There was a sign held up in the crowd on Sunday night in big blue letters by four different fans, each holding one letter. “T-E-A-M” it spelled, and a team is what won the 2011 NBA Championship. One team paid close to three max contracts to try to win an NBA Championship; and the other team built their roster with players who wanted to win it all, and who each knew their roles. Dirk Nowitzki was the player who was their leader though. He had his team’s back whenever anyone needed him. 102 degree fever? Not a problem. Torn tendon in his middle finger? “Child Please” as Chad Ochocinco says. Granted Dirk, who’s one of the most humble players in the NBA would never say anything like that, it’s my job as the blogger to say it for him. He’s a stud, a future Hall Of Famer, and the most underrated player in the NBA.
But as much as Dirk was the Mavs leader, he also got the support from his role players and good friends also. Jason Terry started quietly in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, but turned it up to a different level when they needed him. He drained probably the biggest shot of his career to end game 5, over top of none other than Lebron James, and then ended game 6 with an incredible 27 point performance. Jason Kidd hit big shot after big shot, protected the basketball, and consistently hit the open player as he’s done his whole career. And what about J.J. Barea? He’s generously listed as 6 feet tall, when in reality he’s probably about 5’10 in shoes. But he spent the entire series weaving in and out of the Heat defense, and he was the Mighty Mouse of this team. Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion were just consistent game in and game out. Offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, blocking shots, they just dominated the inside for the Mavs. Even Deshawn Stevenson and Brian Cardinal played their roles incredibly well. Stevenson hit big shots when they needed them, and Cardinal came in with intensity guarding guys that left the announcers “ooe-ing” and “aww-ing”. This was team basketball at it’s finest.
To be honest, I’m not sure if any team in any situation could have taken down the Dallas Mavericks in these NBA Finals. They were the team of destiny, and were humble the entire time. Dirk Nowitzki has been humble since he came into the league 10 years ago. When Dwayne Wade called out Dirk for not being clutch back in 2006, and saying that was the reason that the Mavs lost; Dirk didn’t respond, he just waited for his shot to prove Wade wrong.
I refuse to blow up this article about the Dallas Mavericks with too much Lebron James talk, but something has to be said. Through game 5, Lebron James averaged 2.2 points in the fourth quarter of the 2011 NBA Finals. He’s been called out for his play, but no one seems to know the real answer of what is wrong with Lebron. He refused to take over in the fourth quarter of any game when his team needed him. He passed the ball off like it was a hot potato, and didn’t have the killer instinct of the Michael Jordan’s or Kobe Bryant’s of the game. Only time will tell if he has that killer instinct, he’s a gifted player and one of the most physically gifted athletes that I’ve ever seen play any sport; but none of that will matter if he can’t dominate during the Finals, when all eyes are on him.
In the end though, a world of congratulations goes out to the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and so many more players, coaches, and fans of the Dallas Mavericks. You deserve to be 2011 NBA Champions.
With the 2011 NBA Finals winding down, it’s time to take a look at some of the interesting betting options for the Finals. The most popular is of course the 2011 NBA Finals MVP betting. While it seems that there is two clear front runners in Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade, you can’t yet rule out Lebron James. Here’s a breakdown of each player, their odds, and why they deserve to win the 2011 NBA Finals MVP.
While Wade’s odds are currently placed at even, the only real reason for that is because the Heat are down 3-2 in the series and it’s projected that the Mavericks will win the series at this point. If the Heat were favored to come back and win the Finals, the odds would be quite different. 22, 36, 29, 32, 23. Those are Wade’s point totals in the 2011 NBA Finals, and remember that the 23, he was injured for a good part of the game; and even missed minutes. Wade has had over 6 assists three times in the series, and he’s shooting over 50% from the field.
Dirk is the front runner for the 2011 MVP betting. His team is up 3-2, and he’s been the leader of the Mavericks not just for this series, but for the whole season. Dirk hits big shots when needed, and sets up his teammates to hit shots as well. He’s averaging 27 points per game, as well as 9.4 rebounds per game; and both of those statistics are down a bit because of game 4 when he was sick with a 102 degree fever and definitely was not quite playing like himself. Dirk should be the favorite for the MVP, mainly because he’s done something that Lebron James hasn’t been able to do this season; show that he can be there when his team needs him the most.
Lebron is the underdog for the first time in a while I’m sure. He’s been below average in the fourth quarter, averaging only 2.2 points in the 4th of NBA Finals games. Regardless of what anyone says about his play and how good it’s been in the first three quarters, you don’t deserve to win the MVP award if you can’t do it when your team needs you the most. When Dwayne Wade was hurt during game 5, the Heat turned to James and he wasn’t able to get it done with his scoring. He had some nice assists and finished with a triple double, 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists; but it was more about the fact that he just couldn’t hit the big shots when needed. The only way that I see Lebron James winning the 2011 NBA Finals MVP is if he has a monstrous game 6 and a monstrous game 7 and the Miami Heat win the 2011 NBA Finals. On top of that, Wade would have to be just average in those games. It’d be tough to bet on Lebron James to win it at this point.
While it really comes down to who’s going to win the Finals, I think the Mavericks are going to win it all. And I love Dirk to get the Finals MVP.
Pick: Dirk Nowitzki -150
The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas was painfully quiet with just over 7 minutes remaining in game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The Miami Heat and Dwayne Wade had just hit a potential dagger to make it a 15 point lead about halfway through the 4th. Dwayne Wade held the follow through in front of the Mavs bench, Lebron James started throwing fake punches into Wade’s chest in front of the Mavs bench, the Miami bench was almost down by the Mavs bench they were so excited. “We’re not going out like this” were the words that came out of Jason Terry’s mouth as they got over to the bench. And they didn’t. Terry scored the next 6 points after struggling a bit throughout not only the game, but the series as well, and before you knew it the Mavs were right back in this game. 8 point game, 4 point game, 2 point game, tie game, and the Mavericks had the ball, and you can already guess what happened next.
This time it was the entire arena in Miami that was dead silent. Dirk Nowitzki had just knocked down a three to give the Mavs a three point lead with just over 35 seconds. How did this game go from a celebration to this mess in just 7 minutes? The Heat inbounded and for some reason Mario Chalmers was wide open to bury a three. Dirk Nowitzki lit into Jason Terry, the one who said they weren’t going to go down this way, and the one who slipped up on defense and left Chalmers wide open. “I’ve got your back”, this time it was Dirk speaking up with 24.5 seconds left and the game tied. Dirk got the ball at the top of the key and moved around a bit as the time slowly went down. Finally he blew past Chris Bosh to the left side, laid it up with his left hand (and left middle finger with a torn tendon), and it fell through with 3.6 seconds remaining. I think the entire state of Texas went crazy for about 5 minutes straight. Dirk Nowitzki had their back. Series tied at 1-1.
Now it’s time for game 3. The series shifts for the next three games to Dallas, where the Mavericks even have a possibly to win the series at home if they can win the next 3 games. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday night at 8:00pm EDT on ABC. For Miami, you can harp on the normal things; need more out of their bench and role players, but what it really comes down to is that the Miami Heat need to close. This is the same issue they had to start the year and they can’t let it go back to that time, or else the Mavericks will run all over them. The Mavs on the other hand need to play with the same intensity throughout that they played with for the final 7 minutes. Tough rebounding, crisp passing, ball control, finding the open player, the Mavs did it all in the last 7 minutes and if they could do that throughout the entire game, it’d be nearly impossible for the Heat to keep up.
The Mavericks are attempting to do something that they’ve never done during the Dirk Nowitzki era: win an NBA Championship. The Finals are scheduled to start on June 2nd, and will have some big names to go with Dirk, whether it be Derrick Rose, or Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. The Mavericks were up and down to start the playoffs against the Portland Trailblazers when the series was tied at 2-2. But since then the Mavs have gotten hot and won the next two games, followed up by four in a row against the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. Then along came the young Thunder who were a tough test, but they eventually knocked them off 4-1 after some big comebacks and clutch shots from more than just Dirk Nowitzki. The entire team played very well throughout this series, but now comes the real questions for the Mavericks, can they win the four biggest games of the entire season? Also, which team do the Mavericks match-up better with? Well, I’m going to answer those questions.
2011 NBA Finals Potential Match-ups
It’ll either be the Chicago Bulls or the Miami Heat, we know that much. Currently, the Heat have a commanding 3-1 series lead, but the real question is: who do the Mavericks match-up better with? Well, both the Heat and Bulls like to run and can shoot from the outside, but one team stands out to me above the other; and it’ll probably shock you a bit. I think the Mavericks match-up better with the Miami Heat. Yes, they have Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. And no, I’m not out of my mind. The Miami Heat’s inside game is lacking; and the Mavericks are strong inside and have the best 7 footer in the league in Dirk. Sure, the Bulls inside game isn’t off the charts amazing, but they are better than the Heat. The way the Heat/Bulls series is going, it’s looking more and more like the Mavs will be matched up with the Heat to decide the 2011 NBA Finals. With that being said, I think Dirk and company get the job done, getting Nowitzki gets his first ring; cementing his spot in the Hall of Fame and as one of the best players in the game today.
Difference Makers of the 2011 NBA Finals
It’d be easy to pick Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh as the difference makers of the 2011 NBA Finals, so what fun would that be? In reality though, the big difference is going to come from the role players, the Jason Terry’s, J.J. Barea’s, Mike Miller’s, and Udonis Haslem’s. Both teams are going to need these players to show up big for their teams, and if they aren’t getting production from them; if the opposition can shut down the stars on each team, it gives them a huge advantage. The Mavericks need to take advantage of their size inside, while the Heat need to use their big 3 in every way possible to take advantage of defensive mismatches.
What’s your opinion on the 2011 NBA Finals? Let us know!
This past week, the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets reached an agreement to trade Jason Kidd and Malik Allen to Dallas in return for Devin Harris, Devean George, Jerry Stackhouse, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager, first round draft picks in 2008 and 2010, and cash going to the Nets. Only the trade has encountered several snags.
First, Devean George invoked his little-known no-trade clause granted to him because is an “early bird” free agent this summer. Because a player with such rights does not get the rights traded with him, he is compensated with the right to veto any trade.
Secondly, Stackhouse’s comment, “I get 30 days to rest, then I’ll be right back. I ain’t going nowhere,” could derail the trade. The comment could be interpreted as tampering, as a pre-arranged deal could be in place where the Nets buy him out right away, and once 30 days elapse, Stack returns to Dallas. The league office is now saying that they might not allow Stack to return to Dallas if he is in fact traded and then waived.
The deal could still be done by signing-and-trading Keith Van Horn and putting Trenton Hassell in the deal, but New Jersey wants George and Stackhouse for the expiring contracts, and Dallas owner Mark Cuban doesn’t want to pay more luxury tax, which is what would happen if Van Horn was thrown into the deal. And because of the situation with Stackhouse, Dallas doesn’t want to lose him.
If this trade falls through, it will be a disaster for the Mavericks. If it manages to go through, this team gives Dallas a fearsome foursome of Dirk-Terry-Howard-Kidd rivaling the Lakers combo of Kobe-Odom-Bynum-Gasol, and the Spurs foursome of Duncan-Parker-Bowen-Ginobli. The Nets get cap room with the expiring contracts, and a young point guard to build around in Devin Harris. What will happen is anyone’s guess, but this will be another major disaster in Dallas if it fails to happen, and it is uncertain if Dallas will recover from it