Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks. They win their first NBA Title by beating the Miami Heat. I wrote about how the Finals is to take place. Time to revisit and reflect. And I seem to remember someone predicting Mavs in 6.
What should Miami do and did:
1. Wade Redux. Well, Dwyane had a muted Finals series compared his 2006 version. He pretty much only had one “bad” game, unfortunately, that was the final game of the NBA season.
2. 2/3 clicking. Their combined points total never exceeded 70 points in all 6 games. Both times someone went 30+ and another went 20+ were bad losses (The Game 2 comeback and The Dirk coughing bit). Of course, it did not help matters when what Bill Simmons calls “the Lebrondown” occurred.
3. Udonis Haslem. The man tasked with the toughest job defensively, shackling Dirk. And he did with mixed results. And, he missed a lot of time this season due to an injury. I would say he did an ok job.
4. Outside sniping. Mike Bibby was reduced to a DNP-CD in Game 6. Was a non-factor other than Game 2. The three-point champ named James Jones the same playing time on the court as Mark Cuban. Wade and James went cold from long distance in the final few games.
What should Dallas do and did:
1. Three-point barrage. 24 threes in the final 2 games, with some dagger ones, especially in Game 5.
2. Offensive oomph off the bench. Jason Terry may have a claim as a possible winner of the Finals MVP. Who knew the solution to the problem was playing Brian Cardinal and inserting JJ Barea in the starting lineup. Deshawn Stevenson got the three-goggle monocle going with two games of at least three three pointers. I will say the guy that has Honest Abe tattooed on him get to be in the White House on a campaign year. And through addition via subtraction; taking Peja out of the rotation because he was being eaten alive was an obvious and necessary move.
3. Defending. The first four games were low-scoring. The last two were at a pace that seemed normal to Dallas, but that zone defense befuddles the Heat in a way that they never really adjusted to.
4. Dirk. Named as the Finals MVP. Handled the non-issue of the “coughing” bit well. Had a John Starks-y first half in Game 6, but it did not matter by finishing 8/15 and scoring 10 in the fourth.
Coming Soon: What Now for Dallas, Miami, and a bunch of particular teams in the murky offseason ahead