DALLAS (CBSMiami.com) – Fans in both Dallas and Miami might be having déjà vu while watching the 2011 NBA Finals because they are playing out in a way that will make Miami celebrate, and Dallas look towards next year.
During the 2006 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, the Mavericks came in with Dirk Nowitzki leading a high-scoring attack. Miami countered with a hard-nosed defensive team led by Dwyane Wade.
Nowitzki would go on to score 22.8 points per game in six games during the 2006 NBA Finals. On the other side of the coin, D-Wade would torch the Mavericks in the finals for 34.7 points per game and ascend to the superstar level in the series.
Through three games of the 2011 NBA Finals, Nowitzki has upped his scoring to 28.3 points per game while Wade has averaged 29 points per game.
While Wade has outplayed Nowitzki through the series, it’s just as much about the Heat’s other stars coming up big while the Mavs stars are nowhere to be seen.
LeBron James has put in 20 points per game and has been as much of a distributor as he has been scorer. This was especially evident in Game 3 when he dished out 9 assists, including the pass that led to the game-winning shot.
Chris Bosh, the other Big Three member, has contributed 16 points per game, including the game winning baseline jump shot in Game 3.
Plus, Dallas came into the NBA Finals lighting up every team they had played in the postseason. Miami’s suffocating defense has held the high-flying Mavericks to just 88.3 points per game in the first three games of the NBA Finals.
For Dallas, the other scorers on the team have been average through the first three games of the Finals. Jason Terry has averaged just 14.3 points per game, while Jason Kidd has averaged just 8 points per. Shawn Marion has chipped in 15.3 points and Tyson Chandler has contributed just nine points per game.
So while Dallas is getting more production across the board, holding Nowitzki under 30 is keeping the Mavs offense from running away from the Heat.
In 2006, the Mavericks’ best players not named Dirk Nowitzki included: Terry, who scored 22 per, Josh Howard who scored 14.7 per, and Jerry Stackhouse who chipped in 12.8.
The 2006 NBA Finals went 6 games with the Miami Heat coming out on top. Currently, the Heat leads the Mavericks 2-1 in the Finals with Games 4 and 5 set for Tuesday and Thursday night. If the Heat don’t win it in 5 games, Game 6 will be Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. at the AmericanAirlines Arena.