And that folks was your 2010-11 NBA season. I hope you're ready for a few months worth of baseball highlights on ESPN.
And what a season it was. It has been one of the most entertaining years in recent memory with the Big Three of the Miami Heat leading the way for a new era in the Eastern Conference and the Dallas Mavericks finally declaring themselves champions of the basketball world after over a decade's worth of postseason failure.
With a rematch of 2006, Dallas was able to exact revenge on the Miami Heat with a 4-2 series win.
They didn't need a player to lead their team back from any sort of hole, much like Dwyane Wade did in 2006, but they instead got a well-balanced attack from just about every player that stepped on the court wearing a Dallas uniform.
Leading up to the 2011 NBA Finals had a few quality series to look for as well with storylines such as the Memphis Grizzlies becoming the fourth eighth seed in NBA history to take out a first seed and then nearly becoming the first eighth seed since 1999 to advance past the second round. The Los Angeles Lakers attempt at a three-peat coming up well short was also one of top stories of this year's postseason.
Consider this year's postseason as a changing of the guard amongst former Eastern and Western Conference powerhouses. Teams that had dominated their conferences in Boston, Los Angeles and San Antonio all suddenly began to look human for the first time as none of these particular teams were able to advance past the semifinals.
Instead of seeing those teams, we were witness to the young, athletic and upstart teams of the league running away with their conferences. Out East, the Heat and Chicago Bulls were making noise as the two top teams in the conference, while Oklahoma City and Memphis began to make their impressions felt out West. All in all, it has come as a relief to see some new faces in this year's postseason as we begin to witness the latest generation of the NBA take over.
This year's postseason has featured inspired play from all sides of the nation that resulted in the eventual championship win for the Dallas Mavericks. We'll take a look at Dallas, Miami and every other postseason team's progression through this year's playoffs and just how well they fared by giving them a grade.