Finals exam: Where do Mavericks rank?

ESPN Insider John Hollinger has decided to rank all 66 teams that have participated in the NBA Finals since the NBA-ABA merger. And, per usual, he devised a little formula for helping get through this task -- as Mavs fans are well accustomed to.

So, that being said, guess where Mr. Hollinger has decided to put the 2006 Mavericks, who lost to the Miami Heat in six games? No ... it's not at the back of the pack. In fact, they fared quite well once the number crunching stopped, placing at No. 35.

Here's what Hollinger had to say about the 2006 Mavericks:

The Mavs were one of only six runners-up to have a 60-win season; of those, only they and the '85 Celtics weren't felled by Michael Jordan. That puts them into the upper tier of runners-up, especially since they had the fourth-best playoff victory margin of the bunch.

In fact, Dallas nearly outrated Miami even with the 15-point bonus given to champions; the rest of their season was that much better than the Heat's. Unfortunately, the controversial overtime loss in Game 5 may have nixed the Nowitzki gang's best shot at a championship.