Commentary

Mavs' range could decide Finals

If they met in the Finals, the Heat and Mavs would put recent tendencies to the test

Originally Published: May 26, 2011
By David Hess | TeamRankings.com
Dallas MavericksMark L. Baer/US PresswireKidd, Nowitzki and Terry have all improved their 3-point shooting in the playoffs.

The Dallas Mavericks are NBA Finals-bound after their Game 5 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, in what qualifies as something of a surprise compared to how Dallas was viewed heading into the postseason.

It hasn't just been the Mavs' rep for coming up short in the playoffs that came into play. Dallas was a very good team in the regular season, but the players have stepped up their games in the postseason in several key statistical categories.

We took a look at the areas in which they've overperformed in the playoffs, while also seeing how their likely Finals opponents, the Miami Heat (our power rankings now put the odds of a Dallas-Miami Finals at roughly 90 percent), have changed their game in the playoffs. The conclusion: Not only will the 3-point shot be a deciding factor, but both teams desperately need their core players to stay healthy.