Congratulations all around to the Dallas Mavericks organization, coaching staff, players and fans on winning their first NBA Title. This tremendous accomplishment has been over a decade in the making for Mark Cuban and longtime face of the franchise Dirk Nowitzki. It was a hard-fought series, but the Mavs closed it out and capped off an amazing postseason run thanks to a total team effort.
The 2011 NBA Championship was one of the most thrilling six-game series in recent memory. Dallas probably surprised a lot of people when they went down to South Florida and beat the Heat on their home court in elimination Game 6. The talented Miami team played extremely well at home during the playoffs, and most expected them to force a Game 7.
But Dallas came out with energy, confidence and focus. DeShawn Stevenson got the Mavericks going with a few big threes early in the game. Jason Terry stepped up again and dealt out another great performance. Jason Kidd, Brian Cardinal, J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler all contributed at key moments. And though Nowitzki struggled during the first half, he delivered down the stretch to help clinch the series. Dirk’s incredible display throughout the tournament earned him the Finals MVP award, a cherry on top of the Title that had thus far eluded him.
For Miami, falling short in the last round was a disappointing end to a pressure-packed season. Even though the Game 6 loss will leave a bitter taste in their mouths all summer, the fact that the Heat still have a young nucleus of gifted stars should be somewhat of a consolation. As many former champions have stated, you must first taste defeat to understand what it takes to win and to savor the victory. The Heat’s experience in the NBA Finals will serve as a building block towards becoming future champions. Just as the Mavericks grew from their defeat in the 2006 Finals, the Heat will learn from the pain of losing and return next season better and stronger as a result.