When I look at this series on paper, I think the Heat will win - but I'm not confident enough to put money on it. The Mavs are playing great right now, and Dirk Nowitzki might be playing better than anyone. I know the Heat just shut down Derrick Rose, but he was also inconsistent in the two rounds leading up to playing against Miami. I think Tyson Chandler can present problems for Chris Bosh he hasn't had to face yet, and I like what Dallas brings with their second unit. Even though they'd have to close out on the road, I like Dallas' chances a lot more if this series goes six or seven games. Still, I think the Heat are the better defensive team and I think they'll be able to keep the Mavericks from getting many open looks. I also think the Heat are the type of team you look for when filling out your bracket for the NCAA Tournament every year - the team that may not have played the best over the entire season, but they appear to be peaking at the right time and playing their best when it matters most.
And because we still have 4 days until this series actually starts, there will be a ridiculous amount of coverage and discussion about the same topics. Here are some things I'm sure everyone will be sick of hearing, if they aren't already:
- The "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" quote by LeBron James
- What would winning a title do for LeBron's legacy/image?
- Is Dirk one of the best players never to win a championship?
- Is this season a failure for the Heat if they don't win the title?
- Can the Heat handle the pressure and expectations of the NBA Finals?
Here's my last thing about the Heat and the way they are talked about in the media - MAKE UP YOUR MIND! One day, Miami can't handle the pressure, expectations, hatred, can't finish, & "championship or bust" mentality they have experienced throughout the season. The next day - the story is that the Heat have magically handled the pressure, tuned out all the distractions, their coach has done a masterful job, LeBron will be the best ever, this team will get better and better, and let's give them every championship for the next five years. Their goal at the beginning of the season was the same as every other team - to win the NBA Championship. Now, they are four games away from meeting that goal. How about we wait to evaluate their season once it's actually finished? Oh wait, that doesn't help ratings and doesn't give our former NBA player now turned useless analyst something to talk about. Nevermind.