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Friday, May 27, 2011
Mavs-Heat will be awesome NBA Finals

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

The NBA Finals are set, and it should be excitement galore as the Heat and Mavericks square off. The 2006 Finals were thrilling, with Dwyane Wade and Miami coming back from 2-0 down to win in six games.

This time around, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks would love to get that elusive championship ring.

Nowitzki has been super, scintillating and sensational so far in the playoffs. The Mavericks really sent a message when they swept the Lakers, and then followed up with an impressive series with over Oklahoma City.

Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade and the Heat have rolled through the playoffs.

LeBron James and Chris Bosh came to South Beach with only one thing in mind: getting their championship ring. I really felt that anything less than a title, even in year one, would be disappointing.

Let's face it, there was a ton of pressure on the Big Three, and the trio of James, Wade and Bosh have delivered by advancing to the finals. Beating Philadelphia was not as easy as some thought. Wins over Boston and Chicago gave the Heat a lot of confidence going into this series.

One thing we have learned so far: The young guns like Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant simply could not finish things off when they had the opportunity. They will learn from this and get better and better. Each has a good supporting cast but probably needs a little more.

For now, it is the Heat and the Mavericks, and it will be awesome with a capital A!

Can Miami finish off its great run for the Big Three? Will some of the other members of the supporting cast step up? Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller have helped out at times this postseason.

Will Dallas dominate inside the way it has with Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler? Can the Mavericks also keep up their hot pace on trifectas?

Trust me, this will be a very intriguing series. Dallas has a veteran nucleus that will compete. Rick Carlisle has done a super job with this club, and Dallas will be fired up for this challenge.

In the end, I think LeBron James believed he would be in this position. Yes, my friends, the road had its share of bumps early, but Miami is in the Finals and playing very well. There was pressure on Erik Spolestra, but he has come through it well. His team has been well prepared and played to its expectations in the postseason, when it really counts. The late comeback in the final game of the Bulls series showed me how badly the team wants this.

When it is all said and done, the Heat will cut down the nets and win the championship. I think this will be more wide-open for Miami as Chicago did a good job defensively. Dallas will have a hard time stopping all three of the Heat stars. It should be a series well worth watching, baby!