Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ballgame. Game 6: Miami 95, Dallas 92 (4-2)

Well, 105 games later and 59 days into the playoff run of 2006, it all ends without a payoff. It all ends with a thud that has everyone in the metroplex walking around like zombies today.

I heard Craig and George this morning assure me that before long I will be pleased about what the Mavericks accomplished this season, but right about now, I am anything but pleased.

The Heat came back and won 4 straight games. They are the NBA Champions, and despite the exciting and exhausting run of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, the Mavericks have a silver medal. One that I am guessing that they don’t care to display it.

I wish I could say this a better way, but I can’t. The Mavericks choked. They were the best team in the NBA this post-season (a highly debatable point now), and they demonstrated it several times. The most recent time they demonstrated it was when they beat the Heat senseless in games 1 and 2. Then, they fell in love with their press clippings, parade routes, and past accomplishments and let it all slip away with 6 minutes left in Game 3.

And the cold hard reality in sports is this: Once you let it slip away, there is no promise you will get another chance to grab it again. The Mavericks never recovered from their Game 3 meltdown. Oh, they tried. They left it all on the court. They should not be blamed for effort. But the ability to close the ultimate deal eluded them, and now they have a summer of wondering where it all went wrong.

Choked is a tough way to describe guys you really love. There is no question that we would like to say it a different way, but given how rare it is for a team to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals only to lose the series in 6, I see no other alternative.

Game Notes:

• Dwyane Wade is amazing. Yes, he does get every call, and yes, he does get treated as if he already in the Hall of Fame, but please don’t lose sight of what we are looking at. To put that display on for four games in a row with almost nobody having a chance to get in his way is very impressive. You have to wonder how that “window of opportunity” in Dallas is effected by young Wade, young Lebron, young Amare, and even young Yao and Carmelo. The rest of the league will not rest.

• Why, Why, Why did the Mavericks take several 3 pointers in a row in the most crucial moments of the game? At 7:21 to go in the 4th Quarter, Alonzo and Shaq both were on the bench. The Game was tied a few seconds later when Josh Howard hit 2 free throws, 79-79. Then, Jason Terry missed a quick 3, Dirk missed a quick 3, and Marquis missed a 3. Only on the 4th possession did anyone take it near the rim as Stackhouse got a baseline hoop to make it 83-81, Miami. At 4:25, Wade hit a free throw to up the lead to 84-81. and Shaq returned. Soon after Posey hit a 3 which was basically the kill shot, 87-81. That is right: No shot blocker in the game for 3 minutes in the 4th Quarter, and the Mavs jacked 3 3’s, and the game left them. For some reason, they went back to the perimeter game at exactly the wrong time. Is it Avery’s fault? Partially, but Dirk and JET have to recognize who is on the floor.

• Alonzo Mourning killed the Mavs last night. You know it is weird when you would rather see Shaq on the floor than Zo, but where did all of that defense come from? Holy cow, talk about a man on a mission.

• Jason Terry had the worst night he could possibly have when the Mavs needed him most. I believe he was 4-4 in the first quarter, and then went 3-21 the rest of the night. I would never have believed it. And, if you go back to that 1st Quarter, you may recall the amazing rolls he got off the top of the backboard on two of his shots.

• I am not sure how to summarize Dirk’s series. I guess it is similar to how I felt about the team. Moments of brilliance, but overall not enough. It surely wasn’t from a lack of trying, but he could never get rolling like we would like. I am certainly proud of the big fella, but it wasn’t enough. He is much improved, but he was not close to being the best player in this series.

• Yes, I am still annoyed at the City of Dallas. Yes, I am still annoyed at those who declared our parade plans. And yes, I think it is partially to blame for this debacle. Combine it with letting the Cowboys move to Arlington, and I have had enough of this anti-sports local government. Link ...

• If you would have told me that Shaq would average 13 points per game and the Mavs would still lose, I would have laughed at you. I am not laughing this morning.

• Was that the end of Keith Van Horn in Dallas? Yes. Darrell Armstrong? Yes. Marquis Daniels? Possibly. Who else? I will tell you I have already received 3 “how do we get Kevin Garnett” emails.

• I was truly amazed that Mavericks fans left so early last night. There were still 2 minutes left and the fans were leaving. I am sure those fans have seen lots NBA Finals decided on a shot with 8 seconds to go, but I kind of wanted to see how it ended. I guess traffic was bad, but come on.

• Not sure if any of this made much sense this morning, but it was the best I could come up with. Training camp begins in a few weeks, I guess.

• This sucks.


MrSimic said...

This does indeed suck.

Anonymous said...

F Laura Miller!

AttnyDan said...

Thanks Bob.

I know "this is a difficult thing", but we are almost through F-ing JUNE!!! What a ride.

It is time for Cowboys, Cowboys, all Cowboys.

Anyone heard from Luis? I think he may have swam back over after what we saw last night.

Dear God, I need a Parcell's press conference.

Anonymous said...

I feel like someone has shot my dog and my grandmother....ouch!

Fan said...

Good run. Bad finish. I cared about basketball well into June. And for that I am thankful. Thanks Mavs.

ST3 said...

I just hope we don't have to wait another 19 years for the franchise to make the next step forward (87-06).

My favorite referee calls of the Finals were the random "palming" calls on Jet. He palms every time he has the ball, so call it every time or not at all. Jason Williams, too. But it never got called on him. Hmmmmm...

I think this is the definition of "So close, yet so far away."

Anonymous said...

^ If I hear Micky I will die! Failure

JY said...

Finally this Mavs mania crap is over. Now we can go back to hearing more on the "tied for first place" Texas Rangers, the beginnings of training camp, you know, important stuff. Now maybe Bob can catch up on those other sports, like what he thought about the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Rangers getting prison-raped by the umps last night, what he thinks that US's chances are advancing in the World Cup, you know, stuff like that.

So, that being said, the 2007 NBA season starts today, Go Spurs Go!

MrSimic said...

Incredible. If you can stomach it, check out these short clips from the game. Incredible.

Q said...

I think the reason that this loss hurt so much was that this might be the only chance that I have in my lifetime to see the Mavs win a Championship, and I am only 26 years old. The Suns didn't have Amare, the Spurs were oft injured, Detroit choked, What happened it seemed like the stars were aligned. I can take solice in the fact that this is the longest that I have ever gotten to watch my Mavs and I enjoyed every heartbreaking minute. If they had lost in the second round I never would have gotten the ability to hate Dwayne Wade, which luckily now I do. Pat Riley deserved another Championship ring like I deserve to win the lottery, to hear that come from the mouths of the Heat is sickening. Riley is lucky that someone hasn't killed him yet, because he may be the most hated coach in basketball. The Association really let me down this year, a focus on the TEAM seemed to be the in thing, but now it looks like we are back to one superstar and a bunch of dudes.

Eric said...

I don't know if the NBA "rigged" the series or not, but I am officially done with basketball viewing and I don't mean until Winter. The last three games were so poorly officiated in favor of the Heat that I can't help but think that the refs were negatively influenced by Cuban's rants. They got him back one call at a time. The Mavs literally got no calls while the Heat, particularly Wade, got a call any time the Mavs so much as breathed on him. One call stuck out to me last night when Daniels didn't even touch Wade just inside the foul line and was called for a foul. If you look at the FTA splits from the San Antonio series through Game 6 last night, the stats tell you either the Mavs completely changed their style of play or the refs blatantly stopped giving them the same calls. There, my rant is over. Now, I can focus my time on the Rangers. BTW, last night Tex got screwed on a call in the bottom of the 9th if anyone was flipping channels. I guess bad calls against the home team do happen on occasion in any sport, but only against my teams.

Neil Payne said...

Shaq and Wade were being interveiwed by Stephen A. Whip and they talked about looking on the internet at the story of Dallas planning a parade after game 2.

Nice job Mayor!

I am glad I live in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sports Expert, the baseball season is approaching halfway, and the local team is in first. Let's not hear about camp for a season that's still months away. Oh wait, I forgot who's buttering the Ticket's bread these days.

Mike said...

When did I know it was over? When my wife (who had never watched an entire NBA game until the finals), screamed at the TV "Why are you shooting 3 pointers!!!"

If my wife can figure it out, why can't Avery tell them that they're not allowed to shoot 'em?

B. Viddy said...

Someone get Ben Wallace's agent on the phone. Use the words "Van Horn Type Money."

Aubrey Martin said...

Well Bob, something Norm once said stayed in my mind the last couple of games that still rings true. Fouls are usually not called at the three-point line; they are called at the foul line and in. The Mavs have no one to blame but their selves.

Man, this is a bummer...

Top5Guy said...

What happened to all the Dirk is a Top 5 guy talk? Top 5 guys put there team on their back when they need them most and carry them.

Wade put Shaq's fatass on his back and did what he had to do. Who was on Dirk's back?

tvb1 said...

I agree with most of the sentiment above. The Mavs flushed their chance to win the game when they continually put up 3's, especially when both centers were out of the game for Miami. I know the Mavs lost the game but, there are 3 instances when Wade got calls and it made me want to put my foot in the TV. There were phantom calls on Wade that I found inexplicable. It makes me sick that the Mavs played into the Heats hand by taking all those quick 3's and shots early in the possession. Take it to the hole you *****! Too bad for them and too bad for all us fans.

Anonymous said...

Glad it's over. It will be nice to walk down the hall without hearing a bunch of clowns discussing "transition defense", and the daily debate of how great or how bad Devin Harris is from people who didn't even know who Devin Harris was until the playoffs started.

It's pretty quiet today. All the playoff basketball experts are going back into hibernation. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

I knew it was over when, Mavs down by two, a stationary Dirk got called for putting his chest in front of Wade's moving & extending forearm.

Down 2 becomes down 4, and that was all she wrote.

Incessant 3-point attempts didn't help either.

Oh, well, Go USA! One more opportunity for my sports nuts to get crushed this week.

MrSimic said...

Regarding all of your comments on the phantom fouls, go to my 9:47 comment above and check out the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how much that last quarter cost JT in his contract negotiations?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sports Expert, the baseball season is approaching halfway, and the local team is in first. Let's not hear about camp for a season that's still months away. Oh wait, I forgot who's buttering the Ticket's bread these days.

you are the reason why murder should be legal.


Anonymous said...

I was never a fan of basketball. Didn't watch a game. Mr. Simic, I watched your link. I'm reminded why I don't watch basketball.

hoopsdip said...

On the phantom fouls, 4 of them are great. On the 3rd (i think), you can sort of see daniels' elbow against wade's back, but I wouldn't even try to ague that Wade wasn't acting. I'm just saying there was contact on that one.

The other 4 are rediculous.

Brandon at GSR said...

There he goes (out the door)
The power down

Keith Van Horn

Anonymous said...

This series shows why Josh was picked 29th and Wade was picked 5th. Josh is a very good player, however Wade is amazing. It will be interesting to see how much difference these guys will have in their new contracts.
This one really hurt. As a thirty something DFW guy I've have enjoyed in my sport consciousness (I was too little for early Cowboy Superbowl losses) 3 Superbowl wins by the Cowboys and a Stanley Cup win by the Stars. However, this is my first finals lost I have experienced. This is a new experience and new emotion for me. Total devastation and disappointment. It was a slow and painful death over the course of 3 games and 6 minutes. I am a lost Maverick fan soul. Oh guide me oh great Sturminator. What am I to do?


Anonymous said...

I think D-Wade is a great player, but it was the refs... not himself that elevated him to Jordanesque levels.

While I respect him as a player, and respect his abilities Ill always remember that he was ushered into stardom by four officiating crews in the 2006 NBA Finals.

There were four straight fouls in the first half called in which D-Wade was not touched. Even the replays show him not being touched.

The one I remember was D-Wade shooting over Jason Terry and falling down. Replay clearly shows JET never touched him.

Then the ridiculous forearm push-off of Dirk that was magically called on Dirk.

But I do want to give the Heat credit. They played a great series and deserved to win.

Anonymous said...

The first thing everyone's saying is "Oh well, training camp in 5 weeks"...what about the Freakin' Rangers??? We do have a professional baseball team here ya know, and they're playing pretty darn well, and have been ALL SEASON so far. Jeez, freakin' FC Dallas get more attention around here.

sleepy in Dallas said...

I will never forget where I was, who I was with, or how cold the beer was for Game 7 in SA.

Anonymous said...

"Great for the Mavs" "What a great season" "We'll get 'em next year"... All good phrases, but NO ONE remembers second place. They may as well dropped out in the first round. Get over it people. In this society, second place means dick.

JazzHostage said...

Anonymous said: "...what about the Freakin' Rangers??? We do have a professional baseball team here ya know, and they're playing pretty darn well, and have been ALL SEASON so far."

How can you EVER get excited about what this team does BEFORE the All-Star break? Wake me up if they are still in it in September. Until then, Cowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys!

Anonymous said...

Spoken like the true fair weather, winners only, sorry ass sports fan that Dallas breeds.

Anonymous said...

yeah, what JazzHostage said. the Rangers are like that girl in junior high that shows you the goods, gives a little over-the-zipper rub and then tells you she's a good Christian girl and won't do anymore.


J-in-H said...

At 9:49 AM, Q said...
The Association really let me down this year, a focus on the TEAM seemed to be the in thing, but now it looks like we are back to one superstar and a bunch of dudes.
Just as Mr. Simmons said and Stern knows the public senses it. He tried to refute it last night. While wearing knee pads, he said something to the effect of "Congratulations to an extraordinary team, the Miami Heat. And I do mean team."

Just wondering which minion tapped out the key word "extraordinary." He used it at least two other times:

"Congratulations to Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks for their extraordinary run."

on Dwyane Wade "an extraordinary effort" (or was that the officials?)

Jay Clendenin said...

rangers talk starts...................NOW!!!

chris young v. dillweed. looks like a low scoring ball game to me. your thoughts?

Gordon Shumway said...

On the baseline foul (#4) where Wade flies out of bounds while Daniels is looking at the rim, you could clearly hear his yell during the broadcast. Rewind the Tivo. I looked up from my beer at the startling noise and saw Wade lying on the ground. I thought Oswald had risen from the grave and cracked off another shot. But no, it was just another dive. And that should not fly when the league has access to the same instant replay they used to suspend Stack. Diving is always poor sportsmanship. Makine it a part of your game is a disgrace. The kid in the Mighty Ducks wouldn't even resort to those tactics.

Oh well, I'm glad I can stop my drink-every-time-Wade-hits-the floor-game. 2 friends of mine died in Game 5.

Now if we can just work on our flops in the offseason...

David Stern's Tiny Shrivilled Nutsack said...

The visual evidence of the no-calls and no-fouls in favor of the Heat is indeed sickening. But I don't watch the HBA for precisely these reasons, so I wasn't too surprised to see the Mavs lose last night, especially after the scorched-earth reactions from the owner, team and coach after Game 5.

So complain about it a little longer Mavs fans, but start putting it behind you fast. Because the perception of this team and its fans as a bunch of whiners is not a way to be a champion in the long run.

Not only that, but you'll start to sound like the Sabres fans who still complain about Hull's skate being in the crease. Sad and pathetic.

Jason Arnott said...

Hey Disco,

The Stars lost Game 6 at home in the Finals the very next year.

AttnyDan said...


To Spurs fans "happy" we lost: Guess you were happy about Pearl Harbor too? Remember, San Antonio = Mexico City North...wait, guess that's Dallas too. Never mind.

Ranger Homers: Come on, be realistic. How many playoff games have we won? It looks like we'd get the Yankees again anyways.

Soccer talk: Look, put the gun down and go take a nap.

What I'm REALLY upset about is DaD Radio.....Donovan....Yellow or Blue?

Mark said...

To JY:

Suck it and see.

Jay Clendenin said...

(yes...rangers talk makes its return)

the rangers didn't have jon daniels back in the '98 and '99 era. the world series is so close i can taste it!

longhorn78 said...

i can smell the green grass in oxnard being mowed !!

Jay Clendenin said...

on second looks like yall rooting for a team is the kiss of death. so if the rangers make the postseason, please stay away.

Guten Tag said...

Hull's skate was in the crease and all Stars fans know it. We also know whose names are on the cup. But the Stars put themselves in the position to win it all that night. If I was a Sabre's fan, I would have complained about that too. By now, I would have moved on though.

The Red Sox still had another game to win after Buckner's booted ball. It was still easy to point at that mistake. And who knows if he had picked up the ball and ran to first and got a tie goes to the runner call...

To avoid the "whiner" label, perhaps we should be all smiles and take whatever is given to us. In fact we could carry that over to the rest of our lives. Gas at $3 a gallon? Cool with me! And then when it hits 6? Awesome! And when the drunk plows his van into the family of 5? Whatever man!

We point out the inequities in sport because sport is a game played by humans and officiated by humans. It is fallible. And we can discuss the good and the bad, or we can talk about global warming or Hillary Clinton or war and death and the truly unfair global violence. So let us have our break and complain, before we have to go back to much more important concerns.

Those Heat fans are a bunch of celebrators...Geez, get over it already. You won. Ok. We get it...

cracker1743 said...

At 11:06 AM, Jay Clendenin said...
"rangers talk starts...................NOW!!!"

Jay Clendendeninsen, even though baseball is the talkin' sport, and this here's a talkin' sportz station, er blog, even I know not to turn to the Ticket or Sports Sturm for Rangers coverage.

But since I've recently found soccer religion in a "come to eurofootballjesus" meeting, I'm hoping Sports Sturm will soon start some World Cup coverage. Lay your soccer hands upon me Sturm, in apostolic succession. I need some churchin' up.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how anyone can be suprised by Wade's abilities. According to a documentary I saw recently, he's been able to dominate Kevin Garnett since he was a bulbous headed little kid.

Uncle Muuuu

buf123 said...

It is sad that the nba has made the refs ruin the game. I know i will NEVER care that much about it again. Here is what my brother wrote me...and i completely agree.

This is the first time I have ever really been into basketball and probably the last. I have never seen a more screwed up sport. You watch baseball and it doesn't matter who's batting, a strike is a strike and and a ball is a ball; the same thing with football. This game is screwed up. This is what they do, if their not a star then they only call a foul if they know for sure it was a foul; if they are a star they call a foul if they don't know for sure that it wasn't a foul. That is retarded. They don't enforce rules sometimes and then other times they do. It is ridiculous. Anyone could have beet Dallas last night with the refs doing like they did. What's sad is that the Mavericks are so much better than the Heat that despite what the refs were doing, they almost won. The NBA really sucks. I feel sorry for the people who really love basketball and love to watch it because I know how frustrating it has to be for them and they can't stop watching it because it's all they have. Last night the game had more to do with what the refs decided to do (based on an unknown criteria) than how the players did. I know this is all stuff you already know, but it just sucks. I really don't want to ever care about what happens in the playoffs this much again because it all falls into the hands of the refs, not the players.

Todd said...

Memo to City of Dallas:

Please use the parade money that is no longer needed on PROZAC rations for Mavs fans...we need it to get through work and our lives today.

JY said...

Did someone actually compare people who root for the Spurs as people who were happy about Pearl Harbor? Mexico-City-North? What the hell do Mexicans have to do with Pearl Harbor? I am going to need a map and Tom Tom to find the way to get from Pearl Harbor to Spurs fans.....

Plus, Pearl Harbor sucked, had it not been for Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Garner being in that movie, that movie would have been triple failed.....

Arthur Ashe said...

What's the sport with the least possibility of the game being determined by an officiating error? The strike zone in baseball is a joke and changes from game to game - sometimes inning to inning, but it isn't really that big of a factor. Football: a penalty could be called on every play. Soccer is all about the dive. Tennis? If we can always use the cameras, then we might have a winner! But tennis is gay.

mr. t said...

I don't mean to be insensitive to the Mavs, but I've always wanted them to win an NBA title for one reason-
I wanted to find out how many NBA titles I would trade for one Super Bowl. Well, in game 3 I think I came as close as I will come in my lifetime to that feeling. I always thought it would be 2 titles.
The answer I got during game 3-
3 NBA titles = 1 Super Bowl

Alright, season over. When's the next mini-camp or ranch report.

Anonymous said...

Big German Vagina!!!

I guess Dirk's still thinks Basketball is a women's sports after watching his son in final.

Dirk is why I hate euro players and think they have no place in the NBA. A 7ft POWER Forward who plays like a 6'3 shooting guard.

But, Dirk is the worst because he has shown us he CAN play big VS a team without a Big Man (ie The Suns). But, after one elbow in Game 1 in the Finals it's Puss Suit back on!!!

Let's get rid of this piece of Euro Garbage

I want the truth! said...

Is it possible to get a question to Avery: Why are you shooting 3s when the shooting percentage, chance to go to the line, and ability to retain the possession ALL increase when driving to the hoop? Are you ignoring the averages as a coach or are the players ignoring you?

Ask him in the offseason. What is the strategy? What do they know that we don't? We complain about it for 4 games and yet every game they continue to do it? What is the strategy in that situation?

Live by the 3 die by the 3 was Mavs ball when Nash was here.

ST3 said...

One good thing to come from all this:

There's plenty of leg-room on the badwagon for the real fans now.

To everyone else: See ya the next time the Mavs are in the Finals.

(I was a Mavs fan before being a Mavs fan was cool.)

Brandon at GSR said...

"Hull's skate was in the crease and all Stars fans know it."

He had possession of the puck prior to his skate entering the crease. Therefore, he was allowed to have his skate in the crease.

hrkac said...

i just hope they hang the Western Conference champs banner in the offseason. if i have to watch that thing go up at the season opener with everyone in the building clapping politely and fakesmiling, i will throw up

Anonymous said...


Crap, my bad.
I stopped watching hockey after I OD'ed on alcohol during the second overtime of the Stars Stanley Cup win.


Anonymous said...

MAVS CHOKE!!!! That should be the headlines. Dismantling of this team has begun and the MAvs will never ever be back in the finals. Now that the rest of the nba has seen what the mavs are made of, which is SOFT, NO HEART, and a LACK of MOTIVATION for the ultimate goal, EVERY team next year will come into our house and push around and out muscle and out hustle and just plain out play the mavs knowing that the superstar we are supposed have is not on this team and we have to find 1. Dirk is NOT the man to carry this team, which was just proven to us and the world. So trade dirk and josh for some 1 that can get us 1. Throw in Terry for posterity. Life sucks down here in chokesville, usa.

Anonymous said...

Hey speaking of the NBA, why is it the offensive player is still allowed to stiff arm the defender. I see it all the time, also in street ball at the local park this is how kids are learning to play..a kid driving to the lane looks more like a football player with his free arm swatting all around. Everyone in the NBA does it, even Dirk.

I realize touching happens in any basketball game, but why allow the offensive player to hand check but not the defense?

it's lame..either let them both beat the crap out of each other or institute a 6 foot rule(NBA thugs love strippers!)

Oh and kids today dont box out or play defense. it's horrible run-and-gun-and-jack-up-the-long-jumper the mavs last night. it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true..hear me out..
If the Mavs would have kept Nash, and traded straight up for someone guys would have a title right now.
But 2 mvps later and you're still hardheaded.
Guess Dirk isn't all that huh?

Luis M said...

Well what can you do? I pretty much shut myself off to the world until right now when I read this blog. I still feel like crap. So bitter and so defeated. Damn it, I hate the agony of defeat. Why do I put myself through this? There are obviously much important things in life, family is far far far more important, but everyone should have a passion. Your career, your hobbies, whatever. Whatever you chose there is no other passion like the passion for sports. Sports can drive a man crazy. Just for those few moments when you realize your season is ending, you fell like shit. Especially when you have gotten so far. You want to cry, you want to give up on your sport, you don’t want to talk to anyone. You don’t want to hear, “it will be okay”, F-that, I wanted a win, that is what I wanted. And I didn’t get it. This sucks that’s all I can say. I wish I could fast forward to free agency and pre-season so I wouldn’t have to deal with this off season pain. There is always next season, that’s the life a true fan.

The Polit Burro said...

First off, this is not about the refs "costing" the Mavs the Finals. Feel about her how you will, but Laura Miller had nothing to do with it, either. The Mavs cost themselves the Finals by forsaking their style of play that brought them victory over San Antonio and Phoenix for the style of play that didn't bring them playoff success in 2003 or 2004 (trading driving to the rim for bad jumpers and too many 3s), by making too many unforced mental mistakes and by putting on a disgusting shooting display from the field...on open shots.

Organized sports have rules. These rules apply to all players on the field, rink, court, whatever venue. One reason that I think European professional soccer and international soccer (i.e. World Cup, the Euro competition) have such problems gaining traction in the U.S. is because of the generally postmodern standard of officiating. Let me rephrase that: It's because superstar players play under a different set of rules than the other guys on the field. You can give a hard foul to an American midfielder who plays in MLS or a Saudi striker who plays in Saudi Arabia with impunity, but if you take that same hard foul on Becks or Klose or Ronaldo, it's a yellow card. There's no difference in the foul; the only difference is that they're superstars.

The NBA has always had superstar treatment, but it was always within the normal boundaries of balance. Sure, Magic got calls. Bird got calls. Jordan got calls. But what I've witnessed in this year's NBA playoffs is ridiculous. First it was Tim Duncan. Then it was Dirk Nowitzki. Then it was Dwyane Wade. Then it was Shaq. All four of these players received the benefit of some of the most selective refereeing I've ever seen in my 28 years of watching, listening and attending professional sporting events.

Message to Commissioner Stern and Stu Jackson: You are leading a storied league into disrepute and, potentially, disgrace. You cannot have such an extreme discrepancy in standards for your superstar players and standards for the other guys on the floor. I know that you probably have some pseudo-economic idea that you have to keep the Tim Duncans, Dirk Nowitzkis, Shaquille O'Neals and Dwyane Wades of the league on the floor for as long as possible. It makes sense; these fellas put butts in seats and sell everything from replica jerseys to any number of commercial product placements.

But you're not seeing the whole analysis: When you let your officiating crews enforce a double-standard with the rules, you are losing many fans. Fans will not continue to support sports that they believe to be unfair or fraudulent. You will, at best, break even between the fans you draw and the fans you lose. Your long-term prospects will be where you lose the most, however; a league with a reputation for unfair play is not a league with long-term health.

In short, the NBA is turning into the WWF or WWE; unless something is done to turn the league's reputation back in a credible direction with regards to the refereeing, it risks becoming just as much scripted farce as professional wrestling.

Brad said...

The thought of next season makes me very weary.

Im tired. Im tiredd of the caring and and the depression and the remote throwing; of the late nights, can't sleep. Turnovers, and 1s, every single freaking posession watched and scrutinized and scrutinized again later.

Its madenning. I dont even know how to go about watching a regular basketball game anymore. If the Mavs lose the opener, I may go ape sh%t and break another remote.

Im tired. Im glad its all over. So sad the Miami Wades had to make off with our trophy.

Mike Lalor said...

Apologies Brandon.

He had possession of the puck prior to his skate entering the crease. Therefore, he was allowed to have his skate in the crease.

We also know that was never called that way at any point during the season. Not once did we hear, "The play is under review. Was his skate in the crease before the puck? Now, did he have possession of the puck. Now, if he wasn't skating into the crease with the puck, had he shot the puck and it rebounded of the goalie's pads and then with his skate in the crease he shoots again?"

Never heard that from Ralph. Could have been Razor though. Just insert some gay crap in there.

We all know (minus one) what happened there. Like I said, they put themselves in the position to win. The series are 7 games long, so teams can overcome bad breaks.

OLN has killed hockey.

"If it wasn't for us (Modano), this team would be the f'n Tampa Bay Lighning." -- Brett Hull

mayhew said...

it was a tough loss. i'm glad most mav fans are taking it with a touch of class. others, well .. they want to see every possibilty except the one that matters most, miami beat dallas four straight times. you can comment on the "phantom" calls, but truth is if the mavs took it to the rack, they would have gotten the calls also. the nba would have loved to showcase a game 7 in prime-time. they are ALL about rating.

as for next season .. it'll be tough. makes you wonder if this was they're best chance. at least five other teams will have as good of a chance as the mavs to take it next year. starting back at 0-0. could get interesting, but nevertheless, a great season for mavs fans.

p1dean said...

ST3...I agree completely.

I would have loved for the Mavs to win it all...but they didn't. However, as a dude who watched them win 24 games back in '96, I'm pretty proud of our little basketball team.

So lets play a game....All teams who finished with a winning record raise your hands (that would be 12 other teams)

All teams that have the coach of the year coming back next year with an entire playoff of experience raise your hands (that would be the Mavericks)

All teams that beat the League MVP in the playoffs raise your hands (that would be the Mavericks)

All teams that beat the sitting NBA champs raise your hands (that would be the Mavericks)

If you made the NBA Finals raise your hands.

If you swept your first round, raise your hands.

If you have a young nucleus of good (maybe least you were all saying great a week ago) players starting next year who have just earned a playoffs worth of experience...raise your hand.

If you have an owner and a GM who are going to bust their asses to make this team better next year raise your hand.

Now...if you're pissed off and bitter because your (new) favorite team didn't end up as the single best team in the league this year, and if you are convinced that the NBA is rigged and David Stern hates you, and if you're ready to go put on your TO jerseys and hope that that no-class-cancer that mocked you a couple years ago will bring you a precious trophy so you can kiss his ass and thank him for giving your life some meaning...raise your hand. Now go get your f-ing shinebox.

So until next year, when the Mavs win 60 games, and when Avery has improved, and when Dirk goes off for 50 points...then you fickle, sorry fans will pull out your Mavs antenna flags, and run out to buy your "Don't Dirk with Texas" t-shirts...until then, us true fans will speak of what a terrific season this was and good riddance to the rest of you.


buf123 said...

Anybody who says the refs didn't cost us the series must not have watched what i saw. They at least cost us game 5, which would allow a game 7. We won game 5. He had the ball with 1.9 seconds left and a lead. That is the end of story. You can say all of that stuff about how we would have won if howard would have made his free throws or whatever, but he didn't have to make them, because we won. I have never been annoyed with the way people rationalize things. Dirk made unbelievable plays at the end of that game and won it for us. Are you supposed to go back to the last play that wasn't made in every game that you lose by one? IF you would have made that jumper with 5 minutes left you wouldn't have to worry about the refs...that makes no sense. You don't play to win by 74 just in case the refs blow it. You play to win, which is what the mavs did in game 5. They didn't choke. Dirk was unbelievable at the end of that game. By the way, in game 6, when we were down by 1 dirk was called for a foul in the final minute when d-wade pushed him. I won't say that we won that game b/c we still would have had to get the lead, but the refs didn't help. I will say that we won game 5, and the refs cost us that game. that is all i need to say. none of this chokig business when we won the game. we are going to play game 7 on thursday.

eric in keller said...

OK, here is an email I sent to Bob last night. I did some playoff vs. regular season FT research....

Ok Bob, I will first say that the Mavs had chance after chance to win. I acknowledge that they need to look in the mirror because of all the mistakes that were made. But I have some stats you might find interesting. They have to do with FTs in the playoffs. I'll break it down in a moment, but I'll start out by saying that even though the Mavs attempted more FTs than any team in the league this year except for 4 teams, somehow they shot fewer FTs than their opponant in every series except the Phoenix series (Phoenix shot the fewest in the league during the regular season). Let me give you a breakdown.

Memphis Series:

Dallas is held below their average while Memphis averages 3 above their average.

San Antonio:

Obviously it was a physical series, so you would expect both teams to shoot a few more than their average. Dallas shoots 3 more than their average while San Antonio averages 33.6 a game, which is an amazing 10 more than their season average. They attempted the second fewest this year next to Phoenix by the way.


Dallas is once again held below their season average while Phoenix attempts more than theirs.


Like the San Antonio series, I expected it to be a physical series with both teams averaging a few more per game, however this would not be the case for Dallas. As physical as Miami is, Dallas was actually held to 3 few attempts per game vs. their regular season average, while Miami attempted 6 more than theirs. To say it another way, Dallas averaged 28.3 attempts per game during the year and Miame averaged a similar 28.2. Instead of a wash in the playoffs, it turned out to be 9 FT swing per game in Miami's favor. Also, Miami shot more FTs than their season average in every game but game 1, while the mavs never did....they matched it in game 2.

Bottom line- Dallas attempted few FTs then their average in every series but Phoenix, while their opponants averaged more then their average in all four series. The two that really stand out are the SA series and the Heat series. What does this mean? I'm not sure, but a statistician could make a pretty good case based on these numbers vs. season totals that the Mavs got jobbed. One of my theories is that like in game 6 of the Heat series, Dallas starts games off by being aggressive to the hoop, but when they don't get the calls, they tend to stop....and I don't really blame them. Look at last night's game....the mavs were crazy aggressive attacking the rim, yet had 2 FTs to show for it. That's rediculous. No wonder they started settling for jumpers. I wouldn't want to get hammered for nothing either.

Anonymous said...

QUIT WHINING! MY GOD! aren't you the same people that said that Mavs fan doesn't whine anymore?

When you look up the 2006 NBA Champs it will say the Miami Heat not the Miami Heat but the refs screwed the Mavs.

I know how everybody feels. I felt this way a month ago when the Spurs lost and it sucks!

But, I have to say, this Spurs fan is laughing his arse off!!!

The best one was "the NBA is turning into the WWE" ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


This ought to get the natives restless!!hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

JY said...

Could the fact that Dirk & jet combined for 2 points (yes, TWO points) in crunch time, coming from two free throws from Dirk. That is not getting it done. As a Spurs fan, even I can see that Dirk is great, he is a star. May not be top 5 still (LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Duncan, Nash) but he is probably #6 or 7 (TMac would have something to say about that).

So, going into the 4th, Dirk had scored 10 in the 3rd and Jet had scored 2. So, for 15 minutes, he gets 2 friggin points, that's it. Jet gets nothing. If it wasn't for Daniels in the 3rd and Howard in the 4th, this game would have been a blowout.

The refs did not shut down Jet and Dirk, and although Haslem/Posey are both tall, lanky defenders, you are going to tell me that they shut Dirk down in the 4th when he seemed to be scoring at will in the 3rd? Cmon... Dirk was just not shooting the ball well in this whole series, pointed out by Bob numerous times. The refs can only call fouls when you attack the rim, nobody is going to foul you when you are 25 feet away from the basket all of the time.

Bad coaching (3 point shots, hack a Shaq in overtime for no reason) and bad shooting (37% for the game vs. 44.9% for the game for the Heat)

Anonymous said...

yeah, what JazzHostage said. the Rangers are like that girl in junior high that shows you the goods, gives a little over-the-zipper rub and then tells you she's a good Christian girl and won't do anymore.


My guess, you're still working on junior high girls, and get that reaction.

mr. t said...

The fact that San Antonio has no decent sports radio is really evident by the many Spurs fans. I don't tell me that your from Dallas. The river doesn't go this far north. It's amazing that it took me 30 minutes to forget about the Mavs and start my training camp focus. But Spurs fans have had Mavs fans on their minds ever since they lost. Is that what happens when you're a 1 trick fan/town.

Anonymous said...

The dallas mayor is the sports antichrist. What a freaking idiot.

The Heat had a hungry, experienced coach and 3 very hungry veterans - Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton and Shaq. After Mourning's health issues that disrupted his career when he was close to a championship, he was so close to a championship he could taste it. The Mavs do not have the same hunger. The most dangerous enemy is an injured one, and the most dangerous sports opponent is a hungry team that can eliminate you.

JY said...

Mr T,

That is amazing that it took you 30 minutes to forget about the Mavs, you must be a true blue fan then. The true fans are the ones that are on here, arguing about the refs, arguing about the poor shooting and poor coaching.

By the way, I am from Dallas. I am a Cowboys fan, I am a Rangers fan and I am a Stars fan. When I came to like basketball back as a young'n, I was in a mindset that I wanted to join the military, so the basketball player that appealed to me the most was David Robinson. There wasn't a player to identify with on the Mavs at that time, so I chose the Spurs. That was back in 1992, been a fan ever since. You may be right, there probably isn't a good sports station in San Antonio, I don't know, I don't live there and have only been there 3 times in my life.

ST3 said...

Quick reply to anonymous @ 2:56:

Where were the Spurs during the Finals? Oh Yeah..watching on TV.

Go get yer shinebox, bitch!

Anonymous said...

P1 Dean your an idiot.
Yea i was around in those 90s that was probably the worst basketball ever played. Now we get to play one of my games called "Settle".

All teams that "settle" for second best after having a winning record, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All teams that have a coach who won coach of the year and "settle" for being outcoached, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that "settle" for beating the league MVP that was won by some 1 that never should of won it the second time, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that "settle" for beating up on an injured(tim duncan) and tired(t.parker) champ that has won 3 titles already, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that "settle" for just making it to the Finals to wonder in awe at the media and fanfare, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that "settle" for sweeping a first round opponent that could be beat by any high school team, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that have a group of young guys that will be dismantled and bought off by other teams, and "settle" for being brought back to mediocrity and square 1, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

All the teams that have an owner and a G.M. that "settle" for placing the whole burden of winning the Finals on a euro player(Dirk), that history has shown has never won a title, raise your hand.(Mavericks)

Now...We are pissed because Dirk turns invisible when most needed,and David Stern has basically come out and said he hates the Mavericks. As for the Cowboys and TO, apparently you didnt like the signing and wanted to inform us of that.We KNOW the cowboys are still a ways off from the super bowl.No need to remind us of that.

As for us TRUE fans that have mavs blue blood running through us, this one was heartbreaking and when the mavs are rebuilding a whole new team, and kobe goes for another 65 or 80, over dirks so called great 50, and you sit there DEAN and wonder why we wont see the finals again, much less the conference finals, just remember that they "settled", just like you "settled", for second place.

Fake Gribble said...

Let's hug it out, you little bitches!

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer to rub it out.

Anonymous said...

Quick reply to st3
How many championships do the muffs have? oh yeah, that would be 0.

still laughing my arse off.

I'll get my shinebox when you get a championship bitch!!

Anonymous said...

as you wrote, they lost in in the 4th, game tied with about 7 min left, they decide to jack three straight 3-pt'ers even though both shaq and zo were sitting AND they were in the penalty AND they had shot the 3 horribly all nite. kill me.

Anonymous said...

Everyone makes money off the NBA but the fans, so I am now a former fan, having no motivation to continue spending 300+ hrs a season only to have someone give me the finger live via satellite.

never anonymous p1dean said...

I don't mind being called an idiot. It's not the first time...and as long as the anonymity of the internet can protect people, it probably won't be the last.

As for "settling" made some valid points...Memphis wasn't great (but the Mavs did beat them), Nash is overrated (but he was the MVP and the Mavs did beat him), and Avery was outcoached (although it was by no brainer hall of fame coach who just picked up his 5th ring in 9 finals appearances). The point is I don't think they "settled"...I think they got beat. That sucks, but it happens.

I just don't/won't/refuse to understand the Championship or Nothing mentality that is so apparent in this community...granted I've only lived her for 20 maybe it just hasn't kicked in yet. I was disappointed last night as the clock ticked down...but I don't understand why we can't extend Congratulations to the Heat and show a little appreciation to a team that extended basketball season by 59 days.

btw...As for the TO thing..sorry. I can't get over the hypocrisy of public enemy #1 becoming the Cowboy's savior. But you're right, it was the wrong place to voice it.

Andy Douthitt said...

If you are a true Mavs fan, you will take 3 things from this playoff run...

--We finally have a legitmate banner to hang in the AAC (Western Conference Champs)

--Dirk, no matter what he did in the Heat series, passes Aguirre, Ro, and Tarpley as the best player to put on a Maverick jersey. (I'm talking about on court accomplishments, not off court meltdowns)

--The franchises best assembled starting lineup a few months ago was arguably the '88 team of
This lineup we rolled out throughout the Spurs, Suns, and Heat series may have something to say about that.

All in all, we weren't ready to raise the trophy. Period. Not physically, emotionally, or mentally. Can we come back and be in the Finals again? I hope. I am a true Mavs die-hard (like Luis) and thank you Mavs for bringing the city to life for a little while.

michael said...

I was impressed by the diverse skill set that Miami brought to turning my Mavs into a girls basketball team. I do think the Mavs are the best team in the WNBA, any arguments on that? Miami has Shaq the tank with the pivoting barrels to turn your nose inside out with incidental contact. 'Zo' will block your shot. Posey will anticpate your attack and position himself so as to draw a charging fowl. It's a team game and if you couldn't or shouldn't get your king, Dirk, or other notables to attack, you need to get your more VC self regarding players, like Marquise, to attack until you have fouled out there defense, worn it down, or lost. Now that's at least an honorable defeat.

KK said...

buf123 said, You don't play to win by 74 just in case the refs blow it.

How awesome would that be if the Mavs won a game by 74 points? Let's make that happen next year.

st3 said...

Did you guys (and gals?) know that the Cowboys have way more titles than the Seahawks? So suck on that Seattle fans.

What, you mean that was in the past and doesn't really pertain to this year?

Kind of like Anon @ 5:54's reply.

Make sure I can see my face in them when you're done.

michael said...

Sturm, you remember the brouhaha that your show created when you asked Nick Van Exel what he thought about the Iraq war a couple of years ago? He said he was against it and so was eveybody else in the locker room. Cuban later came on and browbeat you, treating you like a referee; but I digress. So I suppose Dirk and the boys fight like UN Peacekeepers, the blog Gates of Vienna will give a taste of what that is like. On refelcting on it, though I was a Mav's fan, give me a good African American team like the Heat; at least Dirk won't be doing a Maines on us in Germany, 'I'm a champ and f- America's foreign policy.'