2011 NBA Finals: Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Top 10 Players in the Finals
This year, the NBA Finals are certainly a star-studded event, featuring Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. But we also have to show some love to the bench players who have been solidly contributing to their respective teams' success a.k.a unsung heroes.
Let's take a look at the 10 best players on the court in this NBA Finals Series.
1A. Dirk Nowitzki
Yeah, I'm a Mavericks fan and I just had to make Dirk 1A. Anyways, Dirk has been on a tear since the end of the regular season. He averaged a solid 32.2 points in the Western Conference Finals vs. a very young and athletic Thunder team, who many said who win in five or six because they thought the Mavericks were "old".
Play man-to-man on him...he backs down, fades away, extends, and bam. He just took you to school.
Double team him...he drives, kicks out to the guy who's open, and bam. The other guy just took you to school.
Triple team him...now he has two options!
And you can guess how this goes on.
Dirk's Real Improvement: Hasn't been his scoring at all, even though he is on a legendary roll. He has amped up the passing, and he's amped up the vocalism. He along with Tyson Chandler are the voices for this strong Mavericks Team.
1B. LeBron James
We all know his name. We know how good he is. LeBron James was the high scorer in Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks with 28 points.
LeBron is an unstoppable force, he's got the brute strength to post up, the soft outside touch, and the ability to play like a point guard with a great vision of the court.
James is probably the most criticized man in the sporting world, and arguably for good reason (that's just my opinion). Without letting Cavaliers officials know about his decision, all Cavaliers fans thought that LeBron would stay; until he pulled off "The Decision". It's not about what he did, but how he did it.
3. Dwyane Wade
Wade is the best slasher and driver in the NBA right now, maybe even Mr. 1B in the slide before this. Either way, the best slasher and driver in the NBA is on the Miami Heat.
His ability to penetrate + His on-court vision for passing + His improved three-point shot= Deadly, Deadly, Deadly.
Take this in if you're a Heat fan, because you'll never hear another good thing about Dwyane Wade from me again.
4. Jason Terry
YES I SAID IT. I put this man, the JET, over another player most fans all think is better. I'll explain the reasoning behind putting that man in his respective position later. JET is actually one of the best slashers on the floor in this Finals series. A very little known fact: Jason Terry will become the player with the seventh most three-point field goals in NBA History at the end of this series. His ability to penetrate along with his great passing skills, actually give him a very point guard-like style of play.
5. Chris Bosh
The honest reason I have put Chris Bosh here is:
- 1) His game is so inconsistent, its not even funny anymore.
- 2) He does absolutely one of the most mediocre jobs on defense I have ever seen (If you're going to say Dirk doesn't play defense either, at least he's consistent and more than makes up for it on the offensive end of the floor)
- 3) Chris Bosh's flops make Manu Ginobili seem like Mike Tyson. For God's sake, you type in "Chris Bosh" on YouTube and "Chris Bosh flop" automatically comes up.
The good things, when he is rolling, he can be quite a force that is very hard to stop. He doesn't have quite the passing ability of the other two, but he is still definitely an above average passer for his size.
6. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd is second all-time in career assists with 11,007: trailing the amazing John Stockton.
Jason Kidd is third all-time in career three-point field goals made with 1,795: Trailing the Great Reggie Miller and Ray Allen.
Jason Kidd is third all-time in career triple doubles with 107: Trailing the Fantastic Magic Johnson and the Legendary Oscar Robertson.
This guy punched himself a ticket to the Hall of Fame years ago, he's just riding out the wave with the Dallas Mavericks, and trying to cement his legacy with his first ever ring.
Jason Kidd is one of the top-four point guards in NBA History.
7. Tyson Chandler
Why is Dallas' defense improved and one of the top-five in the league?
Why are the Mavericks such a good team now compared to two years ago?
Who is the emotional and vocal leader for the Mavericks?
Tyson Chandler has brought a great defensive edge to the Mavericks and has completely transformed them, along with the help of Coach Carlisle, into one of the best and most defense oriented teams in the league.
8. Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion completely stopped Kevin Durant, the NBA Scoring Champion two-years running, and he was also a major defender vs. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Mr. Marion is one of the biggest unsung heroes in the NBA. People tend to think Marion does nothing, but he is a premiere defender and can also cause lots of damage with his array of offensive skill: floaters, dunks and very rarely, but possibly, three-pointers.
9. Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem has done a very solid job guarding Dirk Nowitzki, "holding" him to 27 points. Haslem is one of the two players (the other being Dwyane Wade) that remains from the 2006 NBA Finals. His defensive presence and come back in the series vs Chicago; is driving the Heat to maybe (hopefully not) another Finals win over the Mavericks.
10. Mike Miller
This guy has been a major disappointment. When the Heat initially acquired Miller, all Heat fans thought they were getting a sharp three-point shooter and open up the lanes for Wade, Bosh, and James. That hasn't exactly happened...although Miller had a good performance in Game 1, he is an outstanding rebounder for his position and size.
SKIP TO 1:02 IN THE VIDEO