6.15.2006

Heat even series at two each



Unfortunately, I have nothing of substance to contribute to the post-game conversation. Wade is really good, Dirk and Howard aren't this bad, those ten Heat turnovers in a row were, I guess, indicative of absolutely nothing we might want to keep in mind long-term.

I will now confess something as shocking as my affinity for Antoine Walker: the Heat winning just does nothing for me. Not because of Wade, or Shaq, or Wade and Shaq, but because from the beginning of the season we'd had them pegged as contendors. Its surprising that the Mavs are where they are today, and interesting to see how they adapt to and deal with situations. We don't know them and have every reason to believe, or to want to believe, that they promise newness around every corner. Miami, though, is the kind of team that should win a championship, and we know just how they would go about doing so. It's high-level execution when it happens, not invention or, dare i say, improvisation. Like the Pistons were this season, like the Lakers were, like any team that never needs to understand resourcefulness can't help but be.

Of course, it never hurts to have this team built around a player like Wade or Kobe, thoroughly predictable in their unpredictability. Whereas I'd almost argue that the Mavs or Suns are the inverse of this: fairly predictable parts organized in a far more organic fashion.

35 Comments:

At 6/16/2006 12:40 AM, Blogger emynd said...

How many turnovers in a row? Who cares. The more important question was how many points came off those turnovers and I guarantee the number is under 8. Pretty pathetic offensive display for the Mavs.

Whoever it was that noted in previous comments sections that Devin Harris is nothing more than fast dude that repeatedly drives to the right was spot on. Dude just drives to the right all the time. It's pretty impressiv that he's so succesful doing the same darn thing o'er and o'er. Makes you wonder though, if Pat Riley is such a coaching genius why doesnt he suggest (like a normal 8th grade coach would) that his players "force him to his left"?

This series is bordering on unwatchable. The first two games were only fun for me because I wanted to see Dallas win, but the caliber of basketball has been pretty low. This is by no means an epic clash of two teams were certain players are forced to impose their will on the game. It's just a series of a series of runs. I know basketball is a game of runs, but what makes playoff games super fun is when the game breaks down into an all out slug fest at the end where dudes just battle it out for the last two minutes. So far, we've had none of that drama. If I was a casual NBA fan, I'd be pretty disappointed with the finals so far.

In other news, I have a high ankle sprain and I'm basically incapable of walking. Fuck.

-e

 
At 6/16/2006 12:42 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Two things.

1. Shoals, my "who cares about the number of turnovers in a row" thing wasnt a jab at you. It was criticism of Dallas's inability to do anything with those turnovers.

2. Yes, i meant to write "a series of a series of runs."

-e

 
At 6/16/2006 12:55 AM, Anonymous Carlos Destrroyo said...

There's just something about those teams that just throw together a bunch of high-caliber free agents and some all-world coach. To me, it feels like less of an accomplishment if they win; it's almost like turning off trade restrictions on Madden and building some super-team. Sure, they'll win, but it doesn't take nearly as much patience or skill.

Yeah, I don't like the Heat. It's all so contrived.

 
At 6/16/2006 1:08 AM, Anonymous Dwyane's Verbal Bodyguard said...

Agreed all around, something is lacking in these finals (two straight years running) -- I think its plots and subplots. Its inevitable that the freedarko crew is about 24 hrs from hating on how every story in the papers is how Dwyane miraculously recovers from injuries to go wild, but the truth is -- what other story is there to tell? Dallas is silly fun to watch and enjoy, but where's the personalities? Is Hasselhoff all these dudes bring to the table? Clearly Jason Terry could give some quotables, but there's no fun in that b/c he already thinks he's the most important guy in this series. Jerry Stackhouse seems to be on a leash -- a potent weapon, but a little sad. If Avery Johnson went across the street for a cup of coffee during the 2nd quarter Jerry might do 25-30 in a quarter against Toine. Diop is a fun guy, but I'm not sure we could fill a 4-5 minute segment of his Oak Hill highlights.

Anyhow, its not Dwyane's fault there's no other story there. Maybe Jerry, in his attempted assassination of Shaquille, may have made this series a little more interest.....

 
At 6/16/2006 1:12 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I do think the Heat fans chanting "Da-vid Hassel-hof" during Dirk's freethrows is fucking hilarious. I hope this starts a new trend where everytime the star of the opposing team is shooting freethrows, the crowd does somethign slightly more creative than just booing or waving their hands in the air.

 
At 6/16/2006 1:21 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

Carlos -- Sure, there are lots of reasons not to like the heat: 1) Gary Payton is a whiny bitch, 2) Alonzo is a preening front-runner, 3) Walker is an uglier version of Sam Cassell (I'm talking about their heads, not their games) and obviously without the panache and quotability, 4) Jason Williams turned into Brevin Knight, and 5) the owner of the Heat seems to be trying to tell me that I have to support his team because I'm Jewish.

In addition, they're responsible for Shandon Anderson (6) and Jason Kapono (7) not only collecting an NBA paycheck, but getting minutes in the NBA finals (8). Pat Riley got the job by backstabbing porn-star lookalike and all around nice guy Stan Van Gundy (9). Dwayne Wade wears padded underwear (10), although I thought I heard that's banned next year. The point is: the list of offenses is very, very long.

That said -- I kinda dig on Udonis Haslem for some reason. Didn't like him at Florida, but I thought he got kind of jobbed on that whole mouth-piece throwing incident -- no way he was aiming at Joey Crawford or whatever zebra when he threw it. Plus, he was too fat for the NBA, but lost 50 pounds eating his mother's cooking while living in France. Plus he kind of makes think about what Kurt Thomas would have been like if he didn't have to play center and could see straight.

 
At 6/16/2006 1:50 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

You know, I don't care if Wade's "miraculous" recoveries are the only story of interest in this NBA Finals (aside from profiling the refs at halftime, of course), I'm still sick of it. How many times in the playoffs alone has Wade had to overcome some supposedly enormous injury or flu/virus to come save the day? I could be wrong, but I believe he's even had to leave the floor no less than twice in these playoffs to head to the locker room for "treatment" before returning and showing no sign of the previous injury. The guy even had to go to the locker room because Vince Carter accidently hit him in the lip. What was most embarrasing about that one was that it wasn't dictated by the refs, telling him to get stitches (he didn't receive any, from what I recall) because he was bleeding, but rather Wade took himself out of the game after writhing around on the floor for a solid minute. For getting slapped in the face. But like the brave warrior that his commercials tell us he is, he got up that 8th time and saved the day. Someone needs to tell Wade that he should leave the "being carried off the field of battle on a stretcher" routine to the people participating in the other big sporting event taking place right now. Bottom line, if you need a mechanical wheelbarrow to cart you to practice, it shouldn't come on the day between games in which you averaged nearly 40 points.

 
At 6/16/2006 3:59 AM, Blogger Sparkles*_* said...

If Dallas manages to regroup and win the series (big "if"), who are they going to give the Finals MVP to? Nowitzki? Very undeserving, especially after his performance today. Ditto for Howard. And can you imagine Jason Terry, NBA Finals MVP? Me neither.

Who's left? Stackhouse? A sixth man as Finals MVP? Pretty sure that's never happened before.

What I'm getting at is, is it explicitly written in the NBA rule book that a Finals MVP MUST play for the winning team?

If the Mavs end up taking the championship, is it still possible for D-Wade to earn MVP honors?

'Cause that would be cool.

 
At 6/16/2006 5:10 AM, Anonymous jack said...

The Mavs won't win the championships if Dirk has more than one 2-14 game. If they do, it'll be because he plays like he usually does, justifying MVP honors.

JET is also an MVP candidate based on the first two games, and to some extent the third game.

Don't get so excited by Nowitzki's performance tonight. It's just one game of 6/7.

 
At 6/16/2006 7:02 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

I agree that there are very few interesting storylines right now, so three sidenotes made this terrible game at least some fun to watch:

1. Patrick Ewing's shirt. Not on the level of Kareem's jacket, but still. Plus, unlike Jordan, Magic and Barkley, he looks like a totally different guy after getting fatter.

2. Mark Cuban's ass. With this much money, shouldn't he have a personal trainer? Or at least a guy who tells him to not tuck his shirt in? Maybe Shaq can teach him some moves, he's got the natural talent.

3. The German broadcast team. Good thing we get to choose between our guys and the original US broadcast team here in Germany. Now you know how bad we would have it watching such ugly games at three at night without a choice.

 
At 6/16/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger adam8000plus said...

What's with Shaq's mum and stepdad AND wife all sitting separately?

 
At 6/16/2006 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a couple things i wanted to comment on, none involving actual basketball, have been said, such as shaq's separately sitting family and the german broadcast team. but also: i thought the segment with dwayne's dad where he essentially called d.wade jr a little bitch repeatedly was amazing. absolutely amazing. also, the heat fans (and i am pro-heat) suck. not only is there starting line up music ridic- they have that guy doing interpretative dance with the flags and glasses, the all white wearing is very highschool as simmons has noted, their best cheer seems to be "lets go heat" which they chant all the time, including while the home team is shooting freethrows. super noticeable in the first quarter when j.will was on the line, and then missed. send these people to fan school

 
At 6/16/2006 11:11 AM, Anonymous mtp said...

Sparkles, re: finals MVP
Chauncey Billups was a finals MVP once upon a fairy tale, so Terry wouldn't be so far-fetched.

 
At 6/16/2006 11:22 AM, Blogger c-los said...

If stack could finish some dunks and stop worrying about gettin fouled he could actually be more productive. I guess im still salty about what he did in game 1 vs the Spurs. I too am amazed by Devin Harris and his inability to be stopped going right. Ive see him go left a couple of times but if no one can stop you going right then y stop. Did anyone else's feed go out last night at the end of the 3rd qtr?

 
At 6/16/2006 12:34 PM, Blogger embot said...

Emynd, re: "I know basketball is a game of runs, but what makes playoff games super fun is when the game breaks down into an all out slug fest at the end where dudes just battle it out for the last two minutes. So far, we've had none of that drama. If I was a casual NBA fan, I'd be pretty disappointed with the finals so far."

I'm such a casual NBA fan that I'm probably missing some subtlety here, but what was the end of Game 3 then? Did Dirk take off his sneakers and stand in the middle of the court singing German Christmas carols for the last two minutes and I missed it?

 
At 6/16/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

Let me reiterate (verbatim) my comment of two days ago:

It ain't a series until somebody loses at home.

 
At 6/16/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger emynd said...

Embot,

The end of game 3 wasn't a battle. It was Dallas folding, letting the Heat claw their way back without much resistance. Perhaps inspiring to watch if youre rooting for the Heat, but was a run based more on the pitifulness of Dallas than the greatness of Miami/Wade.

-e

 
At 6/16/2006 1:20 PM, Blogger emynd said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6/16/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger emynd said...

Gentlewhoadie,

So if nobody loses at home and Dallas wins the series in 7 on its home court, is it still not a series yet?

-e

 
At 6/16/2006 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the central problem with the 2-3-2 format though; assuming both teams defend homecourt, the lesser seed will be up 3-2 going into game 6, and only has to take one road game. Stern has said the league will change to 2-2-1-1-1 next year. Interesting that Dallas' run this postseason will have resulted in two playoff rule changes.

 
At 6/16/2006 2:37 PM, Blogger T. said...

1. Patrick Ewing's shirt. Not on the level of Kareem's jacket, but still. Plus, unlike Jordan, Magic and Barkley, he looks like a totally different guy after getting fatter.

Here's your insider knowledge. The players on the Rockets call him "Fatrick." Or at least Jon Barry and Bobby Sura do.

I agree with gw9000 with the addendum that "it's not an interesting series until someone loses at home - or you get to the last 3 games." emynd - I think a game 7 has its own rules.

 
At 6/16/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

fatrick. only T brings this kind of knowledge.

and i co-sign the GW9000 rule with T's addendum. that's why i wasn't so quick to dismiss this series even though the mavs looked superior in the first 3 games, and why i also stand firm in the Mavs in 6 prediction i made yesterday.

24 hour reactionary news coverage sometimes makes it harder to see the forest from the trees. i wasn't sure if miami would win game 4 or game 5, but i knew they'd get one. but i hope nobody thinks the heat are actually going to win this thing.

 
At 6/16/2006 3:39 PM, Blogger ~CW~ said...

So for some of the people who frequent this site to give Wade credit, A) He'll have to play without any protection of any sort, despite the fact he adjusted his gear to fit his style of play, and not vice-versa, and if the padding were to be banned, I'm sure he'll continue to play the same way B) Not have his injuries or illness covered by ESPN, something he has little to no control over, as it has been said, that's pretty much the only story going here and C) Score a thousand points a game against a team that definitely isn't folding, thereby proving his greatness.

If anyone's criteria differs for what it will take for them to see Wade as a great player, please lay it out.

 
At 6/16/2006 3:54 PM, Blogger T. said...

hey - don't paint everyone in the freedarko universe as supplicants to the Shoals Weltanschauung - the guy doesn't even have a favorite team.

i love wade - because he possesses the skill I'd most love to have - he's the best splitter of double teams I've ever seen. No exaggeration. Better than KB8 and TMac (who tend to rise up and shoot over them), better than Zeke (who never really had to contend with them) - nobody I've ever seen does it better. It's amazing.

 
At 6/16/2006 3:57 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

anyone who doubts wade's greatness is an idiot. i just don't enjoy watching him.

and about that finals thing going on:

mavs ran shit in 1 and 2.

heat stumbled into a victory in 3.

heat won 4, but not without turning the ball over 10 times in the 4th.

i know it's wins and losses that count, but look, dallas could've won all of these games, while miami arguably could not have won game 3.

 
At 6/16/2006 4:00 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm also not above admitting that wade might get to the basket more consistently, responsibly, and with a more heightened sense a purpose than anyone in the history of the nba.

WV: "bruab." the sound i make after an hour and a half in laguardia with possibly seven more to go.

 
At 6/16/2006 4:01 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

At first I thought the Wade padding issue sounded a little Bonds-ish, but it really couldn't be more of a non-issue. So we're all on the same page, this is what we're talking about.

They're featured in this month's edition of Dime (which gave deserving love to TrueHoop, Celticsblog and others, but failed to mention FreeD) and any wannabe baller can pick them up for $45. Not coincidentally, Ginobili is the only other play I know of that also wears them (I'm sure there are others), and both those dudes have commercials that explicitly celebrate their ability to get back up.

But the padding looks pretty thin, and anyone who thinks it doesn't hurt like hell when they hit the floor because of this padding is fooling themselves. You could wrap Vince's entire body in the shit and he still wouldn't attack the rim the way Wade and Manu do. Frankly, I'm in favor of anything that causes more guys to go hard in the paint like those two.

 
At 6/16/2006 4:05 PM, Blogger T. said...

shoot - i wear similar stuff when i go snowboard. trust me, it still hurts a whole friggin lot when you hit the ground. it just takes away some of the chance for what they used to call "hip pointers" - James Worthy used to get those a lot.

 
At 6/16/2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i thought i saw something much more substantial. . but fuck it, this is like one sneeze shy of zapruder. hurling one's self at the basket isn't like crowding the plate with armor plating. more like the question of whether steroids allowed bonds to hit for average.

 
At 6/16/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

I think Wade also wears knee pads, but nothing like the ones Fatrick used to rock. Those things were HUGE.

 
At 6/16/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Since Shoals mentioned Zapruder, I'll throw out this Stack theory for those that occassionally find themselves susceptible to this sort of sports talk radio isht:

Lig suspends Stack.
Heat take Game 5.
Dallas fan purchases 200 Stack jerseys to distribute among Mavs fans in floor seats for Game 6 and Cuban gets his martyr on.
Mavs win Game 6.
Lig gets yet another Game 7.

 
At 6/16/2006 6:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

still in the fucking airport.

is anyone else having trouble getting the front page to load? is this reddick's minions seeking revenge?

 
At 6/16/2006 6:49 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

least deserved playoff suspension this year.

let's play 7!

no problems getting the page to load.

 
At 6/16/2006 8:02 PM, Blogger ~CW~ said...

Shoals, I was, but it's fine now.

A thought for the Mavericks: I realize they just couldn't throw it in the ocean last night, but what about letting Old Dirk come back for the first quarter in Game Five and see how things go? The main reason he became his dominant inside self was because of the way T-Mac played defense on him last spring, thus providing a template for the smaller defenders. If Haslem and Posey continue to guard Dirk, why not let him hang around the perimeter for a while? If he goes cold, go back to the original gameplan, but I can't see how it can hurt for a quarter.

 
At 6/18/2006 6:04 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

I think for me the main issue with Wade's padding is that I'm worried about where it might be headed. Sure, players would get injured a lot less if they started wearing all kinds of padding and protection, but I think it would change the game. The main thing I dislike about football (the American kind) is how much influence technology has had on the sport. When you look at baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, or even hockey, the game you are looking at is pretty close to the same game they were playing 50 years ago. The players may be more athletic and may have different styles, but the sports themselves are immediately recognizable. With football, however, it doesn't resemble the thing people were playing when the sport began by any stretch of the imagination. The extra padding and helmets and facemasks were just the beginning with that sport though, and nowadays coaches have to cover their mouths when speaking into their wireless headsets out of fear that the opposing team's lipreaders could intercept what is being communicated to the quarterback on his in-helmet speaker set.

I like that in basketball the coaches still draw up the plays at timeouts on a whiteboard, and I like the fact that sweatbands and sneakers are all the "equipment" that most players use. They start wearing pads and it's just a matter of time before they start wearing flack jackets under their jerseys.

 

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