Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Game 3: Miami 98, Dallas 96 (Dal 2-1)

It all seemed to be going perfectly. The game was not necessarily in the bag, but up 13 points with just over 6 minutes to play is certainly a spot you love to be in. You have outscored Miami in the first 17:45 of the 2nd half by an absurd collective score of 46-24. And then, bad things started to happen.

Wade scores a bunch. James Posey hit his only basket of the game, which was a huge 3. Wade scores a bunch more. Shaquille hits 2 free throws in a row. Wade scores a bunch more. Gary Payton scores his first hoop of the season. Dirk misses a key free throw when he can’t. Wade scores again. Game over. Trophy taken back. Collars tighten in the Metroplex.

They finish you on a 22-7 run, and Game 1 vs. Phoenix is back in your head as another game that you had, and then gave back because of poor execution on both ends of the court. Its one thing to not be able to stop Dwyane Wade. Very few people can stop him when he gets in his groove, and he flat out willed his team to victory. But how can you not get better shots on offense? Why are the Mavericks in the equivalent of the prevent when they insist on shooting with :02 left on the shot clock?

Now the Mavericks can ponder that question, as they wait for Thursday; a night in which Miami can square this series at 2-2. Ouch.

Quick hits from Game 3 in Miami:

• Through 3 games, I would like to now make the bold claim that Udonis Haslem is guarding Dirk as well as anyone has in these playoffs. Not that Dirk has been stopped, but he has been thrown off his rhythm, and frankly, has not gone off for any extended spurts in this series thus far. He is best defended by making him uncomfortable, and if I am not mistaken, he has been made uncomfortable by Haslem, who honestly was a huge hero last night with his remarkable work on the offensive glass. Funny to remember before the series started that many (including me) thought Miami had no one to guard Dirk. I would like to change my thoughts on that one.

• Speaking of Dirk, that free throw he missed did not help his “national respect” score. I think we all know it, so it doesn’t need to be said, but your superstar really needs to make two free throws with 3 seconds left in a NBA Finals game when you are down 2. It would be nice if he would take one of these next two games by the neck at crunch time. Last night they kept going to him, and with help from Jason Terry, the Mavs best players did not get it done.

• Shaq is still quiet. Not as quiet last night, but still very quiet by Shaq terms. I believe that should now scare us even more knowing that if he erupts, this series will be tied. Whatever Erick Dampier is doing, he needs to keep doing it. Let sleeping dogs lie.

• It is official: After attending playoff games in San Antonio and Miami, I am now ready to say that EVERY NBA team has an over-the-top, annoying, worthy-of-a-Saturday-Night-Live-skit PA Announcer who screams at you. Not just Dallas. They are everywhere.

• One obvious goal by Miami was to take the ball to the basket over and over again. Dwyane Wade gets calls and baskets every time he goes, so why not? That is smart basketball, because nobody on the Mavs can stop him. In fact, it is starting to look like Devin Harris might be the best defensive option against him, but that isn’t saying much. Harris can’t stop him either.

• One good thing to come out of last night’s loss was this: We can stop hearing about that stupid stat of when Josh Howard scores 20 points or more, the Mavericks are undefeated. I will not name names, but I was sitting next to a media member who told me this game is in the bag at 71-66 because Josh just got his 20th point. And he was dead serious. Stats are for losers.

• One way to look at the game is this: If James Posey, Gary Payton, and Jason Williams are all going to hit shots that they normally would miss, and if Haslem and O’Neal are going to hit all of their free throws in that final 6 minutes then you just tip your hat to them and know inside that they were fortunate to beat you. You move on to Thursday and you execute them in front of their fans. But if you don’t….

• A typical game for Marquis Daniels: 1) Check into the game because the Mavericks really need a spark from you. 2) Contribute very little. 3) Throw an incredibly silly pass that will be recorded as your only stat of the night – a turnover. 4) Go back to the bench and enjoy the rest of the game with your warm-ups on

• So Dwyane Wade gets his 5th foul with almost 11 minutes to play, and you cannot get #6 on him? Easier said then done, partly because short of maiming someone to death, the refs weren’t going to get rid of him, but you would have liked to see the Mavericks expose him more on defense. He had to be guarding someone, but aside from Devin Harris’ drive to the hoop in the final minute, Wade stayed out of trouble very well.

• I swear, collectively, the Heat make too many stupid mistakes to win. 20 more turnovers last night and even in loss, you have to believe that it just delays the inevitable. I will maintain my stance that any team with Jason Williams and Antoine Walker consistently making poor choices cannot win a Title.

• Since I was quick to honor Jerry Stackhouse last game, let’s be fair. He was 1-9 last night, missed a dunk, and down the stretch committed a charge and missed an open jumper. Basically, when you needed help for Dirk and Terry, he offered very, very little. Score one for his critics.

• Avery is a genius. Except when his team has to draw up a play with less than 5 seconds to play. Those efforts in Game 1 vs Phoenix and last night left a bit to be desired. So, Dirk inbounds the ball which effectively takes him out of the play with 1 second to play? Very nice defensive move, but since he coaches Dallas and not Miami, I must wonder what the thinking was there.

• Pretty funny bit on the scoreboard last night as they had a parody of the Godfather. Mark Cuban woke up in his bed and pulled the covers back to find the Mavericks horse head under the sheets. He screamed, and the place when nuts. I giggled.

• The first road team to win a game is going to win this series. Will it be Dallas?


p1dean said...

p1dean is first...oh yeah!!

Brad said...

It continues to make me so angry that the Mavs just have to do two things to win every single game and they cant do it.

1. Take care of the ball

2. Get to the rim.

Swinging momentum.

Kneejerk people.

Start Kneejerking.

Kneejerk hard.

Go Mavs

Drake said...

I understand that Wade is a star, but what has he done in his three years that give him so much protection from the refs. "Blatant tripping of the guy with the ball in the middle of the floor" kind of protection. He is a great player who can get to the hole at will, but his is only in his first NBA finals and his third year. How has he earned Jordan first comeback aura from the league?

Fake Sturm said...

Dirk taking the ball out of bounds with 1 second on the clock?? Stupid on so many levels. If you have to run that play anybody can throw the ball to the front of rim (minus Quisy). Dirk would have been an excellent decoy or a great second option if the play was covered (which it was).

Even in the loss, Dampier was a effing man. I said this yesterday, but you really have to give him credit for playing this hard after getting benched for an entire series.

I am wondering if Sturm and crew attending the game were pressured into wearing white or went with the traditional Dirk road jersey.

Cap It said...

Yep. so, I was saying last night in the 1st half - 'just stay within 5-8 points and this game is in the bag'.

So then, we're up 13 in the 4th.

Guess my math was wrong.

go mavs said...

To add onto what Brad said, this series is over in 5 if they do two things better than the Miami Heating Pads. REBOUND!!!!!!!!
Ok, two of us have spelled it out for you, lets go get em.

Brandon at GSR said...

Bob needs to seriously consider tapping the brakes.

Wade goes off for 40 and the Heat still have to come back to win because Dallas put in in cruise control.

We'll just win the series in five, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Riles finally figured out what everyone in Dallas knows. During the Heat's final push Antoine Walker had his heiny planted on the bench next to Doleac. Thus, no premature 3-jacks and no wild-ass drives to the hole, making the Heat offense much more efficient.

God help the Mavs if Antoine Walker doesn't play anymore in this series.

Rick Bentley said...

Even through I've been an avid pro basketball fan for 15+ years, I was not aware of the little-known loophole that is screwing the Mavs: if you're down 2-0 in the finals series (both have to be double-digit losses) and you manage to take game 3 in your building after a series of probably unrepeatable events, you are automatically awarded the Larry O'Brien trophy. I didn't get to watch the game last night (damn job) and hadn't heard anything about it until I clicked on SportsCenter this morning. There's lazy-eyed Stu Scott ghetto-fabbin' it up with Dwyane Wade about how he's an unstoppable force and he willed his team to win and bla bla bla. Then they've got their crack NBA coverage team (Legler, Anthony and Pippen) analyzing how "this is now officially a, the Heat sure played their game and we knew they wouldn't go out quietly, etc.) Let's take a look at the anatomy of a "Dominating Comeback":
1). Pick a guy and have him make every shot he takes (Wade);
2). Take another guy who couldn't throw the ball into the ocean if he was standing on the free throw line and have him make 2 down the stretch (Shaq);
3). Take a dude who hasn't done a damn thing since the turn of the century, give him the ball with the shot clock/game clock winding down, and have him nail a 3 (Payton);
4). Take the best player on your team (a guy who's shooting 90% ft's in the pkayoffs), and have him miss the 2nd with mere seconds left (Dirk)

If the stars don't line up and any one of those 4 things doesn't happen, Mavs lead 3-0. This game, for Miami, is the NBA equivalent of Kurt Warner. When every possible break goes your way, you are hearalded as the new sliced bread. When things even out, which they always eventually do, you are exposed as being a spare. For Miami to win another game in this series, they will have to play perfect basketball (which they managed for 1 quarter in game 3), and the Mavs will all have to forget where they are and what year it is (which they also did for one quarter). Sorry, Tim Legler. Minus a gargantuan meteor crashing into the AAC or a vial of AIDS being introduced to their gatorade cooler, the Mavs will do what they've done for 11 of the 12 quarters of this series: prove they are the better team. Rant Off.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Walker was our series MVP thru 2 games.

We were loving the missed free throws and toine jacking up his crazy 3's, because it covered up the Mavs bad play.

Theyve got to get back to the quality of basketball they were playing against the Spurs.

How many turnover did the Mavs have last night?

Mumm said...

I have to disagree with both Bob and Fake Sturm. I think that the final play was well-chosen, and that Dirk was the ideal player to take the ball out of bounds. Dirk has the softest touch on the team, and his height, for this sort of inbounds play, is an invaluable asset. Both Dirk's pass and Howard's break to the basket were perfectly timed and executed.

The only things that kept Dallas from scoring were Jason Terry's missed pick and Dwyane Wade's perfect defense. Howard missed by probably the length of Wade's fingertip.

What would you prefer in that situation? Stack inbounding to Dirk on a curl at the top of the key when he'd inevitably be double teamed? That results in a heavily contested shot fading (most likely) to his right probably 15 feet from the basket with 1.0 seconds left. I think the best you can hope for there is two free throws (which, despite his earlier performance, I think he would have hit).

No thanks. You just know that the Heat were expecting exactly that. I think that Dirk taking the ball out of bounds probably threw a curve at them, and it took Dwyane Wade's emerging greatness to make one more play to seal the game.

Great call Avery, great execution Dirk and Josh. I just wish Terry could have set a better screen.

Mavs in...5?

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that when the Mavs win, for ABC (and TNT) it's all about how the opponent can come back and what they need to do. Not much mention about the Mavs being dominant. But when the opponent wins, it's a complete focus on how much they kicked ass.

Here's what I've figured out: The networks want to hype their big stars (Wade and Shaq), or a big drama story (Raja Bell). When it happens, they go nuts. When it doesn't, they focus on what those big stars need to do
to kick ass the next game. For ABC and TNT, it's all about the stars. The Mavs don't have a gangsta star to throw out to the media masses. Dirk doesn't give them crap to go with. As a result, it seems like the networks are biased.

Don't worry Mavs fans. Miami can't perform miracles every night.

Or can they?

I'm going to kill myself. Dallas, please end this thing quickly.

Cap It said...

Not only did we have to listen to the Heat PA guy do the whole 'over the top' sports announcing thing, but we had to watch him yell into the mic, too?

Oh, and just sing the Anthem and start the game next time. Nobody outside of Miami knows anything about the Culp lady.

Jay Clendenin said...

rangers talk anyone???



mayhew said...

you can say that it took wades 40 pts for them to get a win, but if you look from the other side; howard hit everything he threw up, dirk was dirk after the first quarter and damp went off and they still lost. sure, they didnt get anything from stack or terry really, but shaq didn't go off either. wade scoring 40 isn't that much of a miracle. he'll get 30 anytime, and if shaq goes for 30 and 15 or something, they can easily send this back to dallas at 3-2 mia if the mavs dont take them seriously.

Rob said...

Bob, I'm going to remind you that stats are for losers when you start doing your turnover/win correlation when the NFL starts up.

Anonymous said...

Jay Clendenin, please stop beaitng everyone down with Ranger talk. NOBODY cares about them right now.

And you have an annoying last name.

love you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mayhew, you can't really say that Dirk was Dirk after the 1st. Dirk was 2-4 on FG in the 4th, and Howard didn't take a shot in the 4th.

Despite that, the Mavs were almost won.

Game 4 should be interesting.

Jay Clendenin said...

sarcasm isn't your strong suit. neither is having a name apparently.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you don't lump all of us Anon's together there big guy...

Fake Sturm said...

Mumm you are right, run the Dirk curl to the top of the key and draw two defenders. Then you sneak Howard down the baseline for the oop. I think Jet or Stack or even KVH could have made that pass all while everyone thinks the big German is getting the ball.

Luis M said...

i have to agree with mum, avery drew up a play that i have not seen all season from the mavs. i have watch almost every minute of the season. i have seen the lob pass to the rim, but not with dirk as the inbound passer, i may be wrong but i dont think i have even seen dirk as the inbound passer at all in the final seconds.

if you are miami going into that play, arent you thinking make sure to play dirk close, then they come out and dirk is standing out of bounds for the inbound pass, i think avery was hoping that threw miami off. that was a perfect pass and time perfectly, but last night wade was in the zone and then came up with a huge defensive play to seal the win, that is why he is a superstar.

i never thought the mavs were going to sweep, i thought if the mavs can win one in miami, we have done a good job, because we would be coming back to dallas with a 3-2 lead and two games on our home court. so if the mavs lose thurs. and win sunday, i will consider it a successful road trip. Miami can not be as bad as they were in the first two games and game 3 proved that.

if the finals ended today, would Damp be the MVP?

FBombAndy said...

Does anyone else hate Alonzo Mourning? He does absolutely nothing, except look like Van Horn and touch a ball on the rim to confuse the refs.

Yea, the Mavs won't go 18-26 from the line again. And hopefully they will learn that when you are up 13, keep pushing the ball down their throat. It's not football. You can't take a knee and run the time out.

Tommy T. said...

The mavs lose by 2, okay so I'm not worried about that but what I am worried about is that we were up by 13 with 6 mins left. You just can't let that happen, we played the last 6 mins. like we had played the first quarter, we were all just standing around and watching the guy with the ball. There are 3 plays that I believe the refs blew last night and blew hard!!

1. The Jason Terry lay-up that went in and was touched by Alanzo mourning, How does that not count and the refs didnt even get together and think about it??? Even if they say it wasnt touched, IT WENT IN!!! but if they say it was touched then thats goal tending and IT COUNTS!!! should have been AND 1.

2. Wade and Walker are at the top of the key and Walker sets a screen on Howard for Wade, Wade goes down the lane and gets fouled, Josh is pissed after the play because he was bear hugged by Walker (while moving) so you could have had a moving screen called or a hold on Walker but nothing was called!!!

3. And number 3, Devin Harris gets the pass on the mavs end of the court and is speeding down the floor, just at that time about mid-court he crosses up The SuperStar himself (WADE) and wade with 5 fouls should have picked up his 6th with a tripping call. I flew out of my seat when I saw it on T.V. so how does a Ref 5 feet away not see it?? (note to Harris, fall down next time!!)

Yeah the Mavs didnt make the plays down the stretch to win the game, so thats thier fault, but the Refs have to be better too, these are the NBA FINALS!!!

And to ABC, get off that Stupid ASS camera angle, it SUCKS!!! we are not playing a video game!!!

todd said...

you are a sports wuss bob!! you sound like my wife when we pull out of the driveway leaving for vacation: did you turn the water heater off, did you do this do that...etc!!..quit being nervous!!
follow your sidekick dan and dont happy

Anonymous said...

is Van Horn the new Bradley?



AttnyDan said...

We lose another one, ya'll gonna start seeing a's a curse, curse I tell you!!!

p1dean said...

Mumm...I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who disagreed with Bob's critism of the last play. I thought it was genius. I can't help but wonder if the Steve Nash miracle-oop had something to do with it?

And bob's assertion that Avery might not be the best at drawing up last minute plays is out and out silly. There was a site that ranked coaches based on points scored immediately following a timeout and Avery was ranked in the top 3--furthermore he was ranked in the top 3 on defending shots immediately following a time out as well!!!