Friday, June 09, 2006

NBA Finals Game 1: Dallas 90, Miami 80

The Mavericks have now won every game in franchise history that they have played in the NBA Finals! Doesn’t it feel good? Game 1 was deposited in the Win Bank with a stifling effort on the defensive end for the better part of the final 3 quarters, as the Mavericks allowed just 49 points in 36 minutes of basketball. If the Dallas offense looked sloppy and out of sync, it is because it was. The Mavericks were never fully comfortable with the ball, but the saving grace continues to be the theme of the 2005-06 championship run – DEFENSE.

This game was a meat grinder. This game required you to go strong to the rim or not to bother going at all. It was played with desperation on both sides, and sets up for a very competitive series, albeit one that might not be pleasing to the eye.

And there to save the day for the Mavericks on a night when Dirk and Josh Howard needed to be saved was Jason Terry. Terry who admitted to having a very rough experience in the Western Finals against Phoenix just absolutely torched the Heat. He looked like he was insulted with Jason Williams trying to guard him early, and then as the night went on must have been shocked that they decided to not guard him at all so he stuck another 3. What a performance for JET, and without him you could make the claim that there is no chance that Dallas wins Game 1.

Various other quick hits from Game 1, the NBA Finals:

• Dwayne Wade is amazing. I really enjoyed watching him at Marquette (Well…) and I thought there that he was easily the best player I had ever seen play there, but the way he has actually improved as he has entered the NBA is tough to believe. Usually, a player dominates far less at the pro level than he does at the college level, but I think Wade is much better now than he was. It appears he can get to the rim anytime he wants, and the big man trying to protect the rim has almost no effect on him. If I am the Mavs, I instruct his defender to play off him and hope that he settles for jump shots, but I really don’t think you will stop him from driving no matter how you defend that kid. Wow.

• OK, Dirk had 0 points in the 4th Quarter. And went 4-14 in the game. Lucky they won, or everyone would be ready to jump on him. I must admit it is weird to see Shaq and Dirk as supporting cast members last night. I am sure that will not continue for 7 games, but last night you could make the case that Antoine Walker made as much an impact as Shaquille. That is crazy even to type.

• It does look like Dirk was given plenty of trouble by Udanis Haslem. His physical style of defense and James Posey’s Bruce Bowen impression are going to make the Mavericks work for their points, and Dirk needs to adjust and figure out how to score against this new look. I am pretty sure I still like his chances to really torch Miami in this series, but Haslem certainly deserves credit for never allowing Dirk to be comfortable in the game.

• 1-9? I am pretty sure of the 20,000+ in attendance, at least 19,000 of them could nail 1-9 from the free throw line as Shaq accomplished. If you would have told me in 2002 that Shaq would actually get worse from the line, I might not have believed you. But it is official, he is worse. Also, the Heat go 7-19 from the line, which you could say helped the Mavericks enjoy good fortune and that if the Heat may have hit some free throws they would have won, but that is the Heat, kids. They do this all the time. In Game 5 at Detroit, the Heat hit 6-20 free throws. They just can’t hit them.

• Have you ever missed a player less than you miss Antoine Walker? Now he did hit a few huge shots last night including that 3 off a Dirk bad pass at the end of the 1Q, but his 6 turnovers were killers, and if he is going to shoot 19 times, there are no worries for Dallas. You got to almost love Walker hitting a few early shots because that will get him thinking that he is a scored. Advantage Mavericks.

• Erick Dampier did a great job last night. 27 minutes of causing Shaq some resistance. Nothing earth shattering, but just imagine Raef Lafrentz or Shawn Bradley doing what Damp and Diop are doing.

• Have you ever seen one play change the game like Jason Terry’s airball breakaway layup? It would have put the Mavs up 84-72, instead the Heat came right back to score the next 7 points and cut it to 82-79. Terry missed that layup at 7:37, and get this: The Mavericks next Field Goal was scored with 1:02 when Stackhouse hit a hoop. AND THEY WON! That is right, somehow, Dirk gets 0, and the Mavericks get one hoop in the final 8 minutes and still win by 10. That is crazy.

• I swear all through the years that great musical acts occupy halftime in the NBA Finals. At least in the last decade it has been U2, Destiny’s Child, Mariah, Jay-Z all playing at halftime of these games. So, what did we have at halftime? That’s right. Trampoline dunking. The most tired bit in basketball history. Wow.

• I think you know what I am going to say next. Game 2 is crucial. It is nice to get a win when you play poorly, but don’t give it back on Sunday. If they win both games here, the Mavericks are going to be in great shape. But, if they lose the game on Sunday, Miami will rate their trip here as a huge success.

• Jason Williams looks really weird in those black tights. I don’t think I would go with that look.

• Terrell Owens in a Shaq jersey. Worse than standing on the Star? Just kidding.


AttnyDan said...

Oh the conflict going on Bob's life.....Mavs talk or World Cup talk.

Just another reason to hope and pray that the series goes seven games!!!

Go Mavericks

Brandon at GSR said...

Depsite their struggles from the line (which constituted all of Miami's free throws last night), Shaq and D-Wade still outscored Dirk and J-Ho, 45-26.

And they still lost by 10.

SMU Football Blog said...

Nothing makes me giggle more than seeing the ball in Antoine Walker's hands when his team is down by three points. You can just see "Watch me be the hero that ties this baby up!" flash across his bald pumpkin head as he takes an ill-advised three pointer. There is no way that ball is going anywhere near a teammate. There is no way that ball is going anywhere other than towards the basket. Unfortunately for the Heat, there is also no way that ball is going in.


Anonymous said...

After seeing the Mavs play urine-poor last night and still win by 10 - I've got no worries.

Oh the Heat will step up and win a game (or even two) in their arena, but their best hope lies in injuries and bus crashes.


Anonymous said...

I am already tired of the East Coast biased media claiming that the Heat lost this game because they shot so poorly from the line. Ok, let's examine this.

Last night they were 7-19 for 36.8%. In the postseason they are shooting 66.5%, so if they just shoot their average, they only make 13 free throws. They made 7, so if they hit on 13, then you can add 6 more points to the final score. 90-86. Done. Mavs win.

So, instead of everyone out there (East coast media) talking about how the Heat lost this game, let's take a look at the Mavs defense. They were phenominal. People were saying how the Heat didn't play their best, and still nearly won. Well, people, watch out-- that was one of, if not THE WORST game of the Mavericks in the postseason. There's no way that Dirk and Josh play that poorly the rest of the series.

I was cautiously optimistic that the Mavs would win in 6 or 7. After seeing last night, I could easily see them closing it out in Miami- maybe even a sweep.

In any case, the Mavs WERE the superior team, they ARE the superior team, and they will prove that over the next few games.

So, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I just wish poeple could see that the Heat got beaten by the Mavs-- they didn't lose because of missed free throws.

Kip in Burleson

Brad C said...

I'm so glad they one Bob.


Anonymous said...

When the Mavs win maybe Antoine should get a ring too! He is one of the Mavs best players!

Andy Douthitt said...

It was nice having the cursive "The Finals" on our court finally...

Mavs in 5... I still believe that.

The big stage effected Dallas greatly in the first quarter, but as the game got longer and longer, we seemed to figure it out more and Miami got out of there pattern.

With us playing HORRIBLY in the first half, we still put it together later in the game...

Game 2 will be crucial..

Cap It said...

Anyone else feel that the ABC pre-game was sophomoric? Quick hits:

- So they throw it to Stu ‘crazy eye’ Scott standing in front of Cuban on the stairmaster. Made for an extremely awkward interview. The only thing Scott can think to ask Cuban is about his blog questions to Shaq?
o That’s the only effing thing you can think of to ask him, Scott?
o This is before the biggest game in franchise HISTORY and you’re asking something about his blog???? Give me a freakin’ break.

Then, he throws it back to Dan(ica) Patrick, who starts talking OVER the freakin’ commercial. It was very herky-jerky…

Then, the spare sitting to Dan(ica) Patrick’s left starts dressing Cuban down because Stu Scott DESERVED 3 minutes of his time??? No, he doesn’t moron – it’s the other way around.

- Stu Scott didn’t HAVE to interview Cuban if he wasn’t willing to change HIS pre-game schedule.
- You don’t HAVE to throw it to Dumbass Scott if you don’t like the setup.
- Stu Scott don’t DESERVE anything.

Anyway. Great game. I feel really good about the Mavs winning by 10, even with Dirk and J-Ho being held to 26 total points. That just tells me:

- We’re deep. We’ve got more weapons
- JET is clutch
- We’re playing good D
- This is our year

Go Vammer!

Fake Sturm said...

ABC pregame was strug-gel-ling. I really enjoyed Humble Billy yelling over any sort of on-court pregame interviews. And the player introductions gave me a little bit of tired hat.

T.O. in a Shaq jersey, Reggie Bush in a Dirk jersey... can we make that trade? T.O. said he would win the Dallas fans over on the field, I guess I will accept that answer.

Appreciate you Jet, really appreciate you. So should Dirk, but I guess you already owe him a few. Fake Sturm bold prediction - Dirk explodes for 40 plus in Game 2.

Jay Clendenin said...

perfect time for the win. makes it easier to live with that 'crazy ass, wheels flying around'-rangers game last night (and i'm sure not as many people noticed it).

Wes Mantooth said...

I loved Humble Billy sooting the wheels off of Bill Russell in pre-game. He was trying to answer questions and couldn't get his thoughts together, and when he did you couldn't hear him over Humble Billy. It was gold.

Anonymous said...

did anyone else notice how bad Gary Payton played? him and the "bricklayer" are pathetic. there a testament to the East's inferiority. Mavs in 5 (unless THEY meltdown). it's the Mavs trophy to lose.


Luis M said...

i was TO'd to see TO in a shaq jersey, but i heard him prior to going to the game that he was going to that, plus he did have a good answer. if he gets in the end zone frequently this season, all is forgive, kind of like that star incident.

how bout this stuart question at the end of the first half to terry.
"so the last shot goes up with time running out and it goes in, did you look at dirk?"

did you look at dirk, what kind of question was that? did you look at dirk. terry should have said, yes i looked at dirk.
why is he on the air.

overall great win. dirk needs to find his game, i dont think he drove to the basket enought and when he did make a move he usually passed it. i predict he and jho get theirs in game 2.

1 down, 3 to go!
go mavs!

gomavs said...

Best sign of the night: "Who needs a Shaq when you have a Stack(ed)house"

Fake Sturm said...

Jet had a great answer to that though. He was like, No I was already heading back to the locker room, I knew it was in.

Wade on this weeks SI. Mavs still get no love.

cracker1743 said...

Eff the media love, Fake Sturm. Victory is sweeter that way. Plus, the Heat will have to deal any SI jinx instead of the Mavs.

And ditto above re: Stu Scott. I dread the day someone gives that fake ghetto moron a shot at the broadcast booth. Talk about tired head...

About:Blank said...

What? You want Jason to wear pink tights?


Anonymous said...

I often consider myself a scored too, especially when I get a phone number off a fine ladyfriend. I bet Sturm knows what this is like, he seems like he's a good, uhh, scored-er.


Anonymous said...

Good Weekend for Dirk: Germany wins their first WC game and he goes off for 40 on Sunday as mavs go up 2-0.

mr. t said...

Anyone see David Stern tell his wife "we are on TV, look happy"? He then gave a huge fake laugh.

I don't think I'm cool with TO wearing Shaq's jersey. I know they're boys and all, but this will certainly shorten my tolerance level with him. Just a thought.

Call me gay, but I'm diggin the World Cup.

Fake Sturm said...


Rick Bentley said...

I was not aware that before he took up basketball, Jason Terry starred as MC Hammer in "Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story" on VH1.

Anonymous said...

Badger, Badger, Badger...World Cup Style: