2011 NBA Playoffs: 5 Reasons the Dallas Mavericks Will Beat the Miami Heat
The following slides examine why I believe the Dallas Mavericks will beat the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. Read on.
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5. Mavericks' Playoff Experience
Déjà vu is imminent in this year's NBA Finals. The Mavericks faced the Heat in 2006 to close out the postseason, but fell short to Miami's superstar duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. The Heat came back from an 0-2 deficit to claim the title in six games.
Now for a short preview on the 2011 NBA Finals:
The Mavericks have playoff experience. Period. With players like Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, that's fairly obvious. Miami has some experience, but their roster is filled with the young superstars Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Dirk Nowitzki has an unwavering mindset to claim the title this year, and I don't believe anyone can take that from him; he will do whatever it takes to win. Jason Terry is deadly coming off the bench to provide instant energy, and J.J. Barea is a legitimate backup for 38-year-old Jason Kidd.
The veterans on this team also include three-point shooting extraordinaire Peja Stojakovic, who signed on earlier this year. He provides instant offense and a defensive priority for the opposing team.
I think that old quote, "Brain beats Brawn every time," fits quite nicely here.
4. Miami's Inconsistent Play
Miami has been anything but consistent this season. Chris Bosh drifted through the most of the year with flashes of stardom. Things didn't click, the players seemed frustrated.
In December, they allowed the Utah Jazz to come back from 12 points down with less than a minute left to win the game in double overtime (led by Paul Millsap's miraculous 46 points).
The problem increases terrifyingly when you have to face a team that has been the face of consistency all season long: the Dallas Mavericks.
In order for Miami to have a chance of winning this series, they need to learn how to show up and play like a championship-caliber team every night.
3. Bench Production
When Miami's bench comes in and plays with passion, they win games. Although usually their bench is almost nonexistent.
The Mavericks' bench is one of the deepest and most talented in the league, and that's how they're going to do the most damage to the Heat in this playoff series.
Dallas owns an arsenal of players such as J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic, Brendan Haywood and Corey Brewer that can come in and provide a spark for their team.
The Heat have...?
Unless the Heat find an answer to the Mavericks' bench, they aren't going to get far in this series.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
You can argue that the Heat will be able to shut down superstar Dirk Nowitzki by letting LeBron James guard him. That's simply not true.
Nowitzki gets his shot off over any defender, no matter what. He's 7-feet tall and shoots like a guard—a really good guard.
The level of defensive intensity you have to play to contain Dirk is astonishing. Does Miami really want to waste LeBron's energy on trying to defend Nowitzki? I think not.
As I said earlier, Dirk has his mind set to win the Finals this year. No one is going to avert that goal. Nowitzki will do, and does, everything it takes to carry his team to the top, and claim that elusive title.
Dallas has been praised on their defensive capabilities all year long. They play smart defense at times, "hiding" Dirk Nowitzki to preserve his energy in their trademark 2-3 zone, and they play stifling man-to-man defense at other times. Rick Carlisle will indefinitely have an answer for Miami's Big Three, and will capitalize on any mistake they make.
Miami has shown us glimpses of great defense at times, but falls lax on most occasions. If Miami rolls into town with a defensive mindset, a bench ready to contribute, and a competitive drive, they'll have a fighting chance of winning this series.
But, for now I'll stick with my guns and proclaim the Dallas Mavericks our 2011 NBA champs.
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