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Basketball, Sports

NBA Finals: Repeat or Revenge?

05.31.11 | 1 Comment

When the playoffs started, I didn’t hold out much hope for the Dallas Mavericks. In fact I thought it was probably 50-50 that they would be beaten by the overachieving Trailblazers. The Mavs persevered in that series, and then surprised pretty much everyone by absolutely destroying the Lakers. Add in a convincing series against the Oklahoma City Thunder (sure, lots of people picked a Dallas-OKC west final) and they’re back to the main stage.

The main reason is Dirk Nowitzky. He is shooting the ball from all over the court as well as anyone I have ever seen, though I missed out on Larry Bird’s prime. He is absolutely unguardable right now. The Miami Heat will be forced to get the ball out of his hands and make Dallas’ role players win the game.

Ah, the Miami Heat, Dallas’ opponent back in 2006, now the Three Amigos. Like Dallas, they had mixed results in the regular season, and they have also turned it up in the playoffs, and with the return of Udonis Haslem – an excellent role player – they may have someone who can slow down Dirk.

Hopefully this time Dallas won’t have contend with the refs as well. Yeah, yeah, the Mavs choked away their lead in Game 3, and Miami plainly won games 5 and 6 – but the refs handed Game 4 to the Heat. Still bitter? Yes I am! I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but the free throw disparity in that game was ridiculous, and on the deciding play – the Dwayne Wade drive that ended up with the game-winning free throws – the foul was called not by the two referees at the Miami basket, but by Bennett Salvator at half court. And in spite of the fact that there was no replay that showed Wade being gently caressed, much less fouled.

Well, now Dallas has another chance. If Dirk can keep up his level of play, if the role players can make their shots and prevent a few on the other end, and if the refs can lose the desire to stick it to Marc Cuban… then we might have a series worth remembering.

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