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Dallas won the title, Miami didn’t lose it

Jun 13, 2011, 3:15 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

The story was not the Dallas Mavericks and their incredible shooting, it was the Lakers collapse. Then it was how the Thunder were not ready.

Now, it was how the Miami Heat lacked discipline, could not execute at the end of games and how LeBron James faltered.

That’s not what the story should be.

The real story is the Dallas Mavericks are NBA champions because they are the best team. They won it. The Lakers and Thunder and Heat didn’t lose it, Dallas took it from them with better team play, better execution. A lot of us — myself included — were late to appreciating the Mavs and what they were doing, the kind of run they were on, where it would lead. But that’s about us. They believed in what they were doing and kept going forward, getting better with each step.

Going into the season Dallas was considered part of the second tier in the West, part of the great gaggle of teams trying to chase the Lakers down. Then Rodrigue Beaubois injured his foot and missed much of the season, and we thought it robbed them of needed athleticism. Caron Butler blew out his knee and we thought the Mavs were toast without their best perimeter player and a key defender.

More than that, though, we felt like we ha seen this movie before. Dallas wins 50 plus games every year, yet we had been conditioned to expect playoff failure. Why was this year going to be different?

It was.

You can’t just pinpoint one thing that caused the change. Maybe it was a more vocal Dirk Nowitzki, who brought more leadership to go with his incredible game, something Mark Cuban mentioned after Game 6. Maybe it was Tyson Chandler bringing a new defensive attitude to the team. Maybe it was everyone really buying into Rick Carlisle’s system. Maybe it was having a veteran team that understood executing under pressure. Maybe it was Jason Terry and J.J. Barea hitting crazy shot after crazy shot.

Most likely it was all of those things coming together at the same time.

That wasn’t sexy enough for all of us. Dallas wasn’t flash, it was just a lot of good players all pulling on the rope in the same direction, executing game plans. They adjusted — in the first few games of this series the Heat’s quick closeouts seemed to rattle Mavs shooters, but by the end they were used to it and draining all those shots.

Dallas won this series and won the title. Don’t just think Miami lost it — the best team won. The Mavs were smarter on the court, stronger mentally. And they deserve all the spoils coming to them.

  1. jkb0162 - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:23 AM

    good column. it’s good to hear some fair national perspective

    • mella21 - Jun 14, 2011 at 3:18 AM

      Same here, but I have a feeling it pained the author to write this. Judging by the rest of his articles, it seems he’s dissapointed he’s not writing about the Heat’s new ‘supertitle’. I think there’s finally been a backlash to the original Lebron backlash, and you can see by the number of posts regarding the losers, that’s the story they’re most interested.

      Still, I prefer talking about the Mavs because there were so many great stories around that team winning. How about Peja finally gets a ring? Cuban finally shuts it, and they WIN with him doing so? Dirk COMPLETELY turning his legacy on its ear and being the best closer throughout the playoffs this year? 38 year old J-Kidd playing D on guys who were 10 years old when he came into the league? LMBO come on, there are SO many things these nat’l writers could be talking about, but of course they choose the cheapest way out …just like Carlisle said.

  2. delius1967 - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    Finally, a little grudging respect toward Dallas’ players. Dallas was the deepest team in the league, even after losing two starters to injuries. I don’t know why people become so fixated on the big stars when basketball is such a team-oriented game. Nobody wins championships by themselves.

    I’d also like to say, see my post from 5/27 on http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/27/nba-finals-preview-dallas-mavericks-vs-miami-heat/:
    “What I expect to happen is: The first two games are split, and then Dallas takes two of three at home, so we come back to Miami with the Mavericks ahead 3-2. The real question is Game 6. If Dallas loses it, they aren’t going win Game 7. But I don’t know which path things are going to take. So, either Dallas in 6, or Miami in 7. ”

    Now that’s nailing the shot.

  3. tejano2k - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    @delius1967… I wouldn’t say, “that’s nailing the shot.” It was a guess at best. “Either Dallas in 6 or Miami in 7″ gives you a couple of options that a bunch of “prognosticators” probably made regarding the Series. Oh well, to the point… Dallas deserves all the credit due a Champion. I am a Lakers fan and after the Mavs bounced them off in a sweep, I knew, with all certainty, the Mavs were the team that could win it all. Any team that could do that to the Lakers was capable of greatness. Dallas achieved that. There is NO DOUBT that the Mavs were the best team. So, congrats to the Mavs and their fans. Enjoy the Championship. Regardless of what anyone’s opinion is of Mark Cuban, you gotta love the guy. He is what he is and could care less about what anyone thinks. It’s all about the team and winning. He was really gracious in winning and gave up the mic to the team because it was “their” win. Job well done. I’m already looking forward to “next year”.

  4. tumsman2 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:57 AM

    The entire country was waiting for LeBroom to lose. I celebrated like it was the 4th of July.
    Thanks for the good memories LeLoser.

  5. andyhr17 - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Sure they lost it. They celebrated their victory last summer and now this summer the Mavericks actually won the games and took it away from them.

  6. laserw - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Note to LeBrick. You have an entire off-season to perfect your impersonation of a sick Dallas player.

    Yeah, we LeBrick HATERS will continue to live our lives just as we have always done, but most of us won’t have taken money for not showing up for work or for not doing our job. Most of us won’t have phoned it in.

    Yeah, we’re haters.

    But you will always be a LOSER.

  7. lucky5934 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Well, although I wanted Dallas to win… and it was fitting to see LBJ falter late in games, I am sincerely happy that many of the Mavs players FINALLY won a championship. Their are some really amazing individuals on that team from Dirk, to Terry, to Kidd, and so on.. I instantly felt bad for players like Bosh and Wade who were dragged into the pressure cooker, but ultimately I do feel they will taste gold down the road.

  8. lucky5934 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Well, it can be argued both ways in my opinion. I sincerely wanted Dallas to win and am greatful that they did. Dalls did win the series with the way the played the close out the last two games. However, I look back at Game 2 and wonder if Miami stays focused and closes out that game, I believe the series would have turned out differently. In the end though, it was the Mavs who were functioning as a better team, were mentally tougher, and found a way to shut down the the Heat in the 4th quarter. With all that credit clearly going to the Mavs.

  9. davidly - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    The story was not the Dallas Mavericks and their incredible shooting, it was the Lakers collapse. Then it was how the Thunder were not ready.

    Now, it was how the Miami Heat lacked discipline, could not execute at the end of games and how LeBron James faltered.

    I suppose you oughta know, eh Mister Helin?

  10. diablito0402 - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Wow kurt helin wrote an article not sucking up to lechoke and the heat? Im impressed.

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