Heat in 6
So here we are the NBA Finals after everyone was anticipating a Pistons-Spurs rematch of last year they get a Heat-Mavericks showdown of interesting side stories. Both of these franchises are in the first ever NBA Final and play in arenas sponsored by American Airlines, perhaps the tagline should be 2006 NBA Finals something Special in the Air. It would be appropriate since there is something special in the air. On one side yon have Shaquille O’Neal trying to win another NBA Title while their is still gas in the diesel engine while handing over the staring role to Dwyane Wade who is quickly emerging as one of the great players in the NBA, as the 2003 NBA could be remembered as one of the best ever with Wade, LeBron and Carmelo Anthony all starting to become franchise players.
On the other side you have the Mavericks led by bombastic Owner Mark Cuban, who you know Commissioner David Stern just dreads handing over the NBA Trophy to. The Mavericks are here because of Cuban who turned one of the NBA’s worst franchises into a contender; of course he had to make tough decisions along the way like letting go of Steve Nash who has won back-to-back MVP Awards since leaving Dallas. However, letting Nash go enabled the Mavericks led by Coach Avery Johnson to improve defensively which helped them turn from a strong regular season team that was vulnerable in the postseason to one that can now actually win a NBA Championship.
So where will the difference lie? A bounce either way could decide this thing as all games will be close down the stretch, but in the end the keys will be experience and who can make the big shot. The experience lies in Miami as Coach Pat Riley is old hat with winning NBA Titles having won four of them with the Lakers in 80’s, while Shaquille O’Neal is a 3-time NBA Finals MVP. The Mavericks just don’t have that experience and while Dirk Nowitzki has shown he can make the big shot so too has Dwyane Wade. In the second round the Mavericks beat the defending champion Spurs but it was a struggle to the death as 5 games were decided in the final seconds, with two games going overtime, the Heat have something the Spurs don’t with Wade as he can make shots from anywhere on the court, with Shaq in the middle expect Wade to get allot of open shots and make allot of them as he has a big series and hits the big shot down the stretch the Heat win the series in 6 hard fought games with Dwyane Wade collecting MVP honors.