The NBA Finals are about to commence, and an ocean of storylines surrounds the Heat and Mavericks before they tip off in Miami for Game One on Tuesday night.
The rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals has been the minor story, as both teams' rosters look drastically different than five years ago.
For the road team, the Mavericks have been riding the hot shooting of Dirk Nowitzki. The 7'0 sharpshooter has been on a tear in the playoffs, and has proven that he has the grit to lead the Mavs past the Blazers, Lakers, and Thunder.
Dallas also have 38-year-old point guard Jason Kidd. The veteran has been to the Finals before, but this is probably his best chance to win a ring.
The Mavericks were a longshot to the make Finals, as many experts predicted that the Lakers, Spurs, or Thunder would have a better chance of representing the Western Conference.
Coming out of the East was less surprising going into the season for the Heat. There was a great deal of hoopla surrounding the decision of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join free-agent Dwyane Wade in South Beach, and they were able to rise to the challenge after a great of turmoil.
Now that the Heat have made it this far, there remains a sense of anticipation about whether the Big Three can prove the naysayers wrong by winning a championship in their first season together.
The Heat and Mavericks are evenly matched.
The Mavericks won both games in the regular season, but those games included Caron Butler, who is inactive for the series.
Game One will feature interesting player matchups.
The Thunder had a very athletic team, yet couldn't contain Nowitzki. How will the less-athletic Heat slow down the Mavericks' star?
Miami has home-court advantage and is riding a great deal of momentum after defeating the red-hot Bulls. How will the Mavs respond to defending a confident and hungry Big Three?
This series will be unique for its matchups, as well. Nowitzki and James have been playing excellent basketball this season, and neither team has the type of defense stalwart capable of containing either of them.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have a very efficient offense, while the Heat have a very efficient defense.
Two very unique and determined teams makes this series a very interesting one.