The Mavs are driven by owner Mark Cuban, Nowitzki and Kidd, who have all failed in the NBA Finals and will be viewing this as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win it all. But this is all-or-nothing as well for Miami—even though James, Wade and Bosh are in their 20s, they don't want to spend a long summer hearing critics say they weren't as great as they made themselves out to be. They set the highest standard by prematurely celebrating their union as free agents last summer, and everything about their effort throughout this season shows they've been serious about fulfilling that potential immediately.
By the skinniest of margins the edge goes to Miami, thanks to its home court advantage, its defensive superiority, the experienced star power of James and Wade and, above all, the impact of LeBron in every area of the game. Even so, the Heat won't separate itself until the final minutes of a thrilling Game 7.