Thursday, June 22, 2006
NBA series one of best
The current NBA championship series still tends to amaze. The level of excitement has continuously heightened.
If you listen to the court side commentators, chances are that you have heard that these are the best games ever. That could be argued perhaps ad infinitum, but you have to admit that they have been real contests.
The local fans have weighed in from all corners of Marshall County and oddly enough the sentiment seemingly runs to the Dallas Mavericks. Calvin Faulkner of Marianna Mercantile Co. (southwest Marshall County), likes Shaq but is supporting the Mavericks. In the north corner of Marshall County, Alfred Loftin of Loftin’s Grocery in Mount Pleasant has always been a Mavericks’ fan. However, he wonders how many 42-point games could Dwyane Wade have left in him.
It is obvious that the Vegas oddsmakers agreed with Loftin and Faulkner, because they had installed the Mavs as 4.5 favorites for game three.
And that was a “do or die” game for the Heat. That was one of their “squeakers” in this series. Yours truly never figured that Miami would have that much trouble in the opener on their home court. The other one came in overtime on Sunday. Each team has had a near “blowout” and each has had its share of playoff heroes.
Talking to local fans about the series is almost as enjoyable as watching the countenances of the opposing coaches. Avery Johnson, first year head coach of the Mavs, would be a prime candidate for world poker. He gives away nothing in facial expressions. He has understudied some of the best and even has a championship ring. As close as I have seen him come to a meltdown was Sunday when Josh Howard called a premature timeout.
His counterpart, Pat Riley, is also a poised tactician with experience and four rings. Pat does become agitated and animated at times; however, it does not ruffle his coiffure.
Each reacted differently to the “hard foul” on Shaq by Jerry Stackhouse. Johnson protested the one game suspension (game five) and Riley thought that was light. And Shaq? The big man said that he bore no ill will. Stated Shaq, “He did me a favor and fixed a few things. I didn’t have to see my chiropractor the next day.”
The onus has been squarely placed on the shoulders of Jason, Josh and Dirk. The series bounced back to Dallas for Tuesday’s game. The terrible trio will have to win two games for the crown.
And I, for one, think that Wade does have another 40-plus game somewhere in his innards. He has already set one record for the most charity shots made in playoff history.
And he is as meek as a lamb. Isn’t it written somewhere that the meek will inherit the rings?
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