NBA 101: A crash course in basketball from my brother
When my Scholastic editor asked me to write a piece on the NBA championship series, I immediately panicked. Granted, I played in a basketball recreational league or two when I was little, but I knew next to nothing about how the real thing worked, much less the national championship!
That’s when I remembered I have a brother, Nick, 12, who just so happens to watch SportsCenter and multiple other sports shows on a daily basis. Even though it took a little convincing (and bribing!), this reporter managed to get him to impart some valuable wisdom on the world of basketball as it pertains to this story.
Nick first informed me that this year, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are the two teams duking it out in the NBA Finals. Whichever team wins 4 games first will come away with the title.
My brother said that both teams feature superstars that carry a lot of their team’s weight. For the Heat, it’s the trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, the core of a dream team assembled when the three were signed in the offseason as free agents. I’d already heard a lot about these three from my brother throughout the year.
Next, I learned about the Mavericks’ top contributor, Dirk Nowitski. Nick told me that the 7-foot forward, who hails from Germany, has played with the Mavericks for his entire 12-season career. And the two teams are already fierce rivals; they previously faced off in the 2006 NBA Finals, where the Heat prevailed in six games (although, as Nick was quick to note, Bosh and James weren’t on the team at that point).
He also told me that the Heat and Mavericks each have some strengths and weaknesses to watch for. While the Heat is a good all-around team, they often struggle to keep the Mavericks’ top scorer Nowitski in check. And even though the Mavericks lack other strong shooters besides Nowitski, when things are going right for them, their offense can be a real force to be reckoned with.
So all in all, I definitely learned a lot about basketball from my little brother. I guess putting up with his (slightly annoying) SportsCenter habit has finally paid off for me! And after all, maybe next time he starts bombarding me with NBA news and statistics, I’ll listen to him. Because as I just discovered, basketball can be interesting.
Check out my NBA Finals recap and tell me how you think I did!