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The NBA finals June 18, 2006

Posted by Aniket in Aniket, Basketball.
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While the rest of the world is busy watching the football world cup, for most americans there is another more important event going on. And that is the 2005-06 NBA finals .
    For years, Dallas Mavericks have had a strong squad but somehow never made it to the finals.  But sterling performances from their German import, Dirk Nowitzki, meant that they reached the NBA finals after a long gap. While in the eastern conference, the Heat always looked favourites to win with Shaquille O'Neal & Dwyane Wade putting in great performances. What remained to be seen was who would win the final clash between East & West and be crowned champs.
    For the first two games, it seemed that the Mavericks could do no wrong. They won the first game of the best of seven finals at home & travelled to Miami full of confidence. And in game 2, they produced an outstanding performance to stretch their lead to 2-0. With Nowitzki, Terry, Howard & Stackhouse all coming good for the Mavericks, it seemed game over for the Heat – only two teams had won the finals after conceding a 2-0 lead. The low morale in the Heat side was obvious, with Shaq converting only 2 out of his 16 free throws.
    Game 3 seemed to be going much the same way. But a great performance by the Heat in the second half and a superb display by Wade who scored the double of 40 points & 10 rebounds took the Heat to a great cmeback win. Wade became only the 4th player to achieve such a double in the finals, after Jerry West, Magic Johnson & Michael Jordan. The Heat were striking back.
    Game 4 began with both teams playing well. But in the second quarter the Heat opened up a lead which would last till the end. Their attack, led by Wade & O'Neal, kept their score ticking while their defence led by Alozo Mourning & James Posey had the upper hand over the Mavericks who seemed to be clueless. The Mavs could score only 7 points in the 4th quarter – the lowest ever in finals history – and that gave the Heat a convincing 98-74 victory. This tied the series at 2-2 but now the momentum definitely seems to be with the Heat. But dont count out Nowitzki & co. yet, there is still a lot left to play. Game 5 is on Sunday at Miami.

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1. Arnold - June 18, 2006

Everyone’s going gaga about how the Heat have staged a “brilliant comeback” after the first two games of the Finals, but to me what’s more suprising than the Heat comeback was that they were trailing 2-0 in the first place.

Let’s face reality here — on paper the Heat are easily the stronger team. No one in the Mavs can claim to be as good at either Shaquille or Dwayne Wade. I’m Nowitzki’s greatest fan, but as Power Foward he can’t really play either O’Neal or Wade. The Mavs won the first 2 only because of bad play from the Heat. They need Nowitkzi, Howard, Terry and Stackhouse (off the bench) to fire big in 2 of the remaining 3 games. The Heat have upped their game, and I don’t see them dropping it now.

Shaquille for all his woes is a good big game player. The Mavs need someone inside to handle him. Neither Diop or Dampier are good enough. And who’s going to play Wade? Again, I don’t see anyone in the Dallas team up to the task.

The last three games should be fun.


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