Dallas Mavericks vs Miami Heat!
As the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs nears its end, a changing of the guard is taking place as the older powers have given way to younger upstarts looking to make their mark on basketball history.
This started almost immediately when the number one seed in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs, was shocked in the first round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies. This was only the fourth time since 1984 that an eight seed defeated the one seed in the NBA playoffs, making it a rare accomplishment indeed. Despite their 63 wins during the regular season, the Spurs looked lethargic in its first round match-up. Some have even gone as far as to question the future of Tim Duncan, one of the best players in basketball over the past decade.
The second round has already seen the shocking fall of the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. Coach Phil Jackson came back to the bench for one last season, hoping to earn one final three-peat to further cement his legacy. However, his hopes were dashed by a Dallas Mavericks team attempting to fix its reputation as a team that chokes in the postseason. Indeed, the Mavs lost in the first round of the playoffs in both 2008 and 2009. But Dallas looked impressive with its sweep of the Lakers, culminating in a 36 point demolition in game 4.
Meanwhile, the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics are one loss away from elimination at the hands of the Miami Heat. No team has had more pressure in recent memory to win a championship than the Heat after adding both LeBron James and Chris Bosh during the offseason. Expectations were certainly not diminished when James guaranteed to bring at least seven championships to South Beach. Up until this point, however, the Heat have been one of the most impressive team in the playoffs.