NBA Playoffs 2011: Position-by-Position Breakdown of the Miami Heat/Dallas Mavs

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIMay 31, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: Position-by-Position Breakdown of the Miami Heat/Dallas Mavs

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    MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 20:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat posts up Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at American Airlines Arena on December 20, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downlo
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    In a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, anything can happen. With the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks coming of impressive comeback wins, we will see tonight which team can sustain a lead and take advantage of the other teams weaknesses. 

    In the 2006 finals, the Mavs took a commanding 2-0 lead to start the series, but then blew it losing four straight. With Dirk Nowitizki poised to bring home a championship to Dallas, I don't see history repeating itself. 

    This series is all about matchups, and whichever team can control the paint, in my eyes, will win the series. 

Point Guards: Jason Kidd vs. Mike Bibby

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for a shot against Thabo Sefolosha #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first quarter in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Cen
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    For both of these guys, experience is not the question, but it's which player can make the big shot when his team needs it the most. 

    As much as I love Mike Bibby, the clear-cut choice has to be Jason Kidd.

    This will be J-Kidd's third NBA Finals (he previously played in two with New Jersey), and he's been playing at a higher level than his opponents this postseason. 

    If Bibby struggles early, Erik Spoelstra won't hesitate to put in Mario Chalmers, and I think Kidd still wins that matchup. 

    Advantage: Jason Kidd

Shooting Guards: Dwyane Wade vs. DeShawn Stevenson

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 30:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat talks to the press during practice before Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on May 30, 2011 at American Airlines Arena  in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Dwyane Wade had his fair share of struggles in the Eastern Conference finals, but the all-world guard has dealt with criticism before, and I expect him to have a huge series. 

    Wade will be matched up against 6'5" guard DeShawn Stevenson, who was placed into the starting lineup right before the playoffs began. Stevenson said Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd vouched for him to be in the starting role over the struggling Rodrigue Beaubois. 

    Stevenson won't play a lot of minutes, and his duties will be fulfilled by Jason Terry. So when Stevenson is in, I expect Wade to have a field day. 

    Advantage: Dwyane Wade

Small Forward: Shawn Marion vs. LeBron James

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates after the Heat won 83-80 against the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOT
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Shawn Marion has stepped up his game during these 2011 playoffs. He played some great defense in the Oklahoma City series and might have saved a game or two. 

    He has yet to face anyone as dynamic as LeBron James though, and I definitely see him struggling a bit against the King. Look for LeBron to drive to the basket and try to draw some fouls, especially to the side Dirk Nowitzki is on. 

    Advantage: LeBron James

Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki vs. Chris Bosh

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after making a three-pointer in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airl
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    There has been a lot of talk circulating about where Dirk Nowitzki should be placed among the all-time greats in NBA history. I have him in the top 20 without a championship, and if he can get it done this year, I have no problem placing him in the top 15. 

    No player has deserved a championship more than Dirk since Karl Malone, and I would hate for him not to have one. I think Dirk has the ultimate advantage in this matchup because he has great post moves and is athletic enough to contain Chris bosh from mid-range. 

    Ultimately, you can argue Dirk is the best player in this series, and don't be surprised if the Heat place LeBron James on him from time to time. 

    Advantage: Dirk Nowitzki 

Center: Joel Anthony vs. Tyson Chandler

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Tyson Chandler has been very consistent throughout these playoffs, but this matchup will make it hard for him to get points in the paint.

    Joel Anthony has been a shot-blocking machine, and Heat fans have been chanting "MVP" toward him at the free-throw line for most of the postseason. 

    Chandler, a former No. 2 overall pick by the L.A. Clippers, has never lived up to his hype. This series could define his legacy though and help right some of the doubters who questioned him from the beginning. 

    Advantage: Tyson Chandler 

Bench

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the third quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 25, 2011 in D
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    With Jason Terry, JJ Barea and Peja Stojakovic coming off the bench, this Dallas team is just flat-out deeper than the Heat and are deeper than any team the Heat have played so far. 

    If Terry can continue to hit his three ball, and Barea can continue to draw fouls and drive the lane, the Heat bench players have no chance at stopping them. 

    Advantage: Dallas

Coaching

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 25:  Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks looks over at referee Monty McCutchen #13 in the first half while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Amer
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The Jim Carrey look-a-like may not be funny, but he does have experience coaching in some pretty big games. The former Pistons and Pacers coach led the Pistons to multiple playoff appearances and led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals, where they eventually lost to Detroit. Carlisle has the deeper team and All-Stars coming off the bench, which makes his job a whole lot easier. 

    Spoelstra, who is in his third year as coach of the Heat, will have tough choices to make on matchups and will certainly run into problems. If the Heat can get off to quick starts, Spoelstra will allowed to be more flexible. 

    Advantage: Rick Carlisle

And the Winner Is...

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    DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 04:  The NBA logo tattoo of Dominique Jones #20 of the Dallas Mavericks during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center on January 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and a
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The team that plays in the American Airlines Center, AKA The Dallas Mavericks.

    No player is more hungry than Dirk, and no team is deeper than the Mavs. 

    The Heat were fortunate to make it this far, and I definitely see them winning one in the future—just not this year.