#10 Chris Bosh is the biggest head case in professional sports. He’s got the nerves of a 90-year old woman babysitting Bebe’s kids. If Dirk Nowitzki gets hot early, expect Bosh to struggle early.

#9 When the Mavericks want to play at a more up-tempo pace, JJ Barea is their change of pace point guard. When Barea is out on the floor, he’ll be guarded by Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers. After watching the way he lit up Derek Fisher and Russell Westbrook, he’ll have his way with the Heat guards and specifically Bibby, who has lost all semblance of quickness.

#8 Derrick Rose may have been awarded the MVP Trophy but Dirk Nowitzki is a much more efficient player on a more well rounded team(offensively at least). Miami won’t be able to concentrate their efforts on stopping Dirk as they did Rose. Rose is young, explosive and at times – inefficient. Dirk is calm, methodical, and efficient– because he can be. Offensively, he’s surrounded by more weapons than Sonny Corleone’s firing squad assassination. Which brings me to number seven.

#7 Miami was able to zero in on Derrick Rose and force him into traps because the Bulls lacked a sufficient second scoring option. While Nowitzki doesn’t have a sidekick per se, he does have a slew of offensive options at his disposal. Jason Kidd has superior point guard vision and the Mavericks ranked second in the League in assists per game last season.

#6 Since 2006, the Miami Heat are 0-10 against Dallas. There’s a certain mental block to beating this team. Lebron went 11 for 36 in two games against them this season and was held scoreless in the first half of the first meeting.

#5 Jason Kidd is not  the same player physically as he was in his prime with New Jersey, Phoenix and the pre-Cuban Mavericks. The former triple double machine and automated double-double producer averaged single digit points and assists in the regular season but defensively, he’s as crafty as ever. On the defensive end, Kidd will be given the task of guarded Dwyane Wade, who has been streaky in these playoffs and averaged only 18 points per game in the Conference Finals.

#4 The Mavericks bench is deeper than the cast of a Saturday Night Live Reunion Special with everything from Peja Stojakavic, one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history to Shawn Marion, an athletic small forward with one of the ugliest shooting forms in NBA history. A year ago at this time, rookie point guard Rodrigue Beaubois was the toast of the town in Dallas. Beaubois hasn’t underachieved but fellow point guard Barea has been phenomenal in the playoffs. Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler will take turns at Bosh. The Mavs will be throwing a litany of veteran defenders such as Marion, DeShawn Stevenson and Jason Kidd at Lebron and Wade.

#3 Dallas is like leftover spaghetti from an established Italian restaurant. They’ve been cooked for over a decade and are even better the next day. Miami imported the finest cooks for a five star restaurant but we don’t know how prepared the cooks will be for the Grand Opening. This is the ultimate matchup of loyalty versus mercenaries. A deep bench meets a shallow lineup. And most importantly, these Finals will answer the age-old question of chemistry versus talent. I’ll take the chemistry.

#2 When I look at the Dallas Mavericks I’m reminded of Michael Jordan’s narration in one of his “Legendary” commercials from 2008. In it he said, “Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength. That my pain was my motivation” Lebron didn’t gain strength from his tribulations in Cleveland. Instead he made the easier choice and left for sunny skies in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd understand what it’s like to walk by the Larry O’Brien Trophy as it’s wheeled out to the newly crowned champions. Kidd’s done it twice and Nowitzki’s Mavericks lost a 2-0 lead to Miami after a series of controversial late game calls. Dirk flirted with the Knicks just to get a sniff of the single life but quickly re-signed with Dallas. Lebron James didn’t try to coax Nowitzki into playing with Miami. This may be it for Dallas and they recognize that.

#1 The  zone defense has long been recognized as the blueprint to stopping the Heat. It just so happens that Dallas is the most committed zone defense in the League. The Mavericks utilize the zone defense as much as if not more than any team in the NBA. Against the zone, Miami’s Big 3 won’t be as effective using their pick and rolls, isos and any other schemes that rely on 1 on 1 playmaking. The Heat rank 26th in the NBA in assists per game and thrive in one-on-one play. If the NBA’s stat geeks recorded dribbles, Miami would lead the NBA and the Harlem Globetrotters. Dallas’ zone will essentially transform Wade and James into jump shooters. Wade has never been a consistent shooter and Lebron is Jekyll and Hyde from the field. He’s either brilliant or a monster. When one of Miami’s Big 3 has the ball in their hands, the other four guys turn into figures at a wax museum.