Best of 7: NBA Finals examination

So much for that Spurs-Pistons rematch we'd been conditioned to expect all season. Thanks to mild playoff upsets by the No. 2 teams in each conference, we're now treated to a Mavs-Heat Finals that will give one of those cities its first NBA championship.

Not that it's a bad thing. Watching two star-crossed teams try to get off the title schneid is good theater to start with, and once you add Shaq, Dirk, Wade and Cuban to the mix it raises the entertainment factor several notches. The fans are excited, the TV networks are feeling lucky (another Spurs-Pistons slugfest would have been a tough sell), and the folks at American Airlines must be positively ecstatic. (For the sake of brevity, can we just refer to the two home courts as "Center" and "Arena"?)