Mavs are a great story, but I’m picking the HeatPublished 11:04am Friday, May 27, 2011
I want to the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA finals this year, I really do.
They are my brother’s favorite team and we always cheer for each other’s squad’s when they’re not playing each other, which kind of makes them my ‘second’ favorite team.
I also have vivid memory of seeing Dirk Nowitzki in his rookie year. My brother and I were waiting outside the Mavs’ hotel before a game against the Timberwolves to catch a glimpse of some of the players, when much to our surprise, Nowitzki and Steve Nash came out and signed my brother’s Mavs’ hat.
They were very cordial and outgoing and they also weren’t stars yet. (To this day I give my brother crap for misplacing that hat).
I remember watching Nowitzki, who played in just 47 games and averaged 8.2 points per game his rookie year, in warm-ups. The dude didn’t miss a shot and it even got to the point that one of the Mavs’ coaches told him he was the best player in the NBA in warm-ups.
Flash forward to 2011 and Nowitzki may be the best player in the NBA, warm-ups and game-time. He’s had a great postseason run that’s seen him mature as a passer.
He’s been more willing to go inside the three-point arc and his defense has even been effective.
The Mavs have all the right pieces to win the title – a solid veteran point guard in Jason Kidd, big scorers off the bench in Jason Terry and J.J. Barrera, and a defensive and rebounding machine in Tyson Chandler.
Most years, they’d win the title in five or six games.
Sadly, this isn’t most years.
The Heat are locked and loaded and LeBron James is playing the best basketball of his career on a nightly basis. James could always score and pass, but he didn’t always do it every night in the postseason. It seems Dwayne Wade’s championship swagger has rubbed off on LBJ and it’s boosted the Heat to new levels.
Chris Bosh has thrived as a third scorer and now that Miami’s rotation has been established, guys like Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem – who were teammates at the University of Florida – have found their spots.
My heart also goes out to Miller, who recently had a son born with some medical issues. I interviewed Miller when I worked in Pierre, S.D. as he was hosting an annual basketball camp that goes throughout South Dakota.
He was very sincere at the camp and worked one-on-one with quite a few kids. He generally seemed like a nice guy.
So I guess I’ll have to settle for that as main the storyline of the NBA finals instead of the re-emergence of Nowitzki as I see the Heat winning in six.
But don’t ever forget about what Dirk has done this year – it’s been phenomenal and should be noted. He can’t help it, he’s about to run into one of the best teams in the last 15 years.