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NBA Playoffs Betting Online – Dallas Gets Ready For Its Defining Moment

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 9:44:13 PM

The Dallas Mavericks won’t be playing a Western Conference basketball game this weekend. They’ll be resting as they gear up for the 2011 NBA Finals, which start next week.

Dallas Mavericks Overview

If you want to make an informed sports bet on the upcoming NBA Finals, you will indeed need to know the opponent the Mavericks face. At press time, the Chicago Bulls are still alive against the Miami Heat, and if Chicago can win Game 5 tonight in the Windy City, the Bulls would force Miami into a high-pressure Game 6 on Saturday. It’s very unlikely that the Bulls will come back from a 3-1 series deficit, but since two of the final three scheduled games are in Chicago, there is still a chance that the top seed in the Eastern Conference could take on the Mavericks in early June. For now, then, let’s size up how the Mavericks would stack up against the Bulls and the Heat.

First in the queue is a Dallas-Chicago series. If the Mavericks do play the Bulls, two matchups would immediately come into play, one at each end of the floor. When Dallas has the ball, superstar Dirk Nowitzki – who is playing like the league MVP in these playoffs – would almost certainly be guarded by Chicago big man Joakim Noah. The rangy, defense-minded Noah plays with hunger, intelligence and great court sense. He has the length to potentially bother Nowitzki, but he’s not overly strong or quick. Nowitzki might still be able to gain enough physical leverage to free up his shooting hand, but the confrontation would legitimately challenge Nowitzki to create his own shot. The trouble spot for Dallas on offense is that it lacks an effective low-post scorer. Miami is doing so well against Chicago because Chris Bosh is scoring against Noah. Dallas pivot Brendan Haywood is nothing like Bosh, and neither is Tyson Chandler, although Chandler is a force on the offensive glass and can win extra possessions for the Mavericks against the Bulls. Another key for Dallas at the offensive end will be the tandem of wing shooters, Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic. Those two men have to knock down shots to keep Nowitzki isolated and free. If Dallas doesn’t get good shooting performances from its secondary scoring options, the Mavs will quickly be squeezed by the Bulls’ stellar defense.

When Dallas is defending Chicago, the main matchup is likely to be forward Shawn Marion, an active defender, against Chicago point guard Derrick Rose. It’s hard to see Dallas coach Rick Carlisle allowing the aged Jason Kidd to defend Rose. If Kidd does draw Rose, Marion is going to be the guy who will have to provide a lot of help defense, but Carlisle will almost surely demand that Marion take Rose head-on. Marion did score 26 points in Dallas’ clinching win against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, but if he can simply play defense against Rose, he’ll accomplish his objective in the Finals. This is something even MLB baseball betting gurus could appreciate.

Let’s now look at a Dallas-Miami rematch, which sports betting students know is likely to happen. The sports world will be wondering if the Mavericks have the mental toughness to use the 2006 loss to Miami as fuel for their fire. It’s true that many of the Mavs weren’t on that 2006 team, but Nowitzki and Jason Terry were, and they’re two core members of this 2011 Dallas team.

Beyond the intangibles, the big challenge for Dallas will be at the defensive end. Miami is beating Chicago despite the fact that the Bulls are throwing down some high-level defense. Miami’s ability to fend off the rugged defense of Boston and Chicago in the past two rounds would make the Heat, loaded with offensive firepower, a tough matchup for the Dallas defense. Perhaps Marion could take away Dwyane Wade, but who on the Mavericks would handle LeBron James? The size and length of both LeBron and Wade would give Miami a massive edge on the perimeter. Miami could play over the top, meaning that Dallas would need to get in transition and create a track meet in order to adjust the calculus. The Heat will win a halfcourt-dominated series. Dallas has to create a helter-skelter pace in order to win.


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