First and foremost, this has been a great NBA Playoff season so far. Even with the Lakers and San Antonio getting ousted earlier than most of us probably expected, we've had other young/up-and-coming teams step-up and make their mark. The NBA has a bright future and it's shown throughout these playoffs.
Now for the NBA Finals match-up between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. I'm happy to see Dirk and J. Kidd get another shot at winning it all. I'm also happy that my favorite player, LeBron James, is also going to get another shot at winning it all. Both of these squads seem to be peaking at the right time and they both have at least one superstar that can carry the team (in Miami's case, two, maybe even three). I think this series is going to come down to a couple things:
- How well can Miami's defense close-out on Dallas's streaky but most of the time hot 3-point shooters
- Can Dallas contain 2 of the Big Three for Miami? It seems like Bosh can be neutralized the easiest since Chandler is a solid defender and Haywood is another big body they can throw at him. But whose gonna stop BOTH LeBron AND Wade?
- Can the eat guard J.J. Barea? This may sound funny but I think the series may come down to Barea. If he can penetrate the lane and dish out for wide-open 3's or pull his crafty lay-ups around the rim, it's gonna be a tough series for Miami. And I'm not sure if Miami has a PG that can keep up with Barea. Maybe Chalmers but definitely not Bibby.
I don't think that Dallas will have an answer for Wade and LeBron. I don't think Miami will have an answer for Dirk (yeah I know they've been saying Haslem and Anthony guard him fairly well and LeBron will have his shots at Dirk too). But in the end I think Miami's safe letting Dirk get his points and neutralizing EVERYBODY else. That is, as long as they can consistently score on the Mavs, which I don't see being such a big hurdle. Miami's the better overall defensive team and Dallas is solid on D but trying to stop Wade, LeBron, and Bosh for 4 wins is gonna be a tall task for the Mavs.
With all that said, I'm taking Miami in 6 games to win the series. It'll be LeBron's first and unfortunately, Dirk won't get his. The Heat are coming together at just the right time and clicking on all cylinders and if they remain focused on defense I believe everything else will take care of itself.