Monday, June 05, 2006

NBA Finals Hype Day 2

The Casinos tell us the Mavericks should win …They also said the Spurs should send us home 3 weeks ago…

Two Las Vegas casinos and Charles Barkley have named the Mavericks the favorite to win the NBA title over Miami.

The Las Vegas Hilton sports book lists the Mavericks as 2-1 favorites. They're 3-2 favorites at Mandalay Bay.

Dallas is a 4 1/2 -point favorite to win Thursday's opener of the Finals at American Airlines Center.

Barkley, a former player and TNT analyst, has bashed the Mavericks for several years. But after Dallas defeated Phoenix in the Western Conference finals, Barkley picked the Mavs to beat the Heat.

Part of the reason Dallas has opened as a slight favorite with the Vegas books is the home-court advantage it holds in the best-of-7 series, said Jay Rood, sports book director at Mandalay Bay.

"The rest is talent," Rood said. "I think Dallas has the most versatile of the teams, with Dirk [Nowitzki], who can drop 50 on any given night. That's a dangerous element the Heat will have to deal with."

David DuPree, a longtime NBA writer with USA Today, agrees that Dallas' depth will be too much for the Heat.

"Miami has the experience, but the Mavericks are so versatile, it's tough to go against them," Dupree said. "Dallas has the big bodies to throw at Shaquille O'Neal, and neutralizing him someway is the first step in trying to beat the Heat."

DuPree picked the Mavericks to win in six games. ESPN analyst Marc Stein, a former Mavericks beat writer with The Dallas Morning News , predicted the Mavs to win in six games.

There are people, however, picking the Heat.

Magic Johnson, a guest analyst for TNT and part-owner of the Lakers, picked Miami in six games. So did Chris Broussard, a writer with ESPN The Magazine.

Meanwhile, Miami figures out how to stop the German

But that doesn't make the task of beating Dallas any easier. And atop the list of priorities for Miami is finding a way to handle Nowitzki, who is averaging 28.4 points in the postseason while shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, 39.5 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent from the foul line.

So who guards Nowitzki?

''Everybody,'' Riley said. ``We'll start with Udonis on him. He's a great, great player. We know he can shoot it. We know he isolates a lot. He's getting to the free-throw line a lot.

``So we'll have to do some different things, give him some different looks.''
In the two regular-season games against Miami, Nowitzki averaged a somewhat modest 25 points, but he shot 56 percent from the floor. And in the playoffs, Nowitzki is showing a consistently aggressive approach, which has resulted in 10.2 free throws a game -- 1.2 more than Wade has gotten in the postseason.

''I think he's a lot more aggressive than he was back when I played with him,'' Antoine Walker said. ``I think he gets to the basket a lot more. I think you see 15, 16 free-throw attempts from him that he didn't get in the past. So that's where his game's changed.''

But the Mavericks offense is much more than Nowitzki, with five players averaging double figures in the playoffs, including 14 points a game from reserve Jerry Stackhouse.

Also in Miami, it all changed that night in Dallas

But what came out of that meeting was a 10-game winning streak, too, and then a gathering, coalescing run to the playoffs, and then an elimination of Chicago, and
then New Jersey, and then Detroit, and now this.

What came out of that meeting was a team that finally began to believe.

''It was a very interesting day, as a matter of fact,'' Riley said of Feb. 9. ``Even during the shootaround before the game, there was much discussion about the direction we were going. From that day, we got better. It humiliated and embarrassed us enough for us to get better. It was a turning point.''

Wade said Sunday of that loss: ``That's when this team woke up.''

''It was the point,'' added Shaquille O'Neal, 'where we said to ourselves, `Look, we got to start picking it up.' And we became a different team.''

The Heat returns Thursday to that same arena in Dallas, four months later.

The players are the same.

The uniforms are the same.

Nothing else is.

David Moore reflects on all the Mavericks gone by

After 26 long and often comical years, the Mavericks have made it to the Finals. The journey isn't done. But for a franchise that has endured so many miserable moments, reaching this stage is monumental.

Dirk Nowitzki has done what Mark Aguirre, Roy Tarpley and the Three Js – Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn – couldn't. Avery Johnson has gone where no Mavericks coach has gone before.

Now, he must beat Pat Riley, the coach who kept the Mavericks from reaching the Finals in 1988. Well, Riley along with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and the rest of the Showtime Lakers.

I haven't been present for everything that has happened to the Mavericks through the years. But I've been around long enough to remember Brad Davis' bell bottoms and Jay Vincent's lime green leisure suit. I was in training camp the day coach Dick Motta cut a player during stretching exercises.

This is a franchise that has seen Keith Grant rise from equipment manager to general manager and coach Quinn Buckner alienate everyone around him. There was Derek Harper dribbling out the clock against the Lakers, then handling his mistake with enough class to win everyone's admiration. There was Rolando Blackman's pure jump shot and Sam Perkins' smooth style.

It's a franchise that has tried Uwe Blab, Wallace Bryant, Terry Davis, Darren Morningstar and a cast of thousands at center. It's a franchise that passed on Karl Malone, then came back several years later to draft Randy White because he reminded them of Malone.

Big mistake.

Who are you, dude? And how do you keep pitching gems?

Rangers take 2 of 3 from Champs at their place

The Rangers have lost only one of their past eight road series and lead the American League West by 3 1/2 games.

"These are the teams we have to beat if we want to be contenders," Teixeira said of the White Sox, the defending World Series champions.

Sunday's game appeared an extra-tough proposition. Not only did the White Sox go in with a 20-7 home record, but starter Mark Buehrle had the AL's fifth-best ERA and had never lost at home to the Rangers.

Buehrle was no match for the Laird-and-Teixeira-led Rangers. He gave up six runs in seven innings and lost at home for the first time this season.

"They [the Rangers] have always been a good-hitting ball club," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They've been good the last three days."

Newberg Report on the man behind the beard

Rheinecker needed only 94 pitches to get through eight innings yesterday, giving up two second-inning runs and nothing more, working at a swift, Buehrle-esque pace. In the 20.1 innings Rheinecker has contributed in his three Ranger starts, he's walked one batter and set 13 down on strikes. He has a phenomenal ratio of 36 groundouts to 13 flyouts (2.77). He's needed just 13.7 pitches per inning, which would be the third most efficient rate in the game (next to Roy Halladay and Brandon Webb) if he had enough innings to qualify.

Fluky? Rheinecker's groundball-to-flyball ratio in nine Oklahoma starts this spring was 2.79. He fanned 38 batters in 49.2 innings, walking 11. In his final seven AAA starts, his ERA was 1.80. As a Ranger, it's 1.77.

In his three big league starts, Rheinecker is holding batters to a line of .234/.263/.325.

He's the only Rangers starter to go eight innings in consecutive starts this year.

Just as Koronka has, Rheinecker will have his struggles. But it's looking very good for now.

Well, if the Mavericks were dead, we would turn this thing into World Cup central. But, you know I am not going to forget about the single biggest sporting event on the planet which sits just 4 days away…

The Full World Cup TV Schedule ….

The Official World Cup website

Team USA lands in Germany, ready to play ….Let’s hope so….

what a goofy goal!

The Boys blog on Parcells on Friday

A good p1 Has a NY Mets Blog for you to check out

The Daily Show busts NBC producer over stolen material ….

Bob Sapp - Mike Tyson Showdown

Rick Monday saves the flag video

Lost meets Queen video …Pretty amusing…

Also, the NHL Finals start tonight, and as weird as it seems, I am pulling for Edmonton in 6…

Finally, here are two emails from P1’s who need our help…The first from a P1 who has had a massive heart attack:

Bob and Dan,
I am what you call a Dirty Year One P1. Sometime e-mailer to BaD Radio but all the time daily listener to all Ticket programming.

I realize The Little Ticket owes me nothing but I also recognize that my way in this world is through The Hardline and yes I do feel Rhynes Power. In fact I feel the power of the entire Ticket line up and that’s what I would like to call on now.

My friend and business associate Dani (Donny) Dooley is a 34 yr. old husband and father of two who suffered a massive heart attack after an adult league Hockey game a little more than 2 weeks ago. The recovery is slow and he requires constant attention and monitoring. This is where The Ticket can help by getting this message out or by getting it to the right people. You'll see what I mean if you'll read a copy of the document I received below.

Thank you,
Keith Murphy


Dani Dooley, age 34, suffered a massive heart attack on May 13, 2006. Dani and his wife, Karen, have 2 young boys, Cameron, age 4, and Guerin, age 9 months.

Dani had just finished his last hockey game of the season and was walking out to his car with his family when he collapsed in the parking lot into cardiac arrest. Some quick work by bystanders and the paramedics saved his life. At the present time, Dani is in daily rehab at the hospital. He has suffered major damage to his heart and has short term memory loss. The next few months of rehab and observation will determine his long term prognosis.

Dani and Karen are just beginning to learn what it means to survive a major cardiac event. In the meantime, Dani and his family still need to pay the bills. A trust fund for this purpose has been established for those who want to help this young family.

Please donate by sending your checks payable to the:

Acct. # 0100572081
PO BOX 869105
PLANO, TX 75086-9708

Or you can visit to find the branch nearest you.
Thank you for your prayers and your support of the Dooley's and may God bless you all

The second is even worse: He died, and his family needs our help:

Ok, I already feel bad for writing you about this, but this is not for me, it's for my best friend who passed away. You will not hurt my feelings if you hit the "delete" key right not b/c I'm sure you get stuff like this all the time. If not read on. Also, if you'd like to pass this along to the other hosts that wouldn't suck either.

P1 Jaime

Hello everyone,

As many of you know, one of my best friends, Allen Ferrill was killed in a motorcycle accident back in April. The reason for this email is to let you know about what we are doing for his wife and two kids.

I had known Allen for over 15 years meeting him in college where he was my little brother in our fraternity. Over the years, I worked with Allen, I stood in his wedding and I shared many real life experiences with him and his family. He was an incredible athlete, a fierce competitor, a great father /husband and a true friend to me and my family. I have missed him dearly but I know that it was God's plan and I'm just glad to have known him for as long as I did. Allen is survived by his wife Sondra and his two boys, Drake ( 3 years old ) and Dirk ( 3 months old ). I have attached a family photo as well.

Unfortunately, Allen did not have a life insurance policy at the time of his death. And as a result, we are having a golf tournament on June 6th to raise money for Sondra, Drake and Dirk.

I am asking you to sponsor me by either donating a flat amount (even $10 would be great) or pledging a dollar amount per hole. We are playing 50 holes so $1 per hole would equal $50.

I am not collecting any money myself. Instead, we have contracted a company that specializes in events like this. If you would like to sponsor me, all you have to do is click on the following link an follow the instructions on the page:

Pledge Here

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 972-567-3167.
Thank you for your support and God bless,

I hate to bring the room down, but please consider helping out either or both of these situations if you have the means…


dwebb said...

First to post, that's a lot of pressure... Go Mavs, in 6 over the Heat. The Mavs are simply the most versatile and balanced team in the league. Spurs- beat the ultra defensive minded team led by a big man inside. Suns- beat the Suns ultra offensive minded team led by a quick little guy. Now you have to beat a fairly balanced team with two stars, one inside and one outside. I think they're up to the task.

AttnyDan said...

The NBA Finals are destroying my sleep cycles. I don't care who wins, just do it in 4 F-ing games!!!

Sorry about the two guys and I'm ABSOLUTELY NOT making fun, but they should give away a free Estate Plan with the purchase of every motorcycle and make life insurance mandatory if you want to ride one. Uh.....the close calls I've seen around Ray Roberts.

Luis M said...

Congratulations to all Mavs fans! We did it. But the real test has just begun. 4 more Ws. MFFL!

Chicken said...

I am going to hell. No doubt.

Link this game Bob!!!!!

Anonymous chicken P1

Anonymous said...

Avery is greatness. But it's funny that he still has the player athlete post conference style for press interviews. In Saturday's after game coverage he thanked God for their blessings and used the "respect" reference.


Fake Sturm said...

I dont like the 2-3-2 format for the Finals. It kind of makes the first 2 games almost must-wins for the Mavs. If we left for Miami with a split, there is a chance it wont even come back to our gym. I dont like that feeling.

When do we start getting the Shaq quotes on Dampier. Ever since Damp labeled himself the second best center in the league, Shaq has loved dominating him on and off the court. This matchup makes me very uneasy.

Can we hold off the soccer talk for just 4 more Mav victories?

Mavs in 6 baby.

Fake Sturm said...

Oh yeah...and Tyson will kill that dude.

Andy Douthitt said...

What a weekend.. Winning in Pheonix was that much enjoyable for me.

This is for Motta, Sund, Sonju, The Nellie's, and especially Don Carter.

Enjoy this Dallas... 4 more and we are world champs.

Anonymous said...

Chicken...that game is awful!!

Jay Clendenin said...

if only the rangers were beating the white sox in july, they'd get some more run. anyway, what a great time for north Texas sports!!

it's all the better because houston sports is failing, and i root for south texas sports failure.

Chris said...

1st place Texas Rangers...

Luis M said...

mavs in finals, rangers in first place, first cowboys mini camp...what a weekend. i love sports.

Dirk's Blitzkrieg Offense said...

Fake Sturm...Bob Sapp is an MMA / K-1 fighter (also the big black guy in "The Longest Yard." He has no heart and can't handle getting hit much, but vs Mike Tyson of today I wouldn't write him off in a non-boxing fight...MMA, or a street fight he'd be ok.

Vs Tyson of 15 yrs ago, Tyson would hit him 10 times before Sapp realized the bell had rang to start the fight...

There are some MMA fighters that would have a good shot at taking out Tyson in his prime in a non-boxing fight. Royce Gracie offered Tyson a $1M back in the early-mid 90's for a fight, but Tyson declined. Same with Roy Jones Jr.

MMA > Boxing

Go Mavs!!

Brad said...

Hey Bob, you think anyone in the Stars front office is taking all this in?

They hung those playoff banners up together, and now that Avs series seems so far back.

Poor stupid Stars.


Luis M said...

that picture of josh howard makes him look like pookie from new jack be calling me man....

ST3 said...

Something about this postseason just kind of hit me: It's all about the Mavs exorcising old demons.

1st Round- Pau Gasol. I seem to remember before this series, there was national talk of who was better Pau or Dirk. Silly now, I know.

2nd Round- Spurs and Finley.

3rd Round- Suns and Nash.

Finals- Shaq and Toine.

This will make the third series in a row that the Mavs can knock out a former teammate from the "old" Mavs teams.

Just a thought.

Brad said...

You remember the stink that ESPN made about the Steelers winning all their playoff games on the road...?

Do you suppose, that if the Mavs close out all 4 series on the road (I know, unlikely with the 2-3-2), but that anybody nationally would notice?

ESPN radio, baseball, baseball, baseball....what sports planet are they on???

Go Ticket

Go Bob

Go Mavs

Anonymous said...

The network ESPN do suck. All they have on their mind is Bonds and Yankees.
Nobody knows how to talk basketball. The local ESPN guys are actually decent at it. Ben and Skin, you guys are much cooler but the postgame show is lacking. We need we need more than "Dirk is so money..."
Go Mavs.


hockalees said...

Hope you are watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight, Bob. Cam Dixon is standing on his head for CAR and this is a pretty entertaining game considering I could give a crap who wins.

I gotta say, though, I hate the announcing team of Emrick and Davidson. Emrick has that annoying trait of making EVERYTHING so freaking "exciting". When a team ices the puck he squeals like there was a shot on goal. Too bad Thorne and Clement aren't there.

Anonymous said...

Cam Dixon??

hockalees said...


What a freaking incredible save by Ward with :03.8 secs remaining in the third! It was the second time he robbed Hemsky with an open net. If CAR wins the Cup, Ward HAS to get the Conn Smythe for that performance alone.

[Yeah.. my bad on the previous post...don't know where the Dixon came from]

Dirk's Blitzkrieg Offense said... 1 of the Cup outdrawn by NCAA women's softball world series on ESPN 2... :-/