The FanSided staff decided to rank all of the NBA Championship teams since the start of the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks lone title took place in 2011, but they lost to the Heat in 2006. That title sticks out in this case.
The Dallas Mavericks have one title to their name in NBA history and it took place not long ago in the year 2011. During that time, the Mavericks were not considered one of the best teams nor the favorite to win it all. They put together an impressive run that resulted in something that is still talked about as one of the biggest upset in NBA Finals history.
Before we jump fully into the 2011 title and the disrespect it received from the FanSided staff members, let’s talk about the 45th ranked 2006 Miami Heat team. Here are the full rankings as well as an opening slide with criteria on how teams were decided.
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In the Miami championship (which is rightfully ranked well below the Mavs), the staff member decided to take a shot at the team and at Mark Cuban. The genius of Pat Riley and the great play of Dwyane Wade can both be true and you can make a case for a strong championship team on that alone. Pretending like the Mavs fell apart because they “lost their minds when things didn’t always go there way” is taking the facts and throwing them away to build a narrative.
The Mavs were up 2-0 in the 2006 NBA Finals and looked to be seriously outclassing Wade, Shaq and the rest of the crew. In fact, it looked that way through three quarters of game three as well. The Heat came back and won game three by two points. Wade shot 18 free throws, the Mavs shot 26.
The Mavs showed up with no heart in game four after the crushing defeat of game three. Understandable.
In game five, the Mavs took a nice early lead, but it didn’t last. The Heat came away with a one-point overtime win thanks in large part to the free throw line. All-in-all, the Mavs committed 38 personal fouls that resulted in 49 free throw attempts. 25 of those were from Wade alone. The Mavs as a team took 25 free throw shots in the game.
During the regular season, the Mavs allowed opponents to shoot an average of 26 free throws per game. They committed only 22 fouls per game. The Miami Heat attempted an average of 28 free throws per game. In the finals series, the Heat averaged almost 35 free throw attempts per game. The Heat eventually closed out the Mavs in game six.
I am not a big believer in conspiracies and I don’t think there was a conspiracy against the Mavs in this case. I do think there was bad reffing though, and acting like the Mavs lost because they got upset about something does not paint the actual picture of just how crazy the whole situation was.
Yes, the 2006 NBA Finals are still a trigger for me and I am not ashamed of that one bit. I have allowed myself to accept that the Heat did nothing but play ball in order to beat the Mavs, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept the poor officiating as something worthy of an NBA game. They couldn’t have managed a Dairy Queen.