Scouting Report On The NBA Finals

A day that many NBA fans (particularly Cleveland) analysts and purists did
not want to see is now upon us. I think it’s safe to say that the Miami
Heat have earned the right to be playing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The
same can be said for the Dallas Mavericks who have been just as impressive
as representatives of the Western Conference.

Now it’s time to get down to business.

When these two teams last met in 2006 the Mavericks held a 2-0 lead before
a monumental collapse led to the Heat claiming their first and only NBA
title to date. The next Finals game that Lebron James wins will be his
first as he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers squad that was swept by the San
Antonio Spurs the following season.

Let’s look at the impending matchups:

Guards:

Jason Kidd gets his third and possibly final shot at a ring, I would expect the Heat to stick with struggling Mike Bibby for as long as they can. Mike Bibby hasn’t been effective since coming to Miami and may see his minutes reduced if he continues to struggle. rse Dwayne Wade and/or James running the offense is never out of the question. DeShawn Stevenson will draw Wade in his assignment and will look to slow him down, but Stevenson platoons with Jason Terry so don’t expect to see much of Stevenson unless he’s successful in his assignment.

Forwards:

The Lebron James/Dirk Nowitzki matchup has been one that will keep fans entertained. On one end you have a sharpshooter in Nowitzki and a slashing James on the other. Problem is we will rarely see these two locked up unless Dirk is really giving Chris Bosh problems. Shawn Marion gets the task of guarding James and with Marion being far from the player that he was five years ago. James is a tough drawn because of the triple threat that he poses to defenders. Chris Bosh against Dirk Nowitzki should be an intriguing matchup as both excel in the finesse game. Bosh gets the nod as a better defender but Dirk has the strength to go to a mini post-up game if the situation calls for it.

Centers:

Joel Anthony and Tyson Chandler are two defensive specialists that will make rebounding a premium. Both players will hustle for loose balls and make plays that will energize their respective teams.

Benches:

Udonis Haslem has given the Heat an emotional boost as well as confidence to a bench that has played better in each series. They don’t score much but they defend pretty well and will need to. The Mavericks bench is quick and will look to score in bunches. A major boost could come in the form of Caron Butler who has been out since January with a shoulder injury. Jason Terry and J.J. Barea will look to carry the Mavs bench. It would be a huge boost if Chalmers could slow Barea down just a bit. Look for Brendan Haywood to seek an advantage against an older and slower Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Mavs will need to be mindful of James Jones, who can cause problems if he gets hot from deep.

Prediction:

I don’t see Miami walking over the Mavericks, if the Heat want this championship they will struggle to win it. This will be a battle of wills. Will Dirk get those same calls on the road? Will Wade break out of whatever has slowed him down? Which coach will have a better gameplan down the stretch? Will Chris Bosh quietly continue to play good ball?

Miami in Seven

40 thoughts on “Scouting Report On The NBA Finals

  1. The heat will struggle to win the championship? Heres a stat for you, the team that wins the first game of the nba finals wins it all 70+ percent of the time… The heat may sweep the mavs the more i think about it all…

    Heat sweep

  2. The Heat will not lose a game. Dallas’s lack of offensive depth & bench, will cost them, big time. Marion, Terry & Stojakovic can’t score consistently. Dirk can’t do it alone. He’s not physical enough & is playing with a broken bone in his hand. The Heat are deep 1-8, talented, balanced, & will not allow themselves to lose.

  3. Don’t do your job and write an article Ron, unless you plan on writing an article slurping “Bron Bron” (LMAO)……. Because Hart will get all over you

  4. MAvs will make a series out of this.. They are up by 5 with a few minutes until half-time.. TRemember the finals are a 2-3-2 Home game format…All the MAvs really need to do is split one of these 1st 2 games and go back to DAllas at 1-1 with 3 Home games… You win 2 of those 3 at home you go up 3-2 with 2 games left… It’s hard for any team to beat another team 3 games in a row regardless if you are playing home,away or on the moon.. I expect this Sereis to go at at least 6 games or maybe to a 7th Game…

  5. I don’t follow the NBA much so all I can hope for is a good competitive series where both Teams and their Star Players all come out to play and play well and let the best team win. I hope it goes 7 Games for that makes it more exciting for the Casual Fan like myself.. Hopefully as the Sixers improve, my interest,knowledge and following of the NBA game will improve too…

  6. Yes SportsBum, in regards to the NBA, I consider myself a casual fan at best and have stated this a few times before.. I enjoy and follow the College Basketball Game a lot more where in the NBA I just don’t follow it or watch many games.. I know who the Superstars are since they are on TV all the time abnd all you hear about, teams change players every season almost, Coaches come and go ever 1 1/2 years.. It’s hard to keep up in my opinion.. I enjoy the College game more where the Coaches and the Traditions and the great Rivalries of the good Programs still mean something. ..Team Ball, Team Defense and great Coaching is what I like about the College Game
    The Pro game is just one great play one after another and it seems like Defense is rarely played (until the Playoffs) and I hate the 2 Man Hi-Post Pick and Roll type of Offense or the Isolation on 1 Guard versus the other team.. It’s not team ball to me and boring to watch withough much Coaching involved either…

  7. Wow, what a finish by the Mavs to pull out a shocker 95-93 in Game 2..It looks like we have a Series now.. For the Heat to blow a 15 point Lead in your own Building in which you can take a 2-0 Commanding lead in the Series is hard to believe.. Lebron took a lot of poor jump shots late in the 4th Quarter, WHat is HAslem doing taking Jump shots from 15ft out, where was WAde the final 3 minutes… After Tue Nights game, everyone was ready to annoint the Heat as Champions and gave the MAvs almost zeor chance, now it appears it’s wide open and you would have to say with the next 3 games in Dallas that if the Mavs win 2 of 3, they are in good shape to win the Series…

  8. The mavs may seem to have a chance in this series but they dont, the game shouldnt have been as close as it was, the mavs are seriously overmatched, this was a good win for them yes they stole one, but they will not and i repeat will not win 2 in dallas, i wouldnt be suprised if the heat close it out there. if not this is the what i think will happen, the heat will win 2 in dallas then close it out back home after the road trip… Guys dont get your hopes up

    Heat still will win this series

  9. Dirk was awesome down the stretch in game two. When Lebron does something good does he have to open his mouth so wide. He looks like a fool
    among other things. The Heat hot dog it too much and complain like a bunch of
    old ladies I thought they fouled Dirk something fierce in game one and were not called for it. They rebounded much better and were agressive going to the basket in game two.

  10. Why didnt the Heats best and most clutch player (Dwayne Wade) touch the ball much the last 8-10 trips dow the court.. .I am no NBA Basketabll Guru,
    but that was assanine play calling,execution, where Dwayne calling for the ball, where the Coach calling some plays for the ball to be in his best players hand..
    I find this inexcusable and not worthy of Cahmpionship caliber play by the Heat

  11. Pman, your over blowing this just like many others like to do on here, okay this game they didn’t execute like they should have, but wade was 2-8 down the stretch himself, they all took bad shots and were cold in the 4th… you guys are funny you come out of the woodwork when the heat lose with all types of comments that don’t make sense,,, “not worthy of championship caliber play by the heat”, stuff like that… I didn’t hear any of this game 1, I heard nothing.. the heat had that game in the bag but slipped up a bit… I doubt it will happen again, look for them to regroup Sunday…

  12. Missed lay-ups. Awful defense. Dribbling the ball outside the 3 point line until 3 seconds were left on the shot clock and then heaving up terrible 3s. Bosh was terrible last night even before his Ole defense on the last shot.

    The Heat stopped being aggressive and settled for jump shots in the 4th. They are not a good enough shooting team to win that way. Plus the stopped doubling Dirk. Why would you let him get looks like that at the end of the game. YOu can get beat by Terry, Marion or Kidd, but don’t let Dirk own you like that.

  13. Sounds like John Hart is now making excuses for his “Heat” team
    Championship Teams don’t lose a 15 point lead at home when you can take a a commanding 2-0 Game lead in the Championship Series and virtually put your opponent on a respirator.. Great Championship teams with leadership and good Coaching don’t allow this to happen.. That’s what I am saying.. wah, wah, wah…

  14. Bugsy, i agree with the part where you said the heat stopped being aggressive, but the thing is the shots that were falling for them in the first half stopped in the 4th, they should have drove to the hoop more… Bosh has been such a disappointment so far in this series, the heat had a foul to give but instead of giving that foul bosh thought he could miraculously begin to stop dirk which was far from the truth, noone in the league can, (thats why on my top 10 list dirk is 3rd ovr) hes unguardable… Hopefully bosh going back home to texas will be a good thing for him motivating him to produce more…

  15. Pman, im not making excuses at all i have no problem stating when the heat make mistakes, but im not emotional about it im a realist… Ive stated they went cold in the 4th, the shots they made in the 1st half into the 3rd didnt fall in the 4th bottom line, but as for all the “thats not worthy of championship caliber yada yada yada” and all the other dramatic emotional comments sounds so stupid and desperate…

    Over 1 game, 1 game…you sound like the media, but we all know the heat are better then the mavs, its obvious that the mavs are overmatched so its wishful thinking on your part if you think the mavs have a chance after watching game 2 hahaha its hilarious…

  16. why are some of you so-called philly fans so damn invested in the outcome of this series? why the hell do you really care who wins? The sixers aren’t playing, so why give a damn about who wins? Why do so many of you feel the need to defend lebron james? and by the way, michael jordan would never , never allowed a team to go on a run like the mavs did down by 15, he would have taken over by himself, where was lebron when the heat needed him, but he sure mugged it up pretty good before the run

  17. Wade was on fire last night, but somehow they forgot he existed down the stretch…Giving the ball to Bron, down the stretch when Wade is having a huge game??? Is Wade not one of the best players in the league? Then why not give him the ball? they weren’t even running plays, just giving the ball to Lebron at the top of the key, to take horrible shots, off balance 3 pointers? contested off balance 3 pointers, at that!

  18. This is why Lebron will NEVER, EVER be on MJ’s or Kobe’s level. D Wade is more on those guys level than anyone else…..why didn’t he touch the ball more? Why did Lebron dribble at the top of the key for 20 seconds then heave up a three when his jumper isn’t even that consistent?

    Dirk looked like a man among boys…..so did D Wade. If the Mavs can actually start knocking down wide open shots (like they’ve been getting), they should win this series.

    Its hard to beat a team when you have to beat them AND the refs though.

  19. Basketball is my sport…The sport I have the most passion for…The sport I played all my life…The sport I coach….I coach AAU for 11th grade and down…Two teams 11U and 8U….At practices I’m yelling at my kids because they aren’t true to fundamental basketball, triple threat position, Vcuts, setting solid screens, squaring up on jumpshots etc I spend at least 2-4 weeks going over fundamental basketball alone…….For instance I have some very talented kids that take off balance, fade away jump shots (the type of shots Lebron was taking last night) I see where they are getting it from…Flare is good but without the fundamentals behind it, most players won’t excel….Lebron has natural talent, athleticsm, that many just dont posess….Watch Lebron on off ball defense, he loses sight of the ball, because of his abilities he’s able to mask them by recovering…But for most students of the game they won’t be able be in the same position and recover….I tell my kids to watch and study college basketball, the fundamentals of the game are always on display…don’t get me wrong there are alot more players other than Bron that I’m talking about too….Watching Jordan back in the day, he was sooo sound fundamentally (offense and defensively) and had the flare, he was the true type of player to model your game around. Too many times Bron is taking difficult shots that he makes harder just by the postion of his body, with his size and vertical, he can shoot over anyone in the NBA with the exception of D Howard, the fade away and off balance ish is just added wasted movement that does nothing but decrease the chance of hitting the shot…
    Superstars are superstars because they can do what most people can’t…So I can’t knock them too much and not all of them have issues with the fundamentals…But for kids growing up watching these cats, the fundamentals of the game are lost at times.

  20. Lack of fundamental basketball has been the death of the game here in the states for sometime now. Foreign players are passed off as “soft” but have the basics down. I would like to see Sixers go with a young foreign player provided he can give them help. I always said Allen Iverson ruined the handle of any kid that fell in love with that crossover – when used properly it’s deadly as he’s proven but when used as a showpiece it’s wasted movement like you said.

  21. @real, playing fundamentally sound basketball won’t get you on espn, but still,with his size, his athleticism, and his so-called reputation of being the best player on the planet, why did he allow the mavs, dirk, steal this game, that run by the mavs against lebron, was ridiculous and telling, again, no way, now how does Jordan allow that, especially at home, case closed, sorry scotty

  22. Bosh made a statement that he lost his concentration for a fraction of a second in covering Dirk and that he only gave up 2 points. What a genius the 2 points that won the game.

  23. @Ron – Totally agree…international players are a bit soft but thats just due to the style of play they are accustomed to… its more finesse over there. It’s just a bit tougher for them to make the physicality adjustment to the NBA game….

    @Jake – exactly, too many youngsters are concerned with being flashy even on simple plays like, layups…

  24. @Jon Hart
    I feel very good about the Mavs chances to win the series,especially after you just predicted that the Heat close the Mavs out in Dallas–just like you redicted a sweep. Great call.
    As far as that game went, jakedog made a great point. The comparisons to MJ or even Kobe should stop. Those two guys would have NEVER EVER lost a game after leading by 15 with 5 minutes left in the playoffs–at home no less. The guy is just like much of today’s NBA-all show. He lacks the heart, guts and know-how to close out games. The guy was content to jack up off balance threes while being double covered instead of driving to the hoop and taking a foul to get points and kill the Mavs momentum. I agree that D Wade has the heart of a champ more than BronBron who has had everything handed to him since he was ald enough to pick up a basketball.
    And as far as European players being soft, the softest starter on the floor for either team is Chris Bosh and he is American. Maybe playing for a Canadian franchise softened the guy up a little too much, but he is all finesse.

  25. I agree with Ron 100% which is why I don’t enjoy the NBA as I do the COllege level..
    But it’s all across American Socitey.. Athletes don’t spend hours on end in the gym working on their fould shots,dribbling and passing techniques just like in baseball where American players don’t work on Buntings, Stealing bases,etc,etc.. Take out the Latino Players and what do you have left in Baseball as far as position players.. not many dominant players…The % of Black players keeps going down..

  26. That’s the second time in these playoffs Bosh has said something regarding a lack of focus. He better get his mind right because other than Dirk, Marion and Chandler are finding easy baskets.

  27. @FrancineDrescher, if you were to actually read what i post i previously said the heat would win in 5, then jokingly said heat sweep, the only ones making Jordan comparisons are you guys, you dont hear lebron going around saying anything its you guys. There will never be another Jordan, But lebron is clearly better then lower merions own kobe “sex offender” bryant who has been on a sharp decline for the past few years. Kobe has been handed championships year in and out. He had the most dominant player of his generation that being shaq then gasol, then artest and odom among others. You notice when he didnt have those players he didnt even make the playoffs…

    Bottom line is Bron Bron is better than kobe at this point in his career, but is not better than Jordan…

    Relax guys the heat went knucklehead for a few minutes which is good now that i think about it bc it ll help them to see that this isnt gonna be a cake walk and will help them to refocus… play 48 minutes not 40 guys…

  28. What youve all been waiting for my:

    Top 20 NBA Superstars

    1. Lebron James

    2. DWade

    3. Dirk

    4. Chris Paul

    5. DRose

    6. Kobe

    7. Durant

    8. Paul Pierce

    9. Dwight Howard

    10. Melo

    11. Blake Griffin

    12. S.T.A.T

    13. Rondo

    14. Darren Williams

    15. Granger

    16. Nash

    17. Brandon Roy (When healthy)

    18. Al Horford

    19. Pau Gasol

    20. Manu Ginobilli

    *List Is Subject To Change

  29. I never knew Philly fans were so passionate about their love/hate for NBA players that don’t even play here. I can say that I never liked Lebron because he called himself king and chosen one(has it written all over his body) before he ever even won anything. People say fans are the ones that manifested the image of Lebron to be this eras Jordan-like icon(which he is not) but I think it all came from him(came in wearing the #23, calling yourself king and chosen one since day 1) and the fading NBA driving it down our throats. Lebron obviously didnt want to be his own identity he wanted to be the next Jordan. I could care less who wins this Championship. I don’t like the Heat yet I wish the absolute worst for any team that is associated with Dallas. Wanted to see Durant vs. DRose.

    In regard to these lists for best player in the game today..Lebron is not number 1 for me mainly because of his intangibles and mental toughness(esp at the end of big games). Lebron is the best physical specimen in the league and prolly ever, but when he was the main guy he couldn’t get it done flat out due to his mental toughness. Wade, to me has that intangible tough leader gene in him and when its all said and done, looking back people are going to say he won Lebrons rings for him.

    Jon Hart, I dont know how you can have Chris Paul so high and D. Howard so low. Chris Paul was basically the 4th or 3rd best gaurd in the league for the past 2 years. He has like 2 great games against 60 year old Derek Fisher and he is all of a sudden # 4 overall(best PG). Come on man thats nonsense. Rose is by far the best PG in the league. And D. Howard is an absolute beast right now. If I were to start a franchise for next year I would rather have Howard, Rose, or Wade before Lebron.

  30. @JonHart
    Hmmm….let’s see–So you were “joking” about the Heat sweep prognistication? I assume when the series goes more than 5 or if the Mavs take it all in Dallas you will state you were “just joking” about your Heat proclamations? Nice. Way to back up your predictions, guy.

    And as for Lebron not claiming he was the heir apparent, I’ ll refer to the billboard size tattoo that he has over his back dubbing himself the “King”. The guy doesn’t have the mental toughness or the tenacity of Kobe or most other superstar, even D Wade. Last I checked, Kobe has five rings–that would be five more than BronBron. Idiots like you like to state that Kobe had dominant forces playing beside him–Pau Gasol? really? you used Pau Gasol to help your arguement? Genius.
    I do not even care for Kobe-I really don’t, but the man is a gamer and has my respect–something Lebron has yet to gain.

    Cheers

  31. I couldn’t have said it better, fran……. Jon Hart doesn’t seem to realize that almost no one agrees with him, yet he thinks he is right.

    Hey Pheags, If I was to start a franchise right now…… I definitely go D.Howard. I am not saying he is the best player in the league, but he is the best Center and maybe top 5 player in the league. He is so dominant at his position and Center is the hardest to find good talent at.

  32. JonHart is a “witness” — a robotic media whore that belives anything they feed him. The GREATEST OF ALL TIME (MJ) said that Kobe is the best player in the NBA hands down. The second greatest of all time (magic) also took Kobe. I’ll take their word over Marc Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Stuart Scott, JonHart or any of those idiots.

    Yes, Kobe had Shaq, but Shaq wouldn’t have won those rings without Kobe either.

    Shaq won a ring with a lesser “Kobe” (D.Wade) at the time, and Kobe won TWO rings with a lesser “Shaq” (Gasol). That argument is just plain dumb and used by those that don’t know basketball.

    I understand why Lebron has so many penis riders, I really do — but I refuse to crown him until he does something worthy of being crowned.

  33. Lets go Bron Bron! LMAO

    How many points did he get in the 4th qtr this game?

    LeChoke James is his name, choking in the 4th in big games is his game. Totally unclutch. LOL at him being anywhere near as good as Kobe.

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