Since their NBA Finals matchup 7 years ago, Mavs and Heat are fo
Since their NBA Finals matchup 7 years ago, Mavs and Heat are fo

Source : My Articles
Author : Eddie Sefko>

Seven years ago, the Mavericks and Miami Heat staged an epic finals that delivered Dallas its first NBA title.

A dozen years ago, they also met in a championship series that ended with Miami's first crown.

To be sure, these have been two of the NBA's strongest franchise in the 2000s. Both have been consistent winners, champions and have had legendary players wear their uniforms.

Where the similarities end is with what's happening now.

After LeBron James began the breakup of the Heat's Big Three after the 2013-14 season, Miami, which makes its only visit of the season to American Airlines Center on Monday night, went 37-45 the following season and missed the playoffs. Since then, they have been .500 or better and this season they are fighting for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

The Mavericks were hoping their low-water mark was going to be last season's 33-49 record.

That clearly is not the case. They would have to go 17-15 the rest of the way to reach that point.

It ain't happening.

The Mavericks for the most part lay it all out there. That's the problem. This team just doesn't have the firepower to win as many games as it would like. But at this point, entertaining losses are OK.

They are, after all, just one game out of the cellar in the Western Conference and ahead of only two teams in the Eastern Conference.

That's lining them up to have a top-five draft pick in June and there is no sense on messing that up now, even if winning is more fun than losing.

The Heat got a little lucky when center Hassan Whiteside, who was waived four times before finally latching on with the Heat in 2014, figured things out and has solidified their interior as a solid double-double producer.

But Miami also made a shrewd trade for point guard Goran Dragic and had a couple of solid free-agent signings in Kelly Olynyk and Dion Waiters.

It also doesn't hurt that the Heat have the luxury of playing in the Eastern Conference, where the competition is a little softer overall than the West.