Heat seek history; Mavs answers

Since losing to the Mavs, James has gone from a player who couldn't quite get it done at winning time to a guy who doesn't mind telling you he wants to be the greatest player ever before his career ends.

The Heat are managing Wade's minutes, so he'll be fresh in the playoffs and to keep his body from breaking down. And Bosh is consistently good.

Frankly, if we're honest, that's the frustrating part.

While the Heat seek their place in NBA history, the Mavs haven't been able to put a championship team around Dirk as his career winds down.

The Mavs are largely irrelevant, aside from when the owner makes news for some controversial comment or gets fined for being occasionally petulant.

They're a fun team to watch, because they're one of the best offensive teams in the league. And Dirk has proved he's still an All-Star caliber player. Monta Ellis has been better than we could have hoped for, and Jose Calderon has been as advertised at point guard .

But their defense is awful and their rebounding average. These Mavs aren't good enough to win a title or bad enough to get a high pick in the lottery. It's the worst place an NBA franchise can reside.

And to think, less than three years ago the Mavs were on top of the world.

That seems like forever ago.

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