Monday, June 19, 2006

 

Put up or Shut up time


Now is the time for the Mavs to shine. We'll have to put behind us all the questionable occurrences and either put up or shut up. Despite the bad week in Miami, the Mavs still have an excellent chance to win this championship.

Stack is back and probably back with a vengeance. The fire has been lit under the Mavs and their backs are against the wall. Even the national media is behind us. Everybody from Reggie Miller to the columnists on ESPN's Around the Horn are talking how the Mavs were jobbed and have lost their intrigue for Wade and the Heat. On an ESPN pole, 47% of the 174,925 people voting said the Mavs will win in seven. With all that said, here are some things to look at for game 6.

Look for Avery to use Marqis Daniels (above) on Wade more. He seemed to be the most effective defender but he'll have help. The Mavs will be sending two or three guys at Wade forcing him to give the ball up and make players like Walker, Williams and Payton to beat us.

Also look for Mavs to bury there heads early and head straight a the basket and at Shaq to try and get to the line. The league is well aware of its bias national perception and look for the Mavs to capitalize by trying to get to the line.

P.S. If your going to the game, you better not have a voice by the end of it. It doesn't matter if the Mavs are down by 20 and Wade seems like MJ. Keep the support coming or it will be the last

Sunday, June 18, 2006

 

Enough is enough


I've bought into Avery's hardnosed tough no excuse attitude but this has been ridiculous. I hear the conspiracy theory thoughts on the NBA and I blow them off saying its part of the game but this is too much. The missing 3.5 seconds from game three. The three suspensions this playoffs, none of which have been consistent with any NBA ruling all year other than Terry's. The phantom foul (photo) on Wade by Dirk along with the Timeout confusion. It all makes a big stink. If the Congress wants something to look at other than hunting steroid users, they should take a look into the NBA's amazing ability to make mistakes. We may have an Italian soccer scandal on our hands.

Friday, June 16, 2006

 

Game 4 Thoughts

For all the talk about how the NBA was cleaning up old school basketball, last night sure looked like a step back. While Dirk obviously did not play the kind of ball we are accustomed of seeing from him, it sure looked like it had a lot to do with the physical defense of Miami. Haslem and Posey were constantly up in Dirk's chest the entire game. The game is supposed to allow the premiter players to be able to drive as handchecking is illegal. Yet, to me at least, it seemed when Dirk was out on the perimeter, he was not granted the same luxury as a guard.

The Mavericks need to do what they do best: rebound and fast breaks. Miami once again dominated the boards. Dallas relies on getting those loose balls that often result in fast break points and high percentage shots. If Dallas wants to avoid coming home down 3-2, they need a team effort on the boards in addition to Dirk and Howard having a better performance than game four.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

 

Game 3 Notes


Nothing much to say about the game tonight. As Riley said, the Heat got lucky at some points in the game...I'm not sure about the refs call on JET at the end of the game. Looked like a pretty tacky foul then the refs seem to swallow their whistles for the rest of the game. Also if anyboyd knows why JET didn't get the bucket when he got foul and Alonzo Mourning goaltended and he still made the basket, leave a comment...J-Ho looked real good but unfortunately this game broke his undefeated when scoring 20+ streak...Damp was awesome: Best game he's had with Dallas in the playoffs...Dirk looked really pissed in the post game press conference. Look for him to come out aggressive and have a much better first quarter next game. If he can put together a good 1st quarter he could have had 40 in the last two games...I think Avery will also make some adjustments to slow down wade like he did to Nash in the Phoenix series...I'd be shocked if the Mavs don't go into Game 5 up 3-1.

 

The Rookie Dookie

Late last night Jonathan Clay Reddick connected on a three of his own. Only this time, the three stands for three initials: DWI. He was arrested while making an illegal U-turn trying to avoid a police checkpoint. J.J. Reddick knows better to drink and drive; especially two weeks before the NBA draft. He was projected by some insiders to go as high as #7. How this will impact his draft stock is uncertain, but his decision could cost him millions. In addition to his legal and monetary woes that may result, he gives hecklers further ammunition and once again places Duke athletics in a bad position. JJ may be one of the best pure shooters of all time, but he needs to focus less on his shooting and more on his decision making.

Monday, June 12, 2006

 

The Sub-Star Game

Has anybody looked at the American League All-Star voting recently? If you have a weak stomach, I wouldn't recomend it because I almost yacked. 7 of the 8 starters voted by the fans are on either the Yankees or the Red Sox.

The Yankees vs. Red Sox mania has gotten out of hand. They buy there way to wins each year with the two highest pay rolls in the majors. Now with ESPN every Yankees vs Red Sox game like the rest of the nation cares about games in May and June. Of the 8 Sox vs. Yanks games this year, 7 of them have been nationally telivised on ESPN.

Now we're seeing it in the All-Star voting. The fans voting has turned into a popularity contest and the two teams we see the most are getting the votes. There are many players out there that deserve to play and to start. This kills the credibilty of the All-Star game and makes it a joke that the game decides home field advantage for the World Series.

Here's how some of the starters should be. Note that Joe Mauer and Hank Blalock aren't even in the top 5 in All-Star Voting and Jim Thome isn't even on the ballot.

Catchers Average, RBI's, HR, SB
Vote Leader: Jason Variteck, Bos .259, 29, 6, 1
Should Start: Joe Mauer, Min . 386, 30, 5, 6,

First Base
Vote Leader: David Ortiz, Bos .265, 56, 18, 0
Should Start: Jim Thome, CWS .282, 54, 21, 0

Second Base
Vote Leader: Robinson Cano, NYY .323, 25, 3, 2
Should Start: Robinson Cano, NYY .323, 25, 3, 2

Third Base
Vote Leader: Alex Rodriguez, NYY .283, 45, 13, 6
Should Start: Hank Blalock, Tex .308, 46, 9, 1

Short Stop
Vote Leader: Derek Jeter, NYY .329, 5, 42, 10
Should Start: Miguel Tejada, Bal .332, 15, 49, 2

Outfield
Vote Leaders: Vlad Guerrero, Ana .316, 51, 15, 5
Manny Ramirez, Bos .302, 41, 16, 0
Johnny Dammon, NYY .293, 30, 8, 13

Should Start: Vlad Guerrero, Ana .316, 51, 15, 5
Vernon Wells, Tor .329, 49, 15, 6
Jermaine Dye, CWS .303, 46, 19, 3

Sunday, June 11, 2006

 

Finals Coverage is a Bunch of Hot Air


The Mavs are now up 2-0 in the NBA Finals but the way the media has covered this series you wouldn't even know the Mavs were in the series. ESPN.com's headline after game 2 read "Heat Exhaustion" with a picture of Dwyane Wade (right). No mention of Dirk's 26 points and 16 rebounds. No mention of Jerry Stackhouses game changing run at the end of the second quarter. Just the opening line of "Has anyone seen Miami's mojo?"

I understood the media's attention on Miami before the series. They did have Shaq and Riley returning to the Finals. They got the cover of Sports Illustrated and a three page feature while Dallas got a short article on Dirk. I even understood all the talk of the Heat not playing well after game one but it's not time to give Dallas their due.

Dallas has shut down Shaq, holding him to 5 points in game two. Before this series he had only score less 20 points once in his NBA Finals career. He has 23 points this entire series. Avery has out coached Riley but despite all their efforts the national media still just wants to talk about Miami.

Right now, we'll live with it. It gives Avery a good motivator but if the Mavs keep this up, they better be getting their due respect.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

 

Finals' Format Fails

If these NBA playoffs have done one thing, they have shown that the NBA needs to take a long hard look on how they structure their postseason. David Stern has already said that their will be some changes to the seeding due to the fact that the Mavericks ended up being the four seed despite having the second best regular season record.

That, however, isn't the only issue the NBA needs to look at. The issue that really needs to be looked at is why the NBA Finals needs to have a different home and away set up than every other series in the playoffs. Most seven game series in the NBA and all other sports has this format: 2-2-1-1-1. This meaning the first two games are played at home, the next two are away and then home, away, home or visa versa. This seems like the most logical way to conduct series other than alternating home away for each game which isn't really practical.

For some reason the NBA decided some years back that the Finals would have a 2-3-2 format. But why and most importantly, who does the format help the most? I emailed several sports writer and the best answer I got back was from Dan Lebatard of the Miami Herald. He said the league does this to cut down on traveling because of the likelihood that one team would be from the East coast and the other from the West coast. I would agree with this except the NBA Finals aren't played like other playoff series

In all other playoff series, there is only one day of rest between games but in the Finals, the NBA puts in two days of rest. Even with cross country flights, two days is plenty of time for traveling.

I believe the format change gives a big advantage to the team without home court advantage (Miami). With the three consecutive home games, Miami has an excellent chance to take all the momentum in the series and put the Mavs at the brink of elimination without the Mavs losing a home game. Jack Ramsey agrees in his interview with Avery Johnson on ESPN Radio. Dan, however, disagrees.

He states that Dallas would have the advantage because they would potentially have two shots to close out the series at home in games 6 and 7. The only problem with that is it forces the Mavs to win in Miami which completely negates the home court advantage they worked so hard to get. I'm not trying to rip on Dan and in all likelihood the Mavs can take a game in Miami. In fact, since the system has been put in place, the only team has won all three consectuative home games was the 2004 Pistons. Even with that said, the fact of the matter is it is dumb to change the format for just one series and it does give Miami the opportunity to take control of the series on their home court.

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