2011 NBA FINALS -- Mavericks vs. Heat: The Preview

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Charles Barkley is 3-0 picking the Mavericks in playoff series this spring. ESPN's Bruce Bowen is 0-3 picking against them.

Me? 2-1. I picked Mavs over Blazers and Thunder but had them losing to the Lakers.

In Miami for tonight's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, I'm having difficulty viewing this series with my heart instead of my head. Can't stand Dwyane Wade and his dramatic faking. Didn't like LeBron's "The Decision" and I'll never forget what happened here in 2006.

Different year. Different teams.

Same result?

POINT GUARD -- At tip-off tonight Jason Kidd (38) will be the oldest guard to ever play in the NBA Finals. If Mike Bibby were the same player who gave Dallas fits as a Sacramento King, this might be a toss-up. Edge: Mavericks.

SHOOTING GUARD -- Much as I despise him, Wade is an amazing player. He can change and win games with jump-shooting, acrobatic drives to the hoop or with his defense. DeShawn Stevenson gets the chore of guarding Wade and probably also James in this series. Good luck. Edge: Heat.

SMALL FORWARD -- Shawn Marion is versatile. LeBron James is the best player in this series. Edge: Heat.

POWER FORWARD -- Chris Bosh can give Dirk trouble with his size -- 6-10 -- long arms and athleticism. And he can shoot out to 18 feet. But Dirk scored 26 and 23 on him in the regular-season meetings and he's been better than ever in the playoffs. Edge: Mavericks.

CENTER -- Tyson Chandler will be important as usual because Wade and James will get to the rim. If he can stay out of foul trouble he can help out defensively because Miami's Joel Anthony is an offensive afterthought. Edge: Mavericks.

BENCH -- Forget about it. Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea give the Mavs production and variety off the bench. Miami has been bolstered by the return of Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller arrived with one good game in the East Finals. But this is a mismatch. Edge: Mavericks.

COACHING -- Erik Spoelstra's main move is standing waaay out on the court during the game. A ref will bump into him at some point in this series. Book it. Rick Carlisle, meanwhile, has had a fantastic postseason. During this series expect a heavy dose of Carlisle's zone defense to limit Miami's athletic drives to the hoop. Edge: Mavericks.

INTANGIBLES -- Since the NBA went to the 2-3-2 Finals format in 1985 the home team has won 77 percent of the series. That said, the Mavs have been the league's best road team the last two seasons. This year in the playoffs they are 5-1 away from AAC. I also cherish redemption over pride and ego. The Mavs are playing for revenge; the Heat for personal agendas. Edge: Mavericks.

PREDICTION -- I've loved how the Mavs have handled success in these playoffs. Calm and cool, like a veteran, mature team carrying a briefcase instead of waving pom poms. Of the Mavs' nine-man rotation, seven players are 30 or older and Dirk and Peja and Kidd and Terry and Carlisle are all fueled by playoff failures. Dallas is the best 3-point shooting team in the playoffs and Miami's 3-point defense is the worst in the postseason. If the Mavs can play transition defense like they did against OKC and hit their open treys, they'll win this thing. Mavs in 6.

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DeShawn will do a good job on DWade


Kidd will do a decent job on LeBron in crunch time just like he has on the other big names all postseason


Many national media types think it's a done deal that Miami wins this thing. Mavs getting very little respect.

Galloway picked the Heat in a sweep, but it's a bit. He picked Portland, LA, and OKC also. When he picks the Mavs to lose, they win, so he's not changing now.

My prediction?

Mavs in 5.


"This year in the playoffs they are 5-1 away from AAC"  That blown 23 point lead for a loss to Portland in Game 4 of the first round did count, you know...


grabs crotch, gives wassup nod and then points double middle fingers at Miami.  Nice job Whitt, you finally came about your wits (ziiiingggg) and realized these mavs ar contenders.  Bring the Ring!!!!!


Dammit, Richie. I can't argue with any of your points or your assessment.

I have Mavs in 6, and the vets get it done. Dirk gets his, of course, but this series is won by Peja, Terry, and Kidd all smelling their rings. Kidd especially will look like a man possessed.


im takin the Mavs in 6.........i really believe Marion and Kidd will come to play and be like silent attackers with their defense. if J-Kidd can play defense like he was before the 13 game winning streak was lost, he will single handedly be a factor ! i expect him to show up virtually everywhere with his steals and rebounds. i think JET will be on target from the perimeter along with Peja, Dirk, and Stevenson

and then we have the "streakin puerto rican" ! JJ will eat the Heat up, down the lane !

the HEAT are livin off the popular opinion, and the NBA headquarters want the HEAT to win cuz all this business about BronBron and his decision, has sold many magazines, tv programs and such they have capitalized off of.Joakim Noah said it plainly for me........they are a great team, but HOLLYWOOD AS HELL, and hes exactly right ! you just watch as Wade starts his floppin and his bump fouls playin the refs just like he did in '06............he makes me sick ! sorry but thats not sportsmanship ! but it does sell tv and magazines for the NBA and the media !




I'd like to say Mavs in 6, but the last time I did that .... they swept the Lakers. So, I'll just settle for Mavs in 5 (unless they get killed tonight),...then I'll call it in 6 I guess as the sweep is then off the table.

Thanks for reading!

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Damn it RW, you can't take my pick..dang it boys, I don't know what to do?  Go against the Mavs (most logical, because we all know RW is never right) or change the amount of games..hmmm...Give me Mavs in 7, best series of all time. We win games 1, 3, 5 and 7


You are on crack but typical miami hating as usual good job fitting in lol.