It’s been six games of some of the most dramatic and most exhilarating basket-ball to decide the 2011 NBA Finals Champion. And after six games, we still have more questions than answers about the Miami Heat. As for the Dallas Mavericks, they’ve answered all the questions surrounding their team and their franchise and their leader Dirk Nowitzki. With their championship win in six games over the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks have silenced their critics and they have ultimately proven that a solid team can beat a talented one.
It takes a true and complete veteran team to expose weaknesses. The Mavericks surgically dismantled the Miami Heat. In hindsight, it took three games for the Mavericks to truly know how they were going dissect the Heat and once they had that figured out, the gloves came off. The Miami Heat’s weaknesses at the beginning of the season and the numerous missing pieces that Pat Riley repeatedly said this team needed before it would be complete, came to the forefront in this series.
The Heat didn’t have a serviceable center that could score easy baskets and create second chances and they didn’t have a point guard that could guide their offense which appeared helter- skelter at times, particularly in the fourth quarter. Though they had talent, they were for the most part a jump-shooting team, that wasn’t efficient from three point land, and was susceptible to offensive rebounds, these weaknesses were exposed in the NBA Finals.
I’m not going to pick apart the enigma that has become LeBron James, that’s a story of its own.
Bottom line is, for the last three games of the 2011 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks looked like they were the better team in almost every facet. They shot better, they played better defense and their offense overwhelmed the once staunchy Miami defense and the Mavericks knew it.
It didn’t take long for Jason Terry to start flapping his gums, and when he challenged LeBron James to be able to guard him for seven games, many thought he was poking a sleeping dog. Turns out, Jason Terry was the alpha dog and LeBron James really couldn’t stop him and no one the Heat could stop Dirk Nowitzki even when had the flu.
In the elimination game 6, Dirk Nowitzki started the game shooting 1-11, and it was Jason Terry who came off the bench to drop 19 points in the first half to give Dallas the lead going into the half. Dirk joined the party in the second half and the Mavs never looked back en-route to a 105-95 victory.
It was great to see Kidd, Marion, Dirk and Terry hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
It was great to see players who are consummate professionals finally get their due, particularly Jason Kidd.
It was great to see Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defer to his players in his time of glory.
It was redemption for Nowitzki after what happened in 2006, his Finals MVP and NBA Championship have re-written his legacy and now adds him to the “all-time greats” conversations. Given his body of work, does he crack the top 20?
It was great to see the NBA Playoffs return to the top of the heap. This year will go down as one of the most exciting and most watched regular and post-seasons the NBA has ever experienced.
Dare to pick the Heat as favourites to win it all next year?