by Carla Parker, Jersey Girl Sports Contributor The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat will face each other again in the NBA Finals kicking-off tonight at 9pm ET on ABC. If you forgot, these two teams faced each other in the 2006 Finals, and like any other playoff series the end results was not what everyone expected. In that series, the Mavs had a two-game lead over the Heat and usually if a team is up two games, nine time out of ten that team will win the series. Well, it didn’t go that way for the Mavs. Miami came back, winning four straight games, and won the series in six games. The Heat became the third team to win a championship after trailing 0–2 in the series. Dwayne Wade, who was the Finals MVP, definitely deserved a lot of credit for bringing his team back into the series. But it was obvious that the Mavs completely collapsed in that series.And in the years following the 2006 Finals, the Mavs continue to show everyone that they weren’t mentally tough enough to close out a playoff series. But the 2011 Mavs are not the same Mavs from the last five years. Many sports analysts and NBA viewers thought this team wouldn’t get out the first round. The Mavs were up 2-0 in their first round series verses the Portland Trail Blazers, but they lost the next two games at Portland, which included a 23 point blown lead in game four. And we all thought, “the same ol’ Mavs.” Well the Mavs prove that they weren’t the same “ol’ Mavs.” They came back and won the Portland series in six games, swept the Lakers in the second round, and then beat a young and talented Thunder team in the Western Conference Finals. Led by the German, Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs have been playing great basketball and this team is really hungry for a championship. Everyone but them and the city of Dallas had doubts about this team, but they believe that they can finish the job this year. Jason Terry even has a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien trophy on the inside of his right arm. The Mavs have another opportunity to prove the doubter wrong, but they have to go through Miami again. And as we all know, this isn’t the same Miami team from 2006. With Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Mavs will definitely have their hands full this time around. Dallas defeated Miami twice during the regular season, but this is the Finals – totally different from the regular series. I honestly can’t pick a winner from this Finals because both teams have been playing great, both offensively and defensively. But if the Mavs don’t want a repeat of the 2006 Finals, it’s going to take mental toughness, defense and the leadership of Dirk for them to be the team to hold up the Larry O'Brien trophy in the end.