in every other part of the world, people would assume that this post is about the world cup.
but i'm talking about dirk nowitski.
i'm picking the mavs to beat the heat for the nba championship in what has been a fantastic nba playoff season - and i'm someone who generally loathes the nba style of play.
let me break it down.
the heat have two big stars - shaq and dwyane wade. and they're both playing fantastic ball right now. just fantastic.
the mavs have big dirk, who has been superhuman. but what they have and the heat don't are defensive options.
the mavs are the deepest team in the nba. and they actually match up very well against the heat's stars. dwyane wade will be covered by adrian griffin, marquise daniels and josh howard. i'm not saying they're gonna stop him; nobody can. but avery johnson is smart enough to keep a fresh body on wade at all times. he'll be playing 1-on-3.
and shaq's gonna have to contend with erick dampier and desagana diop. not that those two players can even be mentioned in the same sentence as him, but they each offer the same thing: size and fouls. dampier and diop are big boys. and shaq's a horrible foul shooter. they'll make him work for it. that's all you can ask.
and, at some points but not for long, the mavs will go small. and shaq's gonna have to guard dirk. and that will be the biggest mismatch of them all.
and that's my point. who's gonna guard dirk? posey and walker are too small. haslem's too slow. mourning and shaq will be embarrassingly exploited.
not that the mavs have answers to shaq and wade, but they've got options.
the heat have none of that for dirk.
and, at this point of the game, it's all about matchups.
advantage: mavs in six.
POINT OF DISCLOSURE: the writer would like to point out that his feelings of contempt for pat riley had in no way tainted his preview and prediction for this series. although he still firmly believes that pat riley is indeed a scumbag.