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These Heat are a unique beast, and bear little in common with their title-winning 2006 counterparts. Nowitzki is a new version of himself, allegedly, and has supposedly stepped up in his ability to lead his team through the rigors of the playoffs. These Mavericks have been touted as fundamentally different from years past, having overcome significant odds, swept the defending champs, and dispatched the West’s next big thing in the Thunder. Yet even with the winds of change revealing a new Mavericks team and the dust of The Decision finally settled, the picture painted is inexplicably that of two old foes duking it out over a faded memory.
This isn’t 2006, and to use the trials of that campaign as a framework for interpreting the events to come is not only inadequate, but lazy.