Tag: NBA Finals
The Miami Heat took a very decisive win against the Dallas Mavericks to get a bit closer into clenching their second NBA title. Interestingly enough, back in 1996, when the Miami Heat clinched their first title, again it was a hot duel between Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade. This time around, the 7-foot-tall German has gained much more experience but Dwayne Wade has gained one heck of a team. The power trio that he formed with Chris Bosh and LeBron James might have proved to be so effective that on their first attempt together, they are fairly close to securing the first of many (or at least that’s what they promised their fans last summer) NBA titles.
This has been a very important win for Miami. Not only where they playing in the road, but Recent history says that the Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985. Now the Heat has build the momentum, has build the confidence the team needs to repeat the recipe that gave them the title back in 2006. Game 4 will be played on Tuesday night and LeBron James and Wade have a great chance to do what the Heat did in 2006: win the National Championship on Dallas’ floor. It’s not an easy task. The Mavericks know very well what is at stake and they are going to give it their best shot to leave the ghost of the 2006 final behind them. Miami will need to win game 4 and the next, on Thursday night, to secure the Championship, but I’ve got a feeling its going to end in Miami.
It’s not that I’m not aware of how dominant the Heat has been in the playoffs. It’s just that I’m well aware of the great games and numbers that the Mavericks have been banking this postseason. Many believed that by the next game, the Heat would already be celebrating their championship. But the Heat blew a 15-point lead in the last quarter of Game 2, and nearly did it again on game three, coughing up a 14-point lead. Truth be said, it was just a bid of bad luck for the great Dirk Nowitzki. He had the space and the precise timing to take a shot when there was only 4 seconds left on the clock. It was his classic fade-away jumper that is virtually impossible to block. It was also the shot that he had made over and over this postseason. But he missed that 2-pointer that would have tied the game and taken this game into overtime.
Things are going good for the Heat, but things could get ugly for them if the Mavericks figure out how to get the supporting cast pitching in like they did against the Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s consider for instance one player who had been a dominant force this playoffs. Jose Juan Barea, an effective penetrator against the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals, is seven points off his scoring average of the past two series. Barea’s numbers are just an example of how the Mavericks need to improve their game if they really want to win this title. The Puerto Rican is shooting 21.7 percent from the floor and 12.5 percent from the 3-point range. Truth is, Dirk Nowitzki is going to need much more help from his teammates if they want that Championship Ring.
If the Dallas Mavericks want to survive these playoffs, they better win game two. Because there is very little, actually there is only a 7% chance (if we take the past finals as a reference) for an underdog team to actually comeback from a 0-2 deficit and win the championship ring. Things are a little better for team with a 0-1 deficit. 73% of the teams that have won game one of the series has end up winning the Championship, so from this perspective there is still plenty of hope for the Mavericks to complete a good comeback.
But winning this second game is vital for the Mavericks. And heck, even for the sake of us who enjoy the sport regardless of which team wins, it’s hard to argue that a win at South Beach by the Mavericks could only make this series so much more exciting. The Mavericks would get back on the game, and the Miami Heat’s big three would have to keep on their rhythm in Dallas for the next two games.
One big factor here is going to be whether Dirk Nowitzki is going to be playing at his best. He suffered an injury on the middle finger of his left hand and has been using a splint since the finish of game 1. Some believe that it won’t affect his game, particularly because the injury was suffered in his non-shooting hand. But still, it might slow him down defensively, as he might take a little more caution when fighting for rebounds or guarding players on his left side.
Perhaps the main issue here is that the Dallas Mavericks are in a position they have yet to experiment all post-season long. After losing the opener of the NBA finals, ending a five-game road winning streak or being down in a series for the first time this postseason.
Thinks weren’t that great for the Dallas Mavericks on game one. Truth be said that the Heat managed to keep their shooting effectiveness to an unprecedented playoffs low and were a dominant force on the rebounds. Coach Rick Carlisle knows well that he can’t afford having Miami outrebound his team by 10. That was especially significant on the offensive end. The Heat picked-up 16 offensive boards; the Dallas Mavericks had 3.
Dallas, meanwhile, made a playoff-low 37.3 percent of its shots and got a measly 17 points from the bench. Terry scored 12, but all in the first half as he was smothered by LeBron James. Not even Jose Juan Barea, who had been a dominant force against the Western Conference teams, was as brilliant as his team needed him to be. It looks as if Barea couldn’t rise to the occasion.
It wasn’t their best game, but the Mavericks weren’t doing that bad either. Perhaps the biggest issue was holding on to the lead and having the strong finish needed to defeat the Heat at home. he Mavs led after the first and second quarters and were up by eight points in the third quarter. They weren’t really out of it until the final five minutes, when Dwyane Wade, James and Bosh put on the kind of show their fans wanted to see. And then it was too late. There was no coming back for game 1. The Maverick must find a way to get back on game 2, because if not, it’s going to be over too soon.
The Dallas Mavericks are back on the NBA Finals. This time around, they know exactly what it takes. 5 years ago, they had a good chance but were ultimately defeated by the Miami Heat. This time around, the Mavs have a squad filled with veterans on their best shape and is currently guided by Dirk Nowitzki, who has been incredible, so efficient when the game is on the line that we could very well be facing one heart stopping final.
It’s still uncertain whether the Mavericks are going to have their re-match against the Miami Heat, or if for something just short of a miracle, Derrick Rose is going to be able to pull the Chicago Bulls back into an NBA Final for the first time since that 1998 season when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen where the dominant force of the game.
Nowitzki has dominated the series and has been phenomenal in the Playoffs. As if his previous games weren’t sufficient for making him a solid finals MVP he added yet another highlight Wednesday night, hitting a 3-pointer from the middle of the arch with 1:14 left that put the Mavericks ahead. After fighting a double-digit deficit, Nowizki’s three was enough to get the Mavericks ahead for good on their way to a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that ended the Western Conference finals in five games.
The Mavericks have had great regular seasons but had been something of a disappointment in the Playoffs. They reached the Finals in 2006, went up 2-0 and had a big, late lead in Game 3, only to lose to the Miami Heat in six games. This could very well be their best chance to get back at them. Sure the Mavericks won only a single playoff series since 2006, but all of that changed this spring. The Mavericks are in the finals. And they are ready to claim what they couldn’t in 2006.
Mike Brown, the head coach who used to handle LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, is very aware that he is not there to fill nobody’s shoes. Particularly because filling Phil Jackson’s shoes is a little like fitting in a pair of Ronald McDonald’s shoes. Still, Brown is well aware that he might have the answers to get the LA Lakers back at the top after what we could consider quite a disastrous ending to a very successful run with the Lakers.
According to the reports we have gathered, the deal will be for four years and $18.25 million. The contract is a three-year deal and there is a team option on the fourth year. Should the Lakers decide to opt out of the deal, Brown is guaranteed to receive $2.5 million.
Perhaps the biggest question here is whether Brown and the Lakers franchise player, Kobe Bryant, are going to be able to get on the same page. Mike Brown has experience dealing with big egos. Let’s not forget that even LeBron James himself has said that it was Brown who made him a better defensive player on the court.
Browns’ game is very defensive oriented, and it is still uncertain whether that change will accommodate the needs of the Lakers. It is efficient. The 41-year-old coach guided Cleveland to the 2007 NBA Finals and two trips to the Eastern Conference finals in five seasons with the Cavaliers, posting a record of 272-138. That makes him the 5th most successful coach in NBA history. But it is not showy, its not entertaining game.
Because at the end, when you are in Los Angeles, in the entertainment capital of the world, you have to realize that it is not enough to win games. When you are ahead of the Lakers you have to be able to bring forward truly entertaining basketball. And that’s where I’m still unsure if Mike Brown is the better choice.