2011 NBA Finals:Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami HeatMay 31, 2011 by Marc Jerbs

On Tuesday, the long wait is over for the two top teams in the 2010-2011 NBA season. The Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks faces the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in the opening game of the NBA Finals. Game 1 will be held at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. Opening tip will start at 9PM ET.

The Dallas Mavericks have payback in their minds after squandering a 2-0 series lead in the 2006 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. There's still a bitter taste in Dirk Nowitzki's tongue after suffering his worst defeat of his NBA career. On Tuesday night, he will again face the team that tormented his body physically and emotionally, the Miami Heat.

The Mavericks have beaten the Blazers, Lakers and Thunder to advance to its 2nd trip to the NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki still attracts a lot of attention from their opponents but it is the veteran leadership of Jason Kidd that makes the Mavericks click on both ends of the court. Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Tyson Chandlers are veteran playerss that have helped and eased the load on Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs have beaten the Miami Heat 2 times this season; however those were the Heat team searching for their identities. They will now face a different Miami Heat team who has peaked at the right time during the playoffs.

The Miami Heat are a team with a mission from the start of the free agency until the playoffs. The Big Three have endured a lot of criticism and hatred whenever they have a game on the road. It was their source of motivation to play a defensive-minded brand of basketball. They managed to eliminate their tough opponents in the Eastern Conference to advance for the 2nd time in the NBA Finals.

Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh have demonstrated the kind of basketball that Heat President Pat Riley had envisioned during the offseason. It was a continuing process for the Big Three to develop their trust within each other as well as their role players. In 2006, the Heat defeated the Mavericks by letting Dwayne Wade carry his team. This year, Wade now has company to earn the Heat's 2nd Larry O'Brien trophy.

The sportsbook handicappers have installed the Miami Heat as a 4.5-point favorite to beat and win Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. However, if the Heat failed to defend Nowitzki with their vaunted defense then the Mavericks has a chance to beat them and steal homecourt advantage.

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