Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mavericks And Heat: NBA Finals Preview

It must first be pointed out that I have been a strong supporter of both teams from the very beginning.

I may be the only sportswriter in America who named Dallas as a contender before the season started.

And while everybody had Miami as a contender, not all of them stuck with Miami after they started 9-8 like I did.

I have been all over both coaches (Rick Carlisle criticism, Erik Spoelstra criticism) because they both deserved it based on the decisions they were making at the time.

But never did I back off my claim that each team had the talent to win it all.

The closest I came to writing Miami off was when Boston traded for Jeff Green, but after Miami countered by signing Mike Bibby I put them back in the game and gave them a near 50-50 shot to win the East.

I still think a fully-healthy Boston is the best team in the East, but as we all know with injuries, sugar-honey-iced-tea happens.

And going all the way back to September, I never liked Chicago as a legitimate contender because of the limited amount of talent on their roster, though I gave them an equal chance to win the conference finals because anything can happen.

As far as me questioning Spoelstra's ability to lead Miami to a championship, it's amazing how much better a coach can look once a few extra guys start contributing.

With Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller knocking down shots and snatching rebounds, Spoelstra suddenly looks like Red Auerbach.

Other than his disastrous decision to try to play small ball against Chicago in Game 1 and LeBron James' heavy minutes, I have little problem with anything he did in the conference finals.

He has the Cadillac on cruise control right now, with the AC blowing, listening to some Al Green or something.

With Miami in position to win it all, as they told everyone they would, other writers are coming to grips with the sad reality that the man and the team they love to hate could be hoisting a championship trophy soon; and it's not sitting well with them.

As I said before, I couldn't care less about "The Decision."

I wouldn't give a damn if LeBron James went on national television and announced his decision to leave Cleveland while talking out of his ass like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

It has nothing to do with basketball.

I cover the game, not the soap opera, the petty gossip and the ridiculous nonsense outside of the game, like "The Decision," James' mother getting arrested, Allen Iverson's Lambo getting impounded, how many children someone has out of wedlock or who Kris Humphries or anybody else is dating.

It's asinine.

And I thought Miami's introduction was fun and entertaining.

What else was I supposed to do in July? Watch baseball?

I haven't made any predictions in the playoffs so far and won't do so in this series.

Each team has advantages and disadvantages which could go either way when they collide against each other over the course of several games, and which way they will go is anybody's guess.

Both teams have a legitimate chance to win it all, and I can't tell you what the deciding factors will be in determining which team that will be.

But it should be fun to watch and find out.

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Dallas are the good guys.

LeBron James and Miami are the villains, the Evil Empire.

Will Dallas be able to fend off Miami and save everything which is good and pure about basketball?

Or will LeBron James and Dwyane Wade lead the NBA to hell in a hand-basket of super teams and big-market or warm-weather monopolies?

Tune in Tuesday at 9:00 to find out as two teams from opposite parts of the country battle for the future of the NBA.

I don't really believe that, but it's how the series is being billed by some people.

Note: This is an article I wrote on the valuable lesson I learned after picking Detroit and other teams to do well and watching their disappointing play during the season.

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1 comment:

  1. No matter what team wins the series, American Airlines will emerge as the big winner here! The company owns the naming rights to the areas where the Mavericks and Heat play, and each NBA Finals game is worth about $10 million to the company. They'll be rooting for a seven-game series, and so will I!