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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dallas Versus Miami Preview

NBA Finals

Dallas (60-22) vs. Miami (52-30)

Miami can win if…Shaquille O'Neal averages 25-plus ppg and 12-plus rpg and Dwyane Wade averages 25-plus ppg.

Dallas will win because …Miami has no answer for Dirk Nowitzki or for the Mavericks' depth, which will wear down the Heat as the series progresses.

Other things to consider: Josh Howard is listed as a forward but he can guard 1s, 2s or 3s. He will probably be matched up with Wade at least part of the time and he has enough athleticism and length to cause Wade some problems. Dallas won both regular season meetings, but O'Neal did not play in one of them and the Heat are a much more cohesive unit now than they were when those games were played. Pat Riley is making his ninth Finals appearance as a coach, while Avery Johnson is coaching in his first NBA Finals; each one an NBA championship as a player. Miami will have a difficult time defending against Dallas' versatile offensive attack: Nowitzki is a matchup nightmare, Jason Terry and Devin Harris can create havoc with dribble penetration, Jerry Stackhouse provides bench scoring and Howard is a very good offensive rebounder.

posted by David Friedman @ 12:26 AM



At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 9:29:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

This may not matter but Johnson is the first black coach to coach the Finals since KC Jones in 87. Where is KC Jones? Why didnt he get anymore jobs? A little tangent, David.

Its amazing how Riley has always been around centers. He was on that 72 Lakers team with Wilt, won titles with Jabbar and McAdoo, lost with Ewing and Mourning and now has Shaquille. I think the Heat in 6 and Shaquille will be extra motivated. But if Dallas is smart they will run run run.

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 4:07:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

KC Jones has done some coaching in one of the women's leagues but I'm not sure what he is doing at the moment. He had a very laid back demeanor as a coach and I don't think that he ever got the credit that he deserved for the Celtics' success. He coached them to two championships and four straight Finals appearances. His critics point out that he had Bird, McHale and Parish--well, Flip Saunders had a team with four All-Stars and two previous Finals appearances and what did he do in the playoffs?

Riley was in the right place at the right time to be Wilt's teammate and to coach Kareem but he had something to do with acquiring McAdoo and making sure that he had an opportunity to coach Mourning, Ewing and Shaq--obviously, he traded for Shaq and I'm not sure if he would have taken the other two jobs (NY and his first stint as Miami's coach) if a dominant center was not already there.

Shaq is no doubt on a mission but so is Dirk. I've picked against Miami twice and been wrong so it's certainly possible that I will be wrong again. I think that Dallas has the right personnel AND the right mindset to beat Miami. New Jersey and Detroit had the personnel but were not able to sustain the mindset; New Jersey also suffered a key injury (Jefferson) and a suspension (Cliff Robinson) that weakened an already thin bench.

At Wednesday, June 07, 2006 8:49:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

I know he coached in the ABL but women's doesnt count. And he was an assistant for the Sonics and Pistons. He definitely is not getting his deserved credit. This reminds of Cito Gaston, who coached the Toronto Blue Jays to back to back World Series and hasnt managed since 97.
Very true Flip did nothing. I never liked him as a coach.

Riley probably wouldnt have taken those jobs but its ironic that he is always around centers.

Jefferson is definitely important and Clifford needs to retire.


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