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Victory is Sweet Against the Heat

June 13th, 2011

photo credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

June 13, 2011 — The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat last night, 105-95, to win their first NBA championship ever!

It’s especially exciting for the Mavericks because the Heat have some big-name superstars on their team, including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.  Last year when LeBron James switched teams to join the Miami Heat, he announced that he was there to lead the team to a decade’s worth of NBA championships. That kind of talk didn’t go over well with everybody. But, heading into the finals, they really did seem pretty unbeatable.

These same two teams met in the NBA finals five years ago (in 2006). That time, Miami beat Dallas — in Dallas — to win the championship. Only two Mavericks remained on the team from that time, forward Dirk Nowitzki and guard Jason Terry. They remembered how badly losing the championship on their home court felt and didn’t want it to happen again.  It didn’t. In fact, the opposite happened. Dallas beat Miami in Miami’s arena this time to win.

On their win, Mavericks center Tyson Chandler said, “We had no champions on this team. And we walked away with a team full of champions.”  The victory was even sweeter for some. Nowitzki, and another player, Jason Kidd, were #1 and #2 on the list of players with the most post-season games without a championship. Nowitzki had played 123 post-season games over 13 years without winning. And at age 38, Jason Kidd has been pursuing this dream for 17 years in 141 playoff games!  How’s that for never giving up!

Nowitzki also took home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy. He averaged 26 points and 9 rebounds, and led two big comebacks in games 2 and 4. The Heat’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra, gave credit where credit was due saying, “Neither team deserved this championship more than the other, but Dallas earned it.”

In this best of 7 finals, the Mavericks won 4 games to 2.  Even though the Mavericks led most of the time in game 6, it was a ‘nail-biter’ right to the end.

What did it come down to? Most would agree that Miami had better individual players, but that Dallas played better as a team. And as the saying goes: ‘May the best team win’.

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