Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rolling the Dice

Okay, so two different ways to tell the “story” of tonight’s game 1 Finals loss.

STORY #1

One is that we hung in there for the first half, but then the Heat shifted gears, buckled down, and put us away.

That’s definitely possible, but I think we could be a little misled by the big Lebron dunks that he put in once the game was mostly over and we were already playing desperate. I’m not saying I’m not worried about those plays, but I think it’s possible they would go down a bit differently if it were a two-point game instead of an eight-point game with a couple of minutes left.

STORY #2

Another way to view the game is that our bench has really been the difference throughout the playoffs, and that bench did not show up tonight. As in, 17 points on 4 of 22 (18%) shooting from Barea, Terry, and Peja.

Someone could point out that the Miami bench didn't play great either, shooting 8 of 22 (36.4%) for 27 points.

The difference is that our bench is a big part of how we got to the Finals. Despite Nowitzki’s brilliance through most of the playoffs so far, Barea, Terry, and occasionally Peja need to show up with big games for us to succeed against good teams. We have gambled by placing heavy stock in the ability of those guys –– especially Barea and Peja –– to make big plays and help us get wins. Now we risk paying the price for placing a lot of weight in players who may have been playing beyond their potential for awhile now.

We didn’t always close great against Portland and Oklahoma City, but we played well enough across the span of the whole game to win those series convincingly, and that overall play included nice contributions from the bench.

So for me, two big questions now are, is Barea really a rotation player for a contender, or just a guy who got hot for a couple of weeks? And, can Peja still hit big shots in big games, or have we already gotten out of him more than we bargained for?

3 comments:

David said...

Scooter... A couple of things:

First, Barrea must become a distributor in this series. The Heat are too good inside for him to be a scorer.

Next, Peja may need to sit if he can't hit the three. At least three of those wide open threes for Miami were his man. Too much of a definsive liability if no scoring.

Last, last night was the first game this season the Heat bench outsored their opposition. (1 for 98). I'll take those odds the rest of the series.

Have a great day.

David said...

Mavs in seven!!! Keep the faith, brother.

jeremy said...

I think the answers to both questions may be yes, but that won't be good enough for us to win this series. Obviously, I hope the Mavs redeem their 2006 meltdown, but I can't get past the historical fact that 2 superstars tend to beat 1 in a long series. You talked about the Mavs getting desperate; that's what happens when you realize you're outmatched.