the dallas mavericks defeated the miami heat 105-95, in game six, on the road, to win their first nba championship. dirk nowitzki was named most valuable player. nowitzki averaged 26 points & 10 rebounds, but most importantly, the 13-time all-star led his team to victory by averaging 10 points per game in the 4th quarter.
despite their third seed in the playoffs, pundits expected dallas to lose to the talented portland trailblazers in the first round. in game four of their exciting series dallas blew a 23-point lead & lost the game. however, the mavs showed their determination, grit & resiliency by winning the next two games decidedly. they would not be a one & done team.
in round two dallas swept the two-time defending champion los angeles lakers, to every one's surprise. led by veteran point guard jason kidd, former 6th man of the year jason terry, 3rd place defensive player of the year center tyson chandler & an incredibly versatile bench, the mavericks went on to beat the gifted oklahoma city thunder in the western conference finals to face miami for the second time in five years.
miami was a team some loved to hate. all-star forward lebron james was criticized for his "decision" to leave cleveland & take his talents to south beach. james was joined by all-star center chris bosh to form, with all-star guard dwayne wade, the big three. b4 the season began miami hosted a celebration on stage featuring the three players amidst a cloud of smoke & james boldly predicting multi-championships.
the heat beat the youthful philadelphia 76ers in five games in the first round. their highly anticipated second round series against the heavily favored boston celtics showcased the brilliant defense of miami. the heat prevailed in five games. miami's eastern conference final opponent, the chicago bulls, boasted mvp point guard derrick rose & coach of the year tom thibodeau, as well as the league's best record, 62-20, giving them home court advantage for the playoff season.
neither team shot well in the series, primarily because chicago & miami were the top two defensive teams in the nba. rose struggled from the floor. his teammates, most notably center joakim noah & forward carlos boozer, were inconsistent. the bulls were unable to score freely & lost close games as a result, sending miami to the nba finals again; miami defeated dallas four games to two in 2006.
dallas & miami finished the regular season with 28-13 road records, tied for best in the nba. as such, miami's home court advantage was tenuous. miami won game one failry routine. but in game two, dallas overcame a 15-point deficit with less than eight minutes to go in the 4th quarter - one of the greatest comebacks in nba finals history - to even the series.
after miami beat dallas on the road in a close game three, they would never feel the thrill of victory, only the agony of defeat. games three, four & five were decided by a total of eight points. each game was a defensive struggle, marked by james' inability to score in the 4th quarter, for which he was heavily criticized. said james after the series, "i did not play up to my own standards...i have a lot of work to do."
game six was close for the first three quarters. both teams blew sizable leads & the game was decided in the 4th quarter. dallas' incredible shooting from three-point range proved decisive. jason terry scored 27 points off the bench. jj barrea added 17 points. deshawn stevenson hit three from downtown. timely offensive rebounds from tyson chandler, shawn marion & nowitzki demoralized miami. the heat committed costly turnovers & showed no heart at the end. dallas was a team of destiny.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. email@example.com.