led by the possessed Dirk Nowitzki. They steamrolled the Lakers and dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder on their way to the Finals and a revenge date with the Heat.

Miami might be playing just as well, with beatdowns of the Boston Celtics and a perplexing domination of the Chicago Bulls. All year long everyone doubted that this team could win a title, questioning how three superstars could ascend the NBA mountain with so little help. They're currently in the process of answering all questions and criticisms, leaving detractors with nothing but admiration.

The history and stage are set for Heat-Mavs II. Let's break down the matchup position by position. 

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