NBA Finals Preview: Everybody Loves Dirk
The Dallas Mavericks started off the playoffs as the higher seed most likely to be knocked out in the first round. They then became the second round team most likely to be sent home since they were facing the defending champs. Finally by the time they reached the Western Conference Finals they began receiving some respect and won over any remaining doubters by handling Oklahoma City in five games.
This Dallas team is for real and they are for real because Dirk Nowitzki is unstoppable right now. He is literally climbing up the list off all-time greats with each jumper he buries and each fourth quarter takeover he leads. Dirk is also getting the help most of us didn’t anticipate him receiving from his supporting cast.
Dallas is now the team, the entire basketball world is going to jump behind. They are the last stand between the evil empire in Miami proving their pre-season title celebration was spot on, proving basketball superstars joining forces can work out, and preventing the entire city of Cleveland from blowing themselves up.
For all the criticism he has received this past year, LeBron James has been a beast in this post-season, specifically late in games where he had developed a reputation for never coming through. Say what you want about how he handled this off-season, but watching him fully realize his potential these past two series has to be appreciated.
Dwayne Wade has been himself this post-season, which is pretty damn good and Chris Bosh is exceeding expectations and also getting past the onslaught of criticism directed at him this year. The big three are answering the bell and when they do, Miami is nearly impossible to beat especially if one player in their supporting cast can put together a half decent performance.
It feels a little bit like destiny that Dallas will a get shot for revenge at Miami from the 2006 NBA Finals. We all know the referees were way too involved with the outcome of that series, and now the Mavericks will get a chance to get a title that they feel was taken away from them.
Watching Dirk and LeBron each battle for their first title with the tear both of them of have been on this post-season is going to be a thing of basketball beauty. In the end, I think Dirk and company will squeak out a series win in seven games. This Miami experiment is probably going to work but that doesn’t mean they have to get a title in year one.