It’s a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals when the Mavericks went up 2-0, then
faltered in six games losing the next four. It was none the less Dwyane Wade’s
heroics and game changing plays that won the series for the Heat. Wade was the
Finals MVP. He had Shaquille O’Neal, Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, and Udonis
Nowitzki had Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, Erick Dampier, Josh
Howard as his sidekicks.
Now the two teams have still the same players, but many new faces as
For the Heat, they are finally living up to the hype when James and Bosh
announced they were South Beach bound. In Miami, Wade has a LeBron James, Chris
Bosh that make up the Big Three in Miami. Other sidekicks are Mike Miller, Mike
Bibby, Mario Chalmers, Eddie House, Zydrunas Ilgaukas, and James Jones. Haslem
is back for the Heat again, and this time Dampier is playing for the Heat
Each game a different Heat player stepped up in leading them to victory over
the Bulls. Bosh had great games in game two and three. In Game 5, Miller stepped
up like the player the Heat thought they were getting, but injuries got to
Miller during the season. Haslem had a solid Game 2, and gave the Heat a solid
For the Mavericks, it’s been all about Nowitzki during the playoffs. Nowitzki
has played re-energized, and hungry for a title as he gets older, but has shown
that he can still play and is on a mission. His most notable game was in Game 5
against the Thunder when he had 40 points to lead the Mavericks to a huge
comeback and win in overtime.
// Nowitzki still has Terry to kick it out too on the wing and to get buckets,
hustle, and great defense out of. Nowitzki also has veteran Jason Kidd is
playing great basketball as Kidd is re energized and his game has soared during
the playoffs. Kidd’s three in overtime in Game 5 against the Thunder was huge
for his confidence. Tyson Chandler, and Shawn Marion have also stepped up and
been huge for the Mavericks. Other playmakers to watch for the Mavericks
are point guard Jose Barea, who has filled in great when Kidd is on the bench.
DeShawn Stephenson, Brendan Haywood, and Peja Stojakovic all have stepped up as
Another huge aspect has been the jobs of Erik Spoelstra with the Heat and
Rick Carlisle with the Mavericks. Both Spoelstra and Carlisle have instilled
leadership into their teams, and given their teams the correct game plans and
motivation to beat their opponents in these playoffs.
Anyway, here are five keys for the Dallas Mavericks to have a successful
series and to beat the Heat:
First, don’t give up in the fourth quarter.
This is the most important thing the Mavericks can do. They didn’t against
Portland, Los Angeles, or Oklahoma City, and they definitely can’t against Miami
because Wade, and LeBron are just too good. Remember Game four against the
Thunder, the Mavericks were down 99-84. I’ll admit, I shut the TV off, but I
shouldn’t of. The Mavericks were huge in the final five minutes and in overtime
as they fought right back into it and won. They made Durant and Westbrook
uncomfortable. Exactly what Nowitzki and company will have to do to the Heat.
They’ll have to bring that extra guy to put a arm in Wade, James, or Bosh’s face
or cover the lane extra tight with big bodies like Chandler, Marion, and
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Also, In this series, they won’t be facing inexperience in Durant and
Westbrook. Wade and LeBron have ice in their veins.Start strong in games and
don’t falter when games get tight. Play smart offense and strong defense.
Second, get to the free throw line.
Dirk Nowitzki was excellent at making free throws against
the Thunder. He shot 97% from the line in that series. He was 24 for 24 in Game
1 when he dropped 48 points. In the series, he went 59 for 62. That’s incredible
to say the least. Also, in that series the Mavericks did a great job of getting
Westbrook, Harden, Perkins, Ibaka in foul trouble. Do that to the Heat early on
in each game in the series.
Third, don’t give Lebron, Wade, or Bosh get open looks and play up on
Any one of the Big Three, Wade, LeBron, or Bosh are scary in the open floor.
Whether it takes double one of them or just playing up and in their face every
possession and the whole game, that is what it take to stop them and get wins in
this series for the Mavericks. The Heat are 40-5 when the Wade, LeBron, and Bosh
score at least 70+ points. Don’t let them do that and the Mavericks will give
themselves chances to win this series.
Fourth, make Jason Kidd a factor.
Kidd was the spark in overtime with his go ahead three pointer in Game 4
against the Thunder. In the last series, he averaged 9.6 points per game,
8.6 assists per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 3.4 steals per game, and just 2.0
turnovers a game. Kidd is getting old, but can still contribute on the floor.
His defense was also a huge factor for the Mavericks as he guarded Westbrook and
limited him to bad shooting games. If Kidd can keep this up, he can be a force
and another weapon for Nowitzki to use to beat Miami.
Fifth, spread the ball around the perimeter, and
make three point shots.
The Mavericks have plenty of three point shooters. Jason Terry,Jason Kidd,
J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic, and Dirk Nowitzki. Spread the ball around and use
it as a counterattack when you cannot get inside the lane.
There you have it! Game One tips off tonight in Miami at eight. It should be
a thrilling ride for both teams, and fun to watch.