Thursday, June 16, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Experience pays off
“Great game, great series” one commentator put it after the Mavericks had won game four to tie the NBA championship series at two all.
The Heat had gone up two to one on June 5 when they beat Dallas 88-86 on Dallas’ home floor. This was one of the three games in which the margin of victory was decided by three points or less. This was not a “feeling out” period. These teams knew each other’s capabilities. They were just trying hard to win. During the entire season, the Miami Heat’s defensive maneuvers had stymied most of their opponents.
“Begin the beguine” was a phrase which was used often in years past at the inception of any important undertaking. Actually, this dance between Dallas and Miami had been started back in 2006. The Heat had Dwayne Wade and the Mavericks had Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks had a two game to none lead before the Miami Heat caught fire. The Mavs kept some light in the tunnel before experiencing a series-losing meltdown on their home court. The road got real rocky for the Dallas Mavericks after that. Oh, they performed all right, adding to their seasons with 50 or more wins, making the playoffs, but bowing out early. They had a 67-win season in 2007 then got sent home by Golden State in the first round. But all of this padded their experience resume.
And that is what provided the most weight in the championship series. The Mavericks had a floor full of experience. Jason Kidd and Dirk have 30 years between them (17 and 13, respectively). The team had others, like Brian Cardinal and J.J. Barea, who gave the Mav’ some much-needed “oomph” on occasions. In the end, though, it was desire, motivation and Dirk with the deadly dagger which cemented the victory and the championship. I must admit that yours truly, who has been predicting a Dallas crown all series, despite the 5.5 odds against, had a moment of worry when Rick Carlisle sat Dirk down in the last portion of the third quarter. Obviously, the coach who won his first world title as a coach (he had won a championship in 1986 as a player), made the right move. Dirk came out refreshed and pulled off yet another amazing fourth quarter and clinched the series MVP award.
There were just three minor occurrences where tempers seemed to have flared, but team members and officials quickly got the situation under control. It was hard to tell just who was responsible for the initial contact, so one can’t blame frustrated Heat players. And you can’t take anything away from Miami. After it was all over, King James said perhaps they had not given Dallas due credit for their defense. One must remember that the Heat closed out Boston and Chicago in five-game sets. Not to worry about the Heat, unless they do something really crazy, they are going to be the force for the next three years.
Mark Cuban, Mavs’ owner, dropped a bombshell in his time before the cameras, saying his team just might not get rings. What does he have in mind? Condominiums, perhaps? Boy, it would be sort of hard putting those on your finger.
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