How about those Mavericks?
In a year sports fans will remember for quite some time, the Dallas Mavericks lay claim to the 2010-2011 NBA Championship. The Mavs closed out the Heat 105-95 in Game 6 and won the series 4-2 without Caron Butler. Dirk Nowitzki was named Finals MVP. Dallas won 4 out of the last 5 Finals games.
I was wrong about this series but with everything considered, Dallas was the better team. The Mavs simply wanted it more and LeBron James’ off season of hell begins in earnest. There is no one alive that can rationally take anything away from Mark Cuban and the Mavericks. Nothing…and anything said in the contrary deserves no homage.
Dirk Nowitzki and the two Jasons…Kidd and Terry are now champs. Peja is a champ after that ’02 debacle. This cannot be taken away from them ever. Folks will focus on LeBron’s failings but it was Rick Carlise and the Mavericks defense that put it all on the line and secured ring night in Dallas next season.
Dirk shed any thoughts, feelings, rumors, labels that he was soft. He didn’t shoot well in Game 6 but the effort was there. Dirk shut me up. Straight up. I didn’t think he had it in him and I have to give him props for putting Dallas on his back and taking what he knew would be his.
Jason Terry backed up his talk after the Game 3 loss. He was incredible last night and was the best player on the floor. You must have a player like Jason Terry on your team. He will score and he will also get into the heads of the opposition. He has that killer instinct needed to win championships and is the ultimate teammate.
Jason Kidd merely did his job. I haven’t spoke with the triple double defensive machine as much as I would like to but he did his thing these playoffs and steadied the ship. He showed Miami why you need a veteran point guard to lead where you need to go. Just think…after sharing ROY honors with Grant Hill in ’95 with the same Mavericks organization…to stops in Phoenix, two Finals losses in New Jersey and everything that has happened during his career there has to be no happier man alive. Congratulations Jason. The Hall of Fame isn’t great enough of an honor for one of the best point guards to have ever lived. I’m sure Gary Payton smiles for you as well (funny how they have rings and others do not). He was a whirlwind at Cal, became a defensive stopper, threw up the third most Oscars ever and now has a ring to shine.
Erik Spolestra is now on the clock. I wanted to see LeBron and Wade in the pick and roll. I wanted to see more structure. It seemed when hell got the hottest, there were no plays called. His rotation was inconsistent (Mario Chalmers should have played more because he’s the only player who stepped up when Wade was hurt) and the question must be asked how a team with so much offensive talent become this 80 point a game scared bull in a china shop. That’s simply unacceptable. Pat Riley will not sit and watch that happen again or he will replace Spo no matter how much he likes him.
Rick Carlisle now has won a championship as a player and as a head coach. There are only 10 who have done both. He made nice adjustments this series. He got everything out of the zone, knew when to go to J. J. Barea and made sure LeBron stayed out on the perimeter. He did a great job this series.
Dwyane Wade took his game to another level. He outscored Dirk but this loss can’t sit well with him. Not one bit. He shot over 50% for the series…shooting in volume…rebounded, blocked shots, dished the rock…whatever but it just didn’t happen. A telling image was Wade ripping off his jersey as he headed into the tunnel. That image says more than anger.
Chris Bosh had a decent series. He shot the ball pretty well but there are things he needs to work on like rebounding and passing to become a true superstar.
Work on your post game Chris.
Shawn Marion played his butt off. He was a catalyst. He turned back the Matrix clock and performed the best we’ve seen of him in years. That little runner in the lane was money the entire series.
Tyson Chandler played well. He defended, took lobs, cleaned up the glass and gave his team fire. He’s was as big in this run as any Mavericks player.
I’m a bit miffed what was going on with LeBron. Something didn’t seem right with the 26 year old superstar. He was a -24 and made just 1-4 free throws in a game where Dallas had a chance to close out the NBA Finals on his home court?
Man cards need to be checked and reevaluated because that was not the performance most thought would actually go down. Folks can say what they want about LeBron potentially not coming out with his best but deep down they still watched to see what would transpire in Game 6. I will not pile on LeBron James because this is his lesson to learn and he’s relatively young. I’ve searched all weekend for a quote I got from LeBron regarding coming back the next season after a playoff loss and doing it all again. I won’t forget the look on his face that struck as stress…organized noise…ringing in his ears until that final walk into the tunnel just one more time in personal disgust.
Easy for me to say but if things are going on personally should that be more reason to dunk on the world?
This has to wear on him but I hope next season he comes back with a better grasp on how he deals with the media, who he talks to in the media, evaluate what his game means to him personally, ratchet down the sense of entitlement, check all the movement around him, judge his personal relationships accordingly, get a post up game, remember how good he is, spend time with Dwyane Wade in the off season and begin next year with a fire no one has ever seen from any player in any sport.
I included the following quote here:
Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. —Reggie Leach
If he comes back next season like he ended this campaign he might as well quit. I wouldn’t watch TV for an entire year. I’d go to the gym. Take LeBron Jr. and Bryce and let them do their thing on the sideline while he works and works and works.
He’s only 26 but time is moving fast. Judging by the following exchange, I think LeBron needs to think with a little more clarity about his game:
MT: If you look back in history…Kobe…when I talked to him said he pulls from different players in history. Were there certain players you watched and picked up a move or a shot or something like that.
LBJ: Nah…I never picked any shots up. When you think of a fade-a-way you think of Jordan of course. When you think of a skyhook or a running skyhook across the lane you think of Magic. When you think of passing or a no look pass you think of Magic. There’s no one I took game from. There are a lot of people who inspired my game…MJ being one of them…Penny Hardaway being another…and Grant Hill being another one growing up around that time. There wasn’t anyone’s game that I kinda picked and said I want to add this to my game.
While you are daydreaming checking out that sick Biscayne Bay view and reflecting on ’10-’11, start going through your phone LeBron and get someone to come in and teach you about playing down on the block. You must do this to win a ring.
There is talk of a hard cap wanted by NBA owners across the board. The CBA ends June 30th and with a lockout looming, things will assuredly be different financially next season. I’m not one to say the Heat will be broken up so like so many others seem to think but if the owners get what they want salaries will be way down and guaranteed contracts will fall by the wayside.
The Cleveland Cavaliers did not win the championship but a betting man would guess that all of Ohio rejoiced when Game 6 gun went off. I would hope Cleveland and the Cavs consider this closure and focus on what matters most…the Cavaliers. Hating LeBron James is not going to make the lowly Cavs better. Your prodigal son is gone. Take your talents to the Quicken Loans Arena and build your franchise Dan Gilbert.
Simply put, I’m inspired as a writer to become better in the aftermath of Miami’s Finals loss. This has been a tremendous season and anyone who loves the game was affected.
Just like this season was tuned up competitively, I hope next year is much more of the same.
This was a great series (strange at times) and Miami will have to work hard as hell to get back. There is hungry young talent all over the league and nothing will be easy. The talent is there and I’m sure Pat Riley will add to the bench and make other necessary moves. This team will be back…they better…
Oh…if your team lost to Miami or Dallas these playoffs and you’re blowing up my phone because I picked the Heat to win…do yourself a favor…go out side and check the fair weather. Nice out huh?
|C. Brewer||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|B. Haywood||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|P. Stojakovic||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|R. Beaubois||DNP — INACTIVE|
|C. Butler||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Jones||DNP — INACTIVE|
|M. Bibby||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|E. Dampier||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Jones||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|Z. Ilgauskas||DNP — INACTIVE|
|J. Magloire||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Pittman||DNP — INACTIVE|
Officials: Steve Javie, Scott Foster, Derrick Stafford
Time of Game: 2:35
– D. Stevenson (6:25 – 2nd Qtr)
– U. Haslem (6:25 – 2nd Qtr)
– M. Chalmers (6:25 – 2nd Qtr)
– D. Wade (3:55 – 3rd Qtr)