Thursday, June 2, 2011

All Over Again

Here’s what I wrote tonight during the fourth quarter after the Heat took their fifteen-point fourth-quarter lead. I titled it “All Over Again” because it felt like the loss to Miami in the Finals in 2006:

I think I’m finally convinced: Miami was better than we were in 2006, and they’re better than we are now. It is, after all, a sport, which means that things like speed and strength matter, they’re not incidental.

Why did we lose tonight? Every time we turned the ball over, Miami beat us down the floor for a dunk. When the Heat missed a shot, there were at least three times that Wade was already springing to the rim before he even knew if the shot was going in. At least a couple of times, he got rebound-dunks from it. Jason Terry has basically been shut down these two games, partly because the Heat defenders are taller than he is, and partly because they’re so fast in closing out on shooters that Terry has hardly gotten any open looks. Dirk definitely doesn’t shoot as well when defenders are physical with him. In the regular season, he gets foul calls a big chunk of the time. When the fouls aren’t coming, he still adjusts, be he isn’t as dominant.

So, uh, after the borderline-miraculous comeback and win tonight, I guess what I really meant by “All Over Again” was that it was just like the fifteen-point fourth quarter comeback against Oklahoma City last round. Yeah, that's what I meant.


jeremy said...

Hilarious overreaction after the game from Jon Barry: he thinks the series might be over. Though you were wrong about last night, we still don't know which team is better. But it did seem that my ball theories were all repudiated in 7 happy minutes.

JKnott said...

I like the Mavs' chances. Terry, Stojakovic, Barea, and even Dirk are all due to have a big shooting night. Even granting that the Heat defense is significant in their moderate offensive performance so far, eventually they'll get used to it, adjust, get more comfortable, and have big games.

So in game 3 or 4, the Mavs should have a night where they hit threes and win convincingly, even accounting for Marion slumping a bit.

Then, no matter what happens in the other game (i.e., even if they lose game 3 or 4), game 5 will be a huge battle. And in that game, psychological toughness will be paramount. Given their veteran squad, and how they handled the pressure better than the Heat in game 2, not to mention the home-court advantage, I like the Mavs to win game 5.

That means at worst they go back to Miami up 3-2. At that point, I think the Heat start to crack internally. They'll start pointing fingers (even if only in their heads), stop trusting each other and their coach, get selfish on offense, etc. Then it will only be a matter of time. The Mavs will win game 6 or 7.

Or...the Heat could learn from game 2, crack down and win the next 3. But I'll put my metaphorical money on the former scenario.

JKnott said...

Just saw this on, which agrees more or less with my analysis, except they think the Mavs will have to win game 6:

David said...

Great over-reaction...

Just remember this: the series is right where it should be after two games. The Mavs won one they should have lost, and they lost one they should have won. Series on...

Game three winner is 11-0 in history, when series is tied after two. I say this is the 12th time this happens. Mavs get home cookin' in game three, get out to big lead and Heat start to fall apart.

I quote both Dwyane and Lebron (aka Dwayane James,)"We didn't play Heat defense. We need to paly better Heat basketball." The emphasis on the "we'S"... they meant the rest of the team. Shame on you Superstars.

Go Mavs.

JKnott said...

Well, the mavs have one more chance to prove me right. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully Dirk calling JET out publicly will have the desired effect.