Miami has stars, but does Dallas have the better team?

 

It is early June and you know what that means sports fans?  You can turn your televisions off.  There is little in the sporting world worth watching.  After that disaster of an NCAA title game, I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.  The last thing I expected was an NBA Finals that was worth watching.

The nation’s premier basketball player (LeBron) is on display… looking like the second best player on his team.  Dwyane Wade has been putting on a basketball clinic.  Unlike LeBron, he ‘mans up’ and earns a fair amount of his points on the interior where the game is meant to be played.

LeBron James makes it easy to root for the other team.  His body language screams arrogance and entitlement.  This is one of the biggest reasons I am tuned into this series.  I find LeBron fun to hate.  With every Mavs basket, I jump for joy.  With every James missed jumper, I pump my fist.  Maybe this is the point.  Maybe this is just good ol’ fashioned marketing on the NBA’s part.  Cleveland fans hate LeBron, why not the rest of the country?

Let’s not kid ourselves; Miami is far and away the more talented team.  They get to the rim at will for dunks and the athleticism is ridiculous.  James, Wade and Bosh are as good an athletic combo as any trio that has played the game together.  They are better pure athletes than Magic, Kareem and Worthy.  They just aren’t better basketball players and game managers.  This is precisely why the series is Dirk 2 and the Power Trio 2.

The Mavericks shouldn’t be in this series.  Fundamental basketball and pure desire is keeping them in it.  Jason Kidd is 38 and doing his best to defend one of the five best players in basketball while running the point.  Dirk Nowitski plays with all effort, all of the time.  His ability to put the ball on the floor as a seven-footer is incredible and his fade-away jumper looks good from anywhere.  The Mavs are still in it because they want it more.

I think that the Mavericks will take the 3-2 series lead in the next game.  I don’t believe they can win another in Miami.  The only way Dallas pulls this thing out is if Miami starts playing the way they did in the fourth quarter of game two.  It would be a fitting end to the series, but I don’t think it’ll happen. 

Nowitski is easy to root for.  His demeanor is all too appropriate.  His body language suggests he is the consummate teammate.  He is very gracious when the media shoves a camera in his face.  He never fails to point out the contributions of the other players on the floor.  I have yet to see him take over a game in every facet.  Some have suggested he is one the ten best NBA players of all time.  I think that is a huge stretch.  I am not even sure he is among the ten best at his position of all time, let alone the entire field of NBA players.

The next game will ultimately decide the Mavs fate.  I am tuned into this series because I love great athletes competing with maximum effort on a basketball court.  This is something we rarely see in an NBA game, but this series has been great.  The scores have held steady in the 80’s giving fans just the right amount of offensive and defensive balance.  Regardless of the outcome, this NBA series has been fun to watch.  Usually, this is the time of year I start staring at my calendar counting the days until fall football camp.  The 2011 NBA Finals has postponed the agony.