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schencka
NBA Finals Analysis
Here's something I just read about the Heat vs. Mavs. My prediction is playing out to a T: I thought whichever team in the West got in the finals, they would smoke the East. I was so totally right. The East teams are still playing in a decade-old mode, as if Larry Johnson and John Starks are still around. Lots of defense, physical play, and one-on-one. Meanwhile the West has been rediscovering the way the game was played in the '70s and '80s -- high energy fast breaks, crisp passes to the open man, going hard for rebounds. The Mavs have put an absolute clinic on the Heat, who look stunned. I'm impressed by Dwayne Wade, but man, even he gave up on a play late in the 3rd quarter of game two after missing a layup and a put-back.

The Mavs are showing how easy it is to win if you play a high energy game and have a deep bench. I mean, Antoine Walker and James Posey couldn't even be on the Suns, let alone the Mavs. The Heat looked exhausted last night, like guys in their fourth pickup game. And then the Mavs bring in their eighth man, Marquis Daniels, who's as good as any of the Heat reserves. I mean, look at the Mavs roster:
Mavericks Roster


 2005-06 Roster
NUM PLAYER POS HT WT DOB   FROM YRS
10 Darrell Armstrong G 6-1 180 06/22/1968   Fayetteville State 11
25 Erick Dampier C 6-11 265 07/14/1975   Mississippi State 9
6 Marquis Daniels G 6-6 200 01/07/1981   Auburn 2
7 DeSagana Diop C 7-0 280 01/30/1982   Oak Hill Academy HS (VA) 4
44 Adrian Griffin G-F 6-5 230 07/04/1974   Seton Hall 6
34 Devin Harris G 6-3 185 02/27/1983   Wisconsin 1
5 Josh Howard F 6-7 210 04/28/1980   Wake Forest 2
28 Didier Ilunga-Mbenga C 7-0 245 12/30/1980   Congo 1
41 Dirk Nowitzki - C F 7-0 245 06/19/1978   Germany 7
33 Josh Powell F 6-9 225 01/25/1983   North Carolina State R
42 Jerry Stackhouse G-F 6-6 218 11/05/1974   North Carolina 10
31 Jason Terry G 6-2 180 09/15/1977   Arizona 6
2 Keith Van Horn F 6-10 245 10/23/1975   Utah 8

Other than the aged point guard Darrell Armstrong and two developing players, this team is playing eleven deep, with Griffin and Van Horn the weakest players, both of which would get major minutes on a lower-tier team.

Say what you will about Mark Cuban. Don Nelson couldn't coach a team to an NBA Championship, but he put together a team that's doing just that, with Avery Johnson at the helm. High school coaches are watching the Mavs and wishing their kids would play with as much un-NBA vigor.
 
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