6.20.2006

Loving silence through the treetops



I know there's that small matter of the NBA FInals to mull over endlessly, but sometimes the important things drag you away and demand your fullest sentiments. Today, chronic FreeDarko favorite and all-around genius of humanity Rashad McCants underwent the dreaded MF, which could sideline him until I'm half a year older and also do, you know, that other thing. The Wolves seem to be offering their own version of the spin put on Amare's injury, saying that it's a result of several aches and pains rather a cataclysmic reversal of flesh. Still, hardly what you want to hear about a personal favorite who toward the end of the season seemed to have been understanding a thing or two. If nothing else, it's been proven that he won't go down as Forte's revenge; I was looking forward to seeing him take that next noble gallop.

Word is that Amare's coming along really well, which I guess makes FD's karma for today dead even as of 3:38PM CST.

22 Comments:

At 6/20/2006 6:04 PM, Blogger T. said...

Now I'm no doctor - but it seems anecdotally that it takes up to two years to recover from microfracture. look at jkidd. hell, look at adrian griffin. so even if STAT doesn't come out and dominante next year - fear not. I'm betting 2008 is the real return of STAT. Keep this comment around for 2 years.

 
At 6/20/2006 6:07 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

supposedly amare's surgery was largely preventive, as they're saying mccants's was.

 
At 6/20/2006 10:55 PM, Anonymous Clutch44 said...

If that little move Antoine Walker did on the floor after the and1 isn't up on youtube in a matter of days the NBA means nothing to me anymore

 
At 6/21/2006 12:13 AM, Anonymous WhitePeopleDon'tKnow said...

Never have I rushed to freedarko so fast, but now i get here and realize i have nothing to say. Get ready for a lot of years of dwayne wade, everybody.

Goodbye season, hello draft

 
At 6/21/2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Dwyane might as well wear a red spring practice jersey all of next year. Granted, Dallas did more than they needed to in order to go out like a bitch (word, Ice T!), but that last call on Dirk was just inexcusable. I hate to agree with Simmons, but he's right this time. Anyone who wants the NBA to be watchable is very disappointed right now.

 
At 6/21/2006 12:26 AM, Anonymous mtp said...

I can't wait for commentators to chalk up a championship to wily veterans JWill & Toi--- whoop, there he goes. Hubie just annointed his head with the oils of hyperbole: "...and don't forget the guys in the trenches, like Antoine Walker."

 
At 6/21/2006 12:28 AM, Anonymous nitro said...

It was amazing how much better Miami looked with Mourning on the floor. Shaq was basically like Stanley Roberts out there.

 
At 6/21/2006 12:37 AM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Free throw attempts in Games 5 & 6:

Dallas - 48
Wade - 46

?

 
At 6/21/2006 12:37 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

I haven't watched any of the postgame, so I don't know if this has been covered, but that was some kind of disappearing act by Dirk in the 4th quarter of this one (and throughout much of this series). It was amazing how succesful Riles or Haslem or whomever were at making him a non-factor.

In retrospect it's no surprise that the Suns couldn't control Dirk, but what I'm trying to figure out is, what does this say about the Spurs? At the very least, the ability of Riles to come up with a gameplan for Dirk has to drop Popovich a few pegs on the genius ladder, don't you think?

 
At 6/21/2006 12:57 AM, Blogger Gregg said...

Yeah, what I'm having trouble figuring out is whether Riley somehow solved the Mavs, or if they just didn't step it up when they needed to of their own accord. I feel like they lost their eye of the tiger somewhere in game 3, but it could be that Miami is just actually really good sometimes.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:08 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

I mean, for the Mavs offense, it seemed like every game came down to whether Jason Terry was going off or not... Whether it was Riles' strategy or Haslem's elbows, or something else, it does seem like the Heat crushed Dirk's spirit somewhere along the line. Pretty surprising, after everything else he's done in this postseason.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:18 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

howard had a terrible game. stack was not much past payton. terry wasn't there when it counted. how could they have been expected to win?

i'm not sure what this does to my opinion of dirk, but i will say that his rebounding was something ferocious.

maybe i'll go with this: the entire offense was in disorder, and dirk works best within the flow of the/this team. this might be another kobe situation, like he was waiting for everyone else to get going, too. or has this mvp-like year been a function of everyone around him doing what they've done?

 
At 6/21/2006 1:28 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

"howard had a terrible game. stack was not much past payton. terry wasn't there when it counted. how could they have been expected to win?"

Yeah, and the superstar, the all-NBA guy, made zero baskets from the floor in the 4th quarter. True, the rebounding was nice, but against the Suns and Spurs, he put the team on his back. Never happened in this series.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:31 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

look at what i wrote immediately below that sentence.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:37 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

Yeah, but I don't buy that. It's not like Dirk hasn't gotten it going before when nobody else on the team was stepping up. If he doesn't, they don't get by the Suns or the Spurs. At least that's my recollection of those series. So I don't mean this as a knock on Dirk, I guess it's more props to Riley and the Heat, although I can't figure out exactly what it is that they did.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:41 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm not entirely sure i do, either. just trying to make sense of it all.

i do think, though, that this year's mavs made dirk's career year, not vice-versa.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:49 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

Well, this was the year he completed the transition from jump-shooter to rim-attacking penetrator. And his defense went from "bad" to "ok." What's next? Judging by tonight, maybe he adds "rebounding menace" to the arsenal, and ends up turning into KG... meaning that his trajectory would be more or less the complete opposite of everybody else in history.

But I agree that this year's Mavs were just about the perfect complement for his skill set, at least in terms of their games. A little more playoff experience might have made a big difference in this series, though.

 
At 6/21/2006 1:56 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

while the heat have crested, the mavs are in even better shape for next year. harris with some discipline, daniels finally given the minutes he deserves, stackhouse getting the rest he seems to need now and then, terry, dirk, howard and avery familiar with the rapids. . . that's a fine, fine position to be in

 
At 6/21/2006 2:06 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

Yeah, it's funny because the Mavs have been pretty deep in the playoffs so many times over the last couple of years, but you forget that most of their guys either weren't on their roster or weren't getting on the floor much until recently. I think this thing about Wade getting all these ridiculous calls got in their heads, and I wonder if Cuban and his constant crusading against the officials might not be a bit of a distraction for these guys. "Everyone is against us" can be a motivator, but it can also be an excuse.

 
At 6/21/2006 2:39 AM, Anonymous bublitchki said...

This year represented the Mavs best opportunity to win it all.

They had a pretty clear path to the finals this year in a very compromised Western Conference, facing teams of dented Spurs and Suns sans Amare.

Even if they can get past the Spurs again next year, I don't see them having any answers for a healthy Amare. The difficulties they had containing the undersized Diaw revealed a Dallas team that's very vulnerable to a mobile center. Considering that Amare is a much more formidable offensive force than is Boris the Spider, the Suns figure to be the Mavs bete noire for many years to come.

 
At 6/21/2006 6:11 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Re: Dirk disappearing

I can't say that I have it solved, and there's no excuse anyway for Dirk missing the few open shots he got in the 4th, he just didn't make them. But as far as putting the team on his back, maybe he could have with a little more imaginative play-calling by Avery Johnson.

From what I saw - and correct me if I'm wrong - the Mavs basically just used two different plays to free Dirk up. With the first one they had the ball stay up at the three-point line and more or less in the middle of the court. They then set a down-screen for Dirk to go and set up in the high post. This was the play that seemed to take for ages because they never got a good angle for the entry pass with Haslem and Posey holding and clawing. So when Dirk finally got the ball the defense was set up pretty well and the lane closed off. And a lot of times they didn't get the ball to Dirk and swung it elsewhere for a 1-on-1 or even tuned it over trying to pass from a terrible angle.

The second play Avery came up with was sending Dirk to set a weak-side screen and then return to the top of the key. Most times Dirk ended up at the three point line with Haslem being able to body him up because they had a shotblocker waiting (Mourning) and because no other Mav making an effort to cut to the weak side to make room for a proper iso.

So basically the two plays to get Dirk going had him going away from the basket, both took forever to set up and then more or less played into the Heat's defense's strengths.

I don't know enough about NBA x' and o's to point to a clear solution, but shouldn't there be some way for Dirk to get the ball moving towards the basket where he can actually use his advantage over Haslem, properly decide between a pull-up or a drive and see where the double team comes from at the same time? Your thoughts?

 
At 6/22/2006 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm beginning to feel like no amount of analysis will explain exactly why I felt so elated about this series a week ago and so cheated at the end of it. This was shaping into something bizarre and beautiful and turned into something of an atrocity at the end. And I was rooting for the Heat too: Shaq's "you are what you do repeatedely" zen-ness overcame my inherent dislike of Knicks-betraying Riley. Perhaps post U.S. vs Italy I'm just sick of ridiculous officiating. Or perhaps we expected too much of the Mavs after games 1 and 2. Whatever it is, I still don't really get why I feel so robbed.

(And, fix_the_knicks, I think you may need to change your name: they've just fired Brown and replaced him with Isiah. We're past fixing: I think immediate dissolution may now be the only choice. )

 

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