2011 NBA Final’s Breakdown
Posted May 29, 2011 by Joseph D'Amico
Well sports fans, as another NBA campaign comes to a close, we must talk about what has changed this past season. For starters, both the Celtic’s and Laker’s are watching the Championship on TV instead of being in it. So are the Spur’s. The talented and athletic Bull’s and Thunder certainly made a respectful run at it. But lack of post-season experience proved fatal. And the dream partnership of Carmelo and Amare are still in need of another major talent. Maybe Chris Paul? The regular season is in the ground only a few weeks but already we have seen some major changes occur in the league. Such notables as Kevin McHale will take over the Rocket’s and Mike Brown the Laker’s. Blazer’s GM, Rich Cho has departed. And even NBA royalty like Jerry West has made a move to the Warrior’s executive board.
Let’s get back to the business at hand. The 2011 NBA Final’s has the Dallas Maverick’s competing with the Miami Heat for the title. Five years after Miami won its first and only NBA Championship over Dallas, the two squads meet again. Miami became just the third team in NBA history to win the Championship after being down 2-0.
The Heat was the 2nd seed in the East and shredded through the 76er’s, Celtic’s and Bull’s. The Maverick’s were the West’s 3rd seed and trampled over the Blazer’s, Laker’s, and Thunder. Miami ran through Philadelphia in 5 games, Boston in 5, and Chicago in 5. Dallas needed 6 games to beat Portland, just 4 with Los Angeles, and 5 to take Oklahoma City. Both squads mirrored one another in each of their Conference’s Championship series’. Both had some troubles early in their series and early in each game with their opponents. But post-season experience helped Miami over Chicago as well as Dallas over Oklahoma City.
The “Dream team” of Miami has surely progressed in the past few months. Wade, James, and Bosh are playing like they have been together for years. On the other side, Dirk Nowitzki is unstoppable while Jason Kidd is proving that he can still get it done. On paper, Miami has a statistically better defense but I must give Dallas an edge on “D” because of the way they frustrate their opponents.
Now, let’s break down the positions.
At Point Guard, the Maverick’s Jason Kidd may not be as quick as he once was but the 16-year veteran has a ton of Playoff experience and 107 triple-doubles. Kidd is a great clutch player that can steal, pass, and shoot. Miami’s Mike Bibby has really risen at the stop-end and can contribute on the offensive side as well. But, has his limits. Dallas has the edge here.
At the Shooting Guard slot, the Heat’s Dwyane Wade is a machine. Even on a team with LeBron James, Wade is the “go-to’ guy. He is a playmaker at both ends of the court. The 2006 NBA Final’s MVP has averaged 25.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG on the season. The Mav’s, DeShawn Stevenson is big and strong but can not be mentioned to be on the same level as Wade. There is a huge advantage for Miami here.
The Small Forward position for the Heat has Lebron James. Without a doubt, James is one of the best players in the world. He has size, strength, and more talent than any two players in the NBA. The superstar has posted 26.7 PPG and 7.5 RPG this year. During the Playoff’s, King James upped his rebounds to 8.9 a game. His defensive prowess is unbelievable. Because he is such a force on the offensive side, his defensive skills are overlooked. But the million dollar question is…Can he win the Big Game? Until he does, the naysayers will doubt him. Shawn Marion is at the SF slot for Dallas. He has solid numbers with 12.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG. Marion can play “D” with the best of them. But he must go up against LeBron James here. And he will be outshined in the series. Another big edge for Miami.
Dallas’ Power Forward, Dirk Nowitzki is by far the best player in this post-season. Nowitzki might as well wear a cape and his initial on his chest. Like fine wine, the Forward is getting better with age. He has averaged 23.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and over 34 minutes a game this season. His numbers are even more remarkable in the Playoff’s, with 28.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, a 52% shooting percentage, and was 59-61 from the line in the Thunder series. Chris Bosh rounds out the Big 3 for the Heat. The PF is the teams’ best rebounder with 8.3 RPG. He posts 18.7 PPG and is considered one of the better Power Forwards in the NBA. He is known to have problems against physical players. Dirk Nowtzki isn’t known as a physical guy but Bosh will find himself in the same boat as every other player that has tried to slow down Nowitzki. The Mav’s have the edge here.
Let’s talk Bench. Haslem, Miller, and Chalmers have been phenomenal coming off the bench for Miami. They each have different talents and are a big part of the teams’ post-season success. Jones and House can also adequately add 15-20 minutes a game. Jason Terry is the Maverick’s leading scorer after Dirk Nowitzki with 15.8 PPG on the season and 17.3 PPG in the Playoff’s. Technically, I would consider him a starter because he plays over 31 MPG. He is underrated as a clutch player. Jose Barea can rotate in for 20 MPG and add 9.5 PPG while Brandon Haywood is not really a scorer but the 7’0, 265 lb. Center is able to play solid ball while Tyson Chadler is getting a rest. If there is an edge to be had, it is a very small one for Miami. But the benches are pretty much even.
As far as coaches go, Rick Carlisle is solid. He knows both offense and defense and utilizes his players well. His is best known for getting along with the eccentric owner of the Mav’s, Mark Cuban. Erik Spoelstra was a student of Pat Riley. He joined the Heat in 95’ as the squad’s video coordinator. He has a great relationship with his players and really stresses defense.
No matter what, players like Nowitzki, Terry, Wade, and James are going to score points. Miami has three superstars while Dallas has a bit more size.
Here is the numbers breakdown for both teams;
Dallas is 69-28 SU and 56-38-3 ATS. They average 100.2 PPG on offense and yield 95.5 PPG on defense. Miami is 70-27 SU and 50-46-1 ATS. They post 100.6 PPG while giving up 93.6 PPG.
Here are some Against The Spread stats:
Head-to-head finds Dallas 5-2 ATS the L7 meetings vs. Miami. The Mav’s are 6-0-1 ATS their L7 games played as a ‘dog and 19-6-1 ATS their L26 overall. The Heat are 6-0 ATS their L6 as a favorite and 4-0 ATS their L4 overall.
These two teams met twice this season, each hosting 1 game apiece. Dallas won and covered both meetings. However, the 2 contests were back in November and December when the Heat were still trying to mesh.
A season ago, I was documented at 5-2 in the NBA Final’s. Overall, I am documented at 53-30 the L2 NBA post-seasons. I WILL finish this season stronger than ever. Get each of my NBA winner’s right here. Thank you and Good Luck. Joe D