Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NBA Finals - Recap

The dust has now settled.  The Dallas Mavericks are the NBA Champions and Dirk Nowitzki has claimed the Finals MVP.  Let's take a look at some of the things that happened and let's start taking a look at the future. 

1) The Mavericks did what not many thought they could do and that was win against this Heat team.  They got scoring from Dirk and Jet and then the 'other' pieces started falling into place: Stevenson (scoring, defense), Chandler (rebounding), Kidd (leadership), Marion (scoring, defense) and the rest of the bench provided the intangibles.  They proved that a team (with one superstar) can beat anyone.  The Mavs looked like the better coached team and thus the outcome.  Conspiracy Theory Alert - How many free throws can a guy get who isn't a slasher?  I mean this has got to be a record for the most free throws attempted by any one player in this many playoff games.  Dirk had how many for the series?  Over 170 and I'm still looking for the concrete information. 

2) LeBron, let me count the ways.  LBJ is probably the most talented person in the NBA.  Along with others, it's going to take time for him to put it all together.  The first thing he should work on is his attitude.  This is the last stanza of the poem 'IF' by Rudyard Kipling:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

LBJ has lost that common touch.  For him to answer questions like he did in the post game presser is unconscionable.  He is never going to endear himself to anyone and he should've taken the high road and just said 'I sucked, I will get better, and we will be back next year'.  He probably wouldn't have gotten another question because everyone's mouth would have been open.     
3) Next up for LBJ is his game.  I don't think that LBJ 'checked out' as many have said.  I think he was really at his wits end.  It's that place where he realized that he couldn't do what he wanted to do because his game isn't at that level.  LBJ has succeeded (and yes he's succeeded, got better numbers than Kobe in the playoffs after same number of years) by doing what he always did, outrunning people and just being bigger.  In the NBA, there are guys that are his size and can run.  IF, and that's a big one, LBJ gets a back to the basket game and a mid range game (why do you think Jordan worked on this later in his career?) he will be ______ (enter any Scottie Pippen comment you want to use).  The article from ESPN based on a interview with Steve Kerr says it all (a brief snippet is here):

"Michael had three years at North Carolina with Dean Smith. That makes a big difference," Kerr said. "I think he was brought up at a time when there was probably better development at a young age in terms of coaching. I think LeBron is a product of the AAU system where you rely on your athleticism, you go and play 100 games a year but maybe you don't focus on your weaknesses and what you need to lock in on.
"As a result, fundamentally and technically LeBron has some flaws. He has to address those. If I were him I would spend all summer down on the low block shooting jump hooks and turnaround jump shots -- the entire summer." - Whole story here.

4) Classy.  Not normally the word that I've used when talking about Mark Cuban, the owner of the Mavs, but he sure did it the right way with the trophy acceptance and he's been quiet in the media.  Maybe all those years of paying fines caught up to him or he was able to find his groove.  Great job Mr. Cuban.

5) Jilted.  Why is Dan Gilbert still tweeting about LBJ?  Are you still heart-broken, are you still a scorned lover?  Let it go.  He's gone.  If he's as bad as you said he is, you should be happy.  You coddled him, gave him all the freedom that you should with someone nicknamed 'The Chosen One' and it came back to bite you.  Enjoy the draft and figure out what to do with the 1st and 4th pick.  Stay off of Twitter.  Even your congrats to the Mavs had to mention LBJ.

6) DeShawn Stevenson.  How do I put this,....hmmmmm.  Shut up.  You are lucky to be a NBA Champion and you continue to talk.  Let's not forget that you're most famous for doing what?  Chasing Bird Man for the NBA player with the most tattoos?  Yes, you hit some shots to help the Mavs win, but you are probably just happy that you were included in a trade that brought you to Dallas.  Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.

7) Dwayne Wade.  You are lucky because your failings are forgiven because you've won a championship before and the fact that LBJ has provided a much easier target for everyone.  You got some work to do too.   
So, what was your take on the series?


South Loop Social Light said...

I was blown away by the poor sportsmanship The Heat displayed. I can understand emotions running high and feeling overwhelmed realizing that they were out of the game, but seeing them just give up on the court with time still left on the clock bugged me. These are PROFESSIONAL athletes that are paid MILLIONS of dollars to show up and play. It was a huge turnoff to see the way they conducted themselves, running off the court, falling out like they were in church, not congratulating one another... yes, it's the championships, but don't they all realize that they're STILL millionaires lol... Well, I guess LeBron is the only one that got that message given his obnoxious interview. He sounded like a bitter brat. Talented or not, he needs to humble himself, their entire team needed the reality check. I hope it pushes them to be better next year. I'm not sure why people are so fond of LeBron... I haven't followed his entire career and been a fan, but I can say he comes off as a douche and makes it VERY hard to feel any type of sympathy for him. I think the better, more well-rounded team won! They never gave up and their hard work paid off.

Sidebar: DeShawn Stevenson freaked me out this entire series!! He always has a stank face when plays are being made and looks like he just got released from prison. He definitely scares me lol

jerrod said...

Man,, you finally are facing the cold hard fact that LeBron has some serious flaws in his game and that his character needs major tweaking. But please, can we stop mentioning Kobe's name along with LeBron? LeBron does not have "It". He is supremely athletic and gifted physically...but thats about the extent of it. Stevenson was right that he "checked out". You saw his eyes and I'm sure the players could sense something in person that the fans couldn't see. LeBron was wishing he was on South Beach during the 4th quarters. He did not want that ball in his hands! Thats his make up and the way he is built. That will never change no matter what. He can shoot 5,000 mid range jumpers a day and get some post up moves, but at the end of the day; he is who he is. He will always shrink under intense pressure and covet the "robin" role. He knew what he was doing when he went to Miami with DWade- for the security of having a "Batman" when the going got tough. Yes, LeBron is an amazing frontrunner....prancing and preening for the cameras, but that hole gets real tight in the crunch. He was tossing that ball around like it had the bubonic plague in the 4th quarter.

Inquisitive Mind said...

@ Jerrod - I've always known that he had limitations to his game, I have been on that whole developing a back to the basket game for the longest (he's a mismatch waiting to happen on the block).
I also fault him for not having someone in his camp being an individual and calling him out on some of this isht. Maverick Carter should have been blowing his cell phone up when he started listening to that interview, or better yet should have rushed the stage and just said, LeBron is sick right now, we'll answer those question via email. If he stood up once and took the blame, people wouldn't say anything to him. BTW, Jordan did this same thing (surrounding himself with confidants) when he started running the Bobcats. He needed someone to bring the real to him.

Inquisitive Mind said...

@ SLSL - That's that thug love!?!?!? He's a character, but he's a self promoter too. He was flopping out there like a fish. And LBJ basically said he's a millionaire and all the people that were hating on him would have to go back to their lives and deal with their problems, (he didn't really say this) while I'm sitting in my mansion, in the pool, with the cook fixing food and the family gathered around before I go and buy me a new car or something. #itches!!!!!

Delsin said...

The media needs to get over their fascination with Lebron. After the Bulls series, LeBron was possibly the greatest player ever, and a week and half later, he's a joke who crumbles under pressure. Truth is he's somewhere in between.

I did enjoy watching Bosh cry in the tunnel though, no sympathy from me on that one.

Inquisitive Mind said...

@ Delsin - the sad part was that Erick(a) Dampier (isn't that what Shaq called him when he was in Dallas) was consoling him. Two guys who should never be seen touching each other.