2006 NBA Finals

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2006 NBA Finals
2006 NBA Finals.jpg
Team Coach Wins
Miami Heat Pat Riley 4
Dallas Mavericks Avery Johnson 2
Dates: June 8–20
MVP: Dwyane Wade
(Miami Heat)
Television: ABC (U.S.)
Announcers: Mike Breen and Hubie Brown
Radio network: ESPN
Announcers: Jim Durham and Jack Ramsay
Referees:
Game 1: Joe Crawford, Joe DeRosa, Bennett Salvatore
Game 2: Bob Delaney, Steve Javie, Eddie F. Rush
Game 3: Dan Crawford, Ken Mauer, Jack Nies
Game 4: Dick Bavetta, Mike Callahan, Bernie Fryer
Game 5: Joe Crawford, Joe DeRosa, Bennett Salvatore
Game 6: Dan Crawford, Steve Javie, Eddie F. Rush
Hall of Famers: Heat:
Gary Payton (2013)
Alonzo Mourning (2014)
Coaches:
Pat Riley (2008)
Eastern Finals: Heat defeated Pistons, 4–2
Western Finals: Mavericks defeated Suns, 4–2
NBA Finals

The 2006 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2005–06 National Basketball Association season. The Miami Heat won the title in six games over the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the third team to win a championship after trailing 0–2 in the series. Heat guard Dwyane Wade was named Most Valuable Player of the series.1

This series marked the first time since 1971 that the Finals featured both teams playing in their first NBA Finals series. Both teams met in the 2011 Finals, the second Finals appearance for both franchises, with the Mavericks winning the rematch over the Heat.

This was the second matchup of teams from Florida and Texas, after the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic contested the 1995 NBA Finals. Until the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals, it was the last Finals loss by a team from Texas (the Rockets lost in 1981 and 1986) against seven championships (four by the Spurs, two by the Rockets, and one by the Mavericks, who won a rematch of this Finals in 2011). This was the only Finals not to involve the Los Angeles Lakers or San Antonio Spurs between 1999 and 2010.

Background

The Dallas Mavericks franchise joined the NBA in the 1980–81 season. During the mid-1980s they rose to become contenders in the Western Conference, culminating in a 1988 conference finals appearance, which they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. The Mavericks would decline shortly after, and from 1988–2000, they missed the playoffs in eleven of those years, including a combined 24 wins from 1992–94. However, with the purchase of the team to Mark Cuban, and the addition of Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks slowly returned to playoff prominence. The 2005–06 season would see Dallas reach even greater heights. Led by Nowitzki and coached by Avery Johnson, they won 60 games. In the playoffs, they swept the Memphis Grizzlies, then overcame their Texas archrivals the San Antonio Spurs in seven games, and made their first Finals appearance by ousting league MVP and former Mav Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns in six games.

The Miami Heat joined the league in the 1988–89 season, but they did not rise to prominence until they hired Pat Riley to be their head coach and president before the 1995–96 season. In Riley's first stint, the Heat were playoff regulars between 1996–2001, but they couldn't beat the likes of the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. In 2003, Riley temporarily ceded coaching responsibilities to Stan Van Gundy, and with rookie Dwyane Wade emerging as a rising star, the Heat returned to the playoffs after missing the previous two seasons. The 2004 offseason saw the addition of Shaquille O'Neal, and with Wade and O'Neal performing well, the Heat won 59 games in the 2004–05 season, as they took the defending champions Detroit Pistons to seven games in the conference finals. The following season, after an early 11–10 start, Van Gundy resigned and Riley returned to coaching. Though injuries and lack of chemistry hobbled the Heat initially, they still managed to win 52 games that season. After a culmination of harmony and momentum came together just before the playoffs, they started their postseason run by defeating the Bulls in six games, then eliminated the New Jersey Nets in five games, and then ousted the Pistons in six games to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Path to the Finals

Dallas Mavericks (Western Conference Champion) Miami Heat (Eastern Conference Champion)
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-San Antonio Spurs 63 19 .768 -
2 y-Phoenix Suns 54 28 .659 9
3 y-Denver Nuggets 44 38 .537 19
4 x-Dallas Mavericks 60 22 .732 3
5 x-Memphis Grizzlies 49 33 .598 14
6 x-Los Angeles Clippers 47 35 .573 16
7 x-Los Angeles Lakers 45 37 .549 18
8 x-Sacramento Kings 44 38 .537 19
9 Utah Jazz 41 41 .500 22
10 New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets 38 44 .463 25
11 Seattle SuperSonics 35 47 .427 28
12 Golden State Warriors 34 48 .415 29
13 Houston Rockets 34 48 .415 29
14 Minnesota Timberwolves 33 49 .402 30
15 Portland Trail Blazers 21 61 .256 42

4th seed in the West, 3rd best league record

Regular season;
Eastern Conference
# Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Detroit Pistons 64 18 .780 -
2 y-Miami Heat 52 30 .634 12
3 y-New Jersey Nets 49 33 .598 15
4 x-Cleveland Cavaliers 50 32 .610 14
5 x-Washington Wizards 42 40 .512 22
6 x-Indiana Pacers 41 41 .500 23
7 x-Chicago Bulls 41 41 .500 23
8 x-Milwaukee Bucks 40 42 .488 24
9 Philadelphia 76ers 38 44 .463 26
10 Orlando Magic 36 46 .439 28
11 Boston Celtics 33 49 .402 31
12 Toronto Raptors 27 55 .329 37
13 Charlotte Bobcats 26 56 .317 38
14 Atlanta Hawks 26 56 .317 38
15 New York Knicks 23 59 .280 41
2nd seed in the East, 5th best league record
Defeated the (5) Memphis Grizzlies, 4–0 First Round Defeated the (7) Chicago Bulls, 4–2
Defeated the (1) San Antonio Spurs, 4–3 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (3) New Jersey Nets, 4–1
Defeated the (2) Phoenix Suns, 4–2 Conference Finals Defeated the (1) Detroit Pistons, 4–2

Regular-season series

The Dallas Mavericks won both games in the regular season series:

November 25, 2005
Dallas Mavericks 103, Miami Heat 90
February 9, 2006
Miami Heat 76, Dallas Mavericks 112

Broadcasting

ABC had exclusive rights to televise the NBA Finals in the United States.2 Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and color commentator Hubie Brown called the action, with courtside reporting by Lisa Salters and Stuart Scott. Radio counterpart ESPN Radio broadcast the Finals, with Jim Durham and Dr. Jack Ramsay calling the action. The featured song, aired throughout the playoffs, was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Runnin' Down a Dream."

Game 2 of the Finals, which took place the same evening as the 60th Tony Awards, was the most-watched program of June 11, 2006. ABC won the night with 3.5 rating and 10 share, CBS came in fourth with a 1.5/4 for the Tonys.3 On June 20, Game 6 had a 4.4/13 among viewers aged 18–49.4

The finals were shown on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland.

Playoff rosters

Series summary

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 Thursday, June 8 Dallas Mavericks 90-80 (1-0) Miami Heat
Game 2 Sunday, June 11 Dallas Mavericks 99-86 (2-0) Miami Heat
Game 3 Tuesday, June 13 Miami Heat 98-96 (1-2) Dallas Mavericks
Game 4 Thursday, June 15 Miami Heat 98-74 (2-2) Dallas Mavericks
Game 5 Sunday, June 18 Miami Heat 101-100 OT (3-2) Dallas Mavericks
Game 6 Tuesday, June 20 Dallas Mavericks 92-95 (2-4) Miami Heat

The Heat became the second team since 1985 to sweep the middle three games at home, the 2004 Detroit Pistons being the first. In 1985 the NBA switched the Finals to the current 2-3-2 format.

Game summaries

Game One

Dallas' Jason Terry scored a playoff-high 32 points as the Mavericks overcame a 31–23 deficit at the end of the first quarter.

June 8
9:00pm ET
1 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Miami Heat 80, Dallas Mavericks 90
Scoring by quarter: 31–23, 13–23, 24–24, 12–20
Pts: Dwyane Wade 28
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 8
Asts: Dwyane Wade 6
Pts: Jason Terry 32
Rebs: Josh Howard 12
Asts: Nowitzki, Howard 4 each
Dallas leads series, 1–0.
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Attendance: 20,475
Referees:

Game Two

Dirk Nowitzki had a stellar 26 point-16 rebound performance, and the Mavericks cruised past the Heat to take a 2–0 series lead.

June 11
9:00pm ET
2 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Miami Heat 85, Dallas Mavericks 99
Scoring by quarter: 17–18, 17–32, 24–32, 27–17
Pts: Dwyane Wade 23
Rebs: Dwyane Wade 8
Asts: Payton, Williams 4 each
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 26
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 16
Asts: Jason Terry 9
Dallas leads series, 2–0.
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Attendance: 20,459
Referees:

Game Three

Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals

Led by Dwyane Wade's 42 points and 13 rebounds, the Heat rallied from a 13-point deficit with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The momentum-changing comeback was capped by a Gary Payton field goal from just inside the three-point line with 9.3 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with 3.4 seconds to go, but missed 1 of 2, sealing the win for Miami.

June 13
9:00pm ET
3 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Dallas Mavericks 96, Miami Heat 98
Scoring by quarter: 21–29, 22–23, 34–16, 19–30
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 30
Rebs: Erick Dampier 9
Asts: Jason Terry 5
Pts: Dwyane Wade 42
Rebs: Dwyane Wade 13
Asts: Shaquille O'Neal 5
Dallas leads series, 2–1.
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Attendance: 20,145
Referees:

Game Four

Dwyane Wade shined again for the Heat with 36 points, and Miami held Dallas to just seven points in the fourth quarter en route to a series-tying, blowout victory. The Mavericks' low-scoring fourth quarter was the lowest ever by any team during the NBA Finals. Jerry Stackhouse caught Shaquille O'Neal with a flagrant foul that resulted in him being suspended for Game 5.

June 15
9:00pm ET
4 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Dallas Mavericks 74, Miami Heat 98
Scoring by quarter: 25–30, 19–24, 23–24, 7–20
Pts: Jason Terry 17
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 9
Asts: Jerry Stackhouse 4
Pts: Dwyane Wade 36
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 13
Asts: Jason Williams 6
Miami ties series, 2–2.
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Attendance: 20,145
Referees:

Game Five

Dwyane Wade shot 25 free throws --- as many free throws as all the Mavericks combined (a fact that did not sit well with Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson5), leading the Heat to their third straight win over Dallas after being down 0–2 in the series.

Officiating Controversies: With 9.1 seconds left in overtime and the Heat trailing by 1 point, they inbounded the ball to Wade, who caught the ball in the air and then landed in the backcourt. Mavericks' team owner Mark Cuban felt Wade had therefore committed a backcourt violation after receiving the ball.

Dallas was then penalized with an incredibly controversial foul call (known later as "the phantom foul") that sent Wade to the line to shoot the game-tying and game-winning free throws with 1.9 seconds left on the overtime game clock. Wade hit the first free throw when Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson signaled to Josh Howard to call a timeout after Wade's second attempt. Howard mimicked Johnson, in order to clarify the coach's orders, and Josh Howard was mistakenly awarded the Mavericks' last remaining time-out, which prevented them from advancing the ball should Wade convert on the second attempt. Wade eventually made the second free throw to give his team a one-point lead after which Devin Harris attempted and missed a hail-mary half-court shot as time expired. Wade set an NBA Finals record for most made free throws in a game with 21.6

After the game, a frustrated Dirk Nowitzki kicked a ball into the stands and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban caused many "acts of misconduct" resulting in fines of $5,000 and $250,000, respectively, for the two men.7

June 18
9:00pm ET
5 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Dallas Mavericks 100, Miami Heat 101 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 21–24, 30–19, 20–27, 22–23, OT: 7–8
Pts: Jason Terry 35
Rebs: Josh Howard 10
Asts: Marquis Daniels 4
Pts: Dwyane Wade 43
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 12
Asts: Wade, Williams 4 each
Miami leads series, 3–2.
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Attendance: 20,145
Referees:

Game Six

Behind Dwyane Wade 's 36 points, Miami edged Dallas to win their first championship in franchise history as Jason Terry missed a critical 3-pointer that would've sent the game to overtime. Averaging 34.7 points per game in the championship series, Wade was named NBA Finals MVP (Most Valuable Player).

June 20
9:00pm ET
6 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2010)
Miami Heat 95, Dallas Mavericks 92
Scoring by quarter: 23–30, 26–18, 22–20, 24–24
Pts: Dwyane Wade 36
Rebs: Shaquille O'Neal 12
Asts: Jason Williams 7
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 29
Rebs: Dirk Nowitzki 15
Asts: Jason Terry 5
Miami wins series, 4–2.
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Attendance: 20,522
Referees:

Aftermath

The Mavericks would post the league's best record with 67 victories in the 2006-07 NBA season but were ousted by the eight-seeded Golden State Warriors in a six-game first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. The Mavs' playoff defeat marked the first time a top seed was eliminated in a seven-game first round series since it was implemented in 2003. Still, Dirk Nowitzki was named the regular season MVP at season's end. After another playoff loss to the New Orleans Hornets in 2008, in which the Mavericks brought back Jason Kidd, head coach Avery Johnson was fired and replaced by Rick Carlisle. After another two early playoff exits, the Mavericks won 57 games in the 2010-11 season and returned to the Finals.

The Heat would lose convincingly by 42 points to the Chicago Bulls in the opening night of the 2006–07 season, the worst opening-day margin of defeat for a defending champion in NBA history. Injuries would keep the team from surpassing or even equaling last season's total, yet they still won the Southeast Division despite winning only 44 games. The Bulls would oust them in a four-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs, the first such occurrence since 1957. The following year, Miami completed its two-year turnaround from NBA champion to the NBA's worst team by winning only 15 games, equaling the mark set by the team in their inaugural season, which saw Shaquille O'Neal traded to the Phoenix Suns in mid-season and Dwyane Wade missing 31 games. The Heat gradually climbed back to contention in the Erik Spoelstra era, culminating in the much-publicized free-agent acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The Heat won 58 games in the 2010-11 season, and along with the Mavericks, returned to the Finals in 2011.

In the rematch, the Mavericks won in six games after trailing 2-1 in the Finals. It was the Mavericks' first NBA championship. Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP. Like the Heat in 2006, the Mavericks experienced a post-championship letdown, getting swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, and then missed the postseason entirely in 2013.

As of 2013, this was Miami's sixth championship out of a total of seven among the Big Four sports leagues; the MLB's National League Florida (now Miami) Marlins won the World Series in 1997 and 2003 while the NFL's Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl in 1972 and 1973. The Miami Heat would go on to win a second championship in 2012 against the Thunder and a third championship in 2013 against the Spurs.

References

  1. ^ Sheridan, Chris (2006-06-20). "Wade's World: Finals MVP leads Heat to first title in team history". ESPN.com (ESPN). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  2. ^ nba.com, NBA Announces 2005–06 Game And Television Schedule, accessed May 5, 2007.
  3. ^ Stropoli, Rebecca (June 12, 2006). "NBA Finals a Slam Dunk for ABC". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ Stropoli, Rebecca (June 21, 2006). "Basketball Gives ABC Some "Heat"". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ Wade’s Heroics Have Heat One Win From Title
  6. ^ usatoday.com, No backcourt violation on winning possession, NBA says, accessed May 5, 2007.
  7. ^ espn.com, Cuban fined $250K for actions after Game 5, accessed May 5, 2007.

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