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2011 NBA Finals: News, Notes, and Prediction


This is a Football Web site, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have other sports interests. Basketball actually happens to be my favorite sport to play. And I love to watch it as well. I think what attracts me to the N.F.L. and football in general is the preciousness of each and every game. I love basketball and baseball as well, but if I miss one game I have 81 more for basketball and a 161 more for baseball.  Moving on from my diatribe. The NBA finals will be starting tonight and this is what I’ll be watching for. Basketball is only one of two sports in which I don’t have a favorite team (college football is the other). I just love to watch the game.

The Miami Heat’s Ability to Limit Dallas Offensive Rebounds and kick outs for threes

One enormous area of concern for the Miami Heat throughout these playoffs has been their inability to limit the opposing teams second chance opportunities. The Heat don’t have great rebounders. Joel Anthony and Haslem are high energy rebound guys, but they aren’t great rebound guys.  If the Mavericks are able to control the offensive glass, they could find themselves with a lot of open three point looks deriving from their offensive rebounds-and they can shoot it from down town.

J.J. Barea  and Jason Terry vs Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby

Mike Bibby was signed by the Heat to be a knock down shooter and facilitator. He hasn’t really been handling either of those roles all that well. He’s also a defensive liability. J.J. Barea should not have any problem taking Bibby off the dribble. When Chalmers enters the game, can he limit the speed Terry and J.J? That’s something important to watch and will go a long way in telling who’s bench makes the bigger impact on the games.

The Heat Offense Vs Themselves

At times this season the Heat have been very, very fun to watch. At other times it has been brutal. A lot of that has to do with whether or not the Heat offense has any rhythm and movement. The one on one settle for a fadeaway jumper that both Wade and James can fall into at times is frustrating to watch. James is one of the best passers in the game, when he keeps the offense in rhythm the Heat are nearly impossible to beat.

James vs Dirk in the fourth quarter

Early word has James guarding Dirk in the fourth quarter. Nowitzki is one of the best, if not the best, fourth quarter scores in the game (Kobe Bryant fans disagree). In the playoffs, James has really limited the opponents best weapon in the fourth quarter. If James can do the same to Dirk, Dallas can’t win this series.


I had this discussion with Sayre prior to the Bulls series, but the Heat have a better bench than people want to give them credit for, now they are really only about 3 deep on the bench with any quality, but Haslem, Mike Miller, and Chalmers are very serviceable and can even make plays. Halsem brings the energy, Miller the shooting, and Chalmers defense and clutch (he’s been clutch in limited fourth quarter opportunities with the Heat). Heading into the Bulls series the Bulls bench was seen as much better, but it was the Heat bench that played the best in the series.

In the Mavericks series, the Heat have to be able to control a couple of speedy, good shooting guards, which is a problem for them. Terry could have a few big nights.

But with that being said, the Heat bring it on defense and Dallas isn’t great on defense. Dallas can be tough to beat if they are shooting it well from Downtown, but I think the Heat can control that. I’m rooting for a close 7 game series, but I just think the Heat are the better team, to me.

I’m going to make a bit of a gusty call and say Heat in five, but I’m hoping for some team to win in double overtime in game 7.

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Two Sites to check out for more NBA Finals Information

NY Times Breaks Down the Four Major Componets to a Champion

CBS Sports Has a Bunch Of links to Different Quality Reads