MIAMI -- When it comes to history repeating itself, the 2006 NBA Finals have naturally been top of mind during this Dallas Mavericks-Miami Heat reunion. But one doesn't have to go back five years to tie in another possibly more telling parallel.
Just go back to last year's Finals.
The first five games of this series have followed the template laid out by the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The Lakers had the homecourt edge in 2010 and won the first and third games. The Celtics earned a split in L.A. by taking Game 2, before winning the last two at the Garden.
Boston went to Staples Center for Game 6 holding a 3-2 series lead. Swap out the Lakers with the Heat and the Celtics with the Mavs, and it's potentially the exact same script in 2011.
The Lakers, of course, won the last two games in their building win the title. This is where the Mavs want to break with history.
"You don't want to be in a situation where you give a team hope and you leave it to fate in a Game 7 situation," Tyson Chandler said. "In that case anybody can win, it's anybody's game. When you have an opportunity to close a team out, you do so.
"Last year there was talk [by the Celtics] that 'We've got two to win one,' and if you relax for one second then it's just one game. We don't want it to come to that. We've got to close it out right now when we've got the opportunity to do so."