Well the NBA Finals start on Tuesday night and Lebron James and the Miami Heat will face off against Dirk Nowitski’s Dallas Mavericks for the NBA title. I will breakdown the series from my point of view and give you who I think will win it all. I know everyone likes the Heat and believes Dallas will be pushovers, but don’t count them out that easy.
Miami: Erik Spoelstra came into this season with the heavy task of getting his new players to mesh together offensively while earning their respect. Miami going through early season struggles and learning from them has paid off and he has his team in the NBA Finals. He is a very good coach especially defensively and I look forward to seeing what schemes he hatches to stop Dirk Nowitski. He has also been quoted as saying Lebron James will see time guarding J.J. Berea when the Mavs go to there small lineup where they play Dirk at the 5.
Dallas: Rick Carlisle has the Mavericks back in the NBA Finals 5 years after their last appearance, a series in which the Heat defeated them 4-2. But this is a different team Dallas will put on the court in this series and Carlisle wasn’t the coach then as well. He has the Mavs playing with discipline, toughness and they put forth effort on the defensive end of the court as well. This is clearly the best team Dallas has put on the floor in the time Dirk Nowitzki has played for the franchise and Carlisle is a big reason why. I’m looking forward to seeing how he defends Lebron James and the Heat and how he utilizes Dirk offensively.
Miami: Lebron James is playing out of his mind right now and he has taken his game to another level by finally deciding to be the lockdown defender we all thought he could be. His size, strength, speed, and agility is like no other we have seen in the NBA and that allows him to defend multiple positions effectively. Look for him to check J.J. Berea at times as well as Dirk Nowitzki, but now that Udonis Haslem is back in the mix and they have Chris Bosh as well, the Heat will try to use them more on Dirk to keep James out of foul trouble. We know what Lebron brings offensively and thats a given, but Bosh’s production as the team’s 3rd scorer could be the difference in the series. He should have an advantage against Nowitski and should look to be aggressive and get him in foul trouble. Haslem and Joel Anthony will do the grunge, dirty work on the boards and defensively and Haslem’s championship experience will be big for the Heat.
Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki is playing the best basketball of his hall of fame career and a championship would put him in the class with the all time greats. The Mavericks need him to show up and carry this team if they have any chance of beating Miami in a seven game series. Shawn Merion will most likely draw the assignment of Lebron James and Tyson Chandler’s shot blocking, ability to run the floor, and offensive rebounding will be key for the Mavericks. Chandler brings a toughness in the paint that Dallas never had in past seasons.
Miami: Dwayne Wade is a former NBA Finals MVP(2006) and is a stone killer down the stretch of games. Yes Lebron James is the better player, but Wade has a proven track record in the finals. I expect Wade to play better then he did in the series against the Bulls, the Heat needs him to play much better then the 18.8 ppg and 40% shooting from the field. Dallas is a way better team then the Bulls and they have the ability to put up points. Mike Bibby is the starter at the point and the Heat could use a better shooting performance from him as well. He will get plenty of open shots and he needs to make better then the 30% of his shots he made last series.
Dallas: Jason Kidd is at the end of his career, but is still an very effective point guard, playing off of guile and smarts as his physical tools aren’t what they used to be. He sets the table for this team, gets the ball to the right players in the right spots, and has became sort of a dependable shooter from the three point line as well. DeShawn Stevenson is a good defender who will spend the majority of his time checking Wade. He is the Mavericks best bet to slow Wade down if it’s possible.
Miami: After getting virtually nothing from their bench during the season, the Heat has gotten some solid contributions off of the pine in the last series. After missing most of the regular season with a foot injury, Udonis Haslem has brought back the toughness, leadership, rebounding, and hustle the Heat had been missing all season. Mike Miller has woken up and had a great game four against the Bulls, scoring 12 points and grabbing 9 rebounds as well. The more production and solid mistake free minutes they give the Heat off the bench, the better.
Dallas: The Mavericks have firepower coming off the bench and knockdown shooters as well. Jason Terry is one of the best 6th men the league has seen and can get you 20 plus points off of the bench on any given night. J.J. Berea is very effective getting into the lane creating for himself and for others. When Dallas goes to the small lineup with Dirk at the center position Berea is the key to that lineup working as well as it does. Peja Stojakovic has been coming off of the bench and hitting open three point shots for the Mavs on a consistent basis. Brendan Haywood could start for most teams at center and provides another big active body for Dallas to throw at the Heat.
My Prediction: When Lebron James decided to join Wade and Bosh in Miami, this is what they evisioned playing for an NBA title and they are four wins away from accomplishing this feat. Yes Dirk Nowitzki is balling right now, but I don’t think Dallas has enough star power to win 4 of seven against Miami. People think Miami runs right through Dallas easily, but I don’t. I like The Heat in 6 games and Lebron James takes home the Finals MVP award.