What’s The Bigger Story: Dallas Winning Or Miami Losing?
It happened. The Dallas Mavericks proved everyone wrong and marched through the NBA Playoffs and slayed the three-headed monster known as the Miami Heat. I, personally, wasn’t sold that the Mavs could get out of the first round against a strong Portland Trailblazers team. But they did—they swept the Lakers, rolled over the Thunder and backslapped the Heat to win their first NBA championship.
But what’s the real story?
As much as everyone is happy to see Dirk and J-Kidd get their rings, the other side of the coin is that the Miami Heat fell short on winning an NBA championship.
The Miami Heat drew the ire of the entire country the moment that LeBron said he was taking his talents to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. To heighten the hatred, the Heat celebrated with a obnoxious pre-season celebration where LeBron James boasted the Heat would win “not one, not two, not three, not four…” championships. The only city that wanted Miami to win an NBA championship was Miami. As the season progressed, every win and every loss was scrutinized 10x more than the next NBA team. By the time the playoffs hit, the Heat found themselves as a #2 seed with the Chicago Bulls sitting on top of the food chain. But the Heat persevered and made the NBA Finals. Considering the Los Angeles Lakers were upended by the Mavericks in a shocking four-game sweep, it was a foregone conclusion by many that the Heat would be taking home the hardware.
But there’s a reason why they play the games…
The Mavericks entered the playoffs an 18-to-1 underdog. They were without Caron Butler, had to face Portland in the first round, the Lakers in the second and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Nobody saw them emerging as NBA champions. Even with the sweep of the Lakers, the prevailing thought said the Heat were too talented to be defeated. But Dirk Nowitzki and company would not be denied. After Game 1 they looked like a team that was just happy to be there. But something kicked in when they were down big in the fourth quarter of Game 2 and the Mavericks were a team possessed. Dirk, Jason Terry, JJ Barea, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd manned up and took down Goliath in a fashion that shocked everyone. Their team defense turned King James into a pauper, Dirk came up big time and time again and the Dallas role players outplayed the superstars of Miami.
It was an amazing season of shock and awe, ups and downs that probably didn’t end like many anticipated.
But what’s the bigger story? The collapse of Miami or the rise of Dallas?