Tag: Dallas Miami

NBA Finals Mavericks Heat Basketball

Chris Bosh talks Game 6 tears, emotion


I came out of Game 6, and really these entire playoffs, liking Chris Bosh more than I did going in. And I liked him going in.

On the court in the playoffs he showed how he can be a quality counterbalance to the Heat’s ball handling combination of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. When given a mismatch to exploit, he did so well.

But after the Game 6 loss he left the court and collapsed in tears. For some out there, that was another reason to mock the big man, and he was asked bout those tears in his post season interview, as recorded by the Miami Herald.

“I haven’t experienced that pain in a very long time,” Bosh said. “To be so close and work so hard and come up short, it just got to me. It took over me.

“I’m not an emotional guy. I couldn’t help it. I got it out of me and feel a lot better.”

Bosh’s postgame emotion showed me how much he cared. How much he wanted it. No arrogant remarks to the media, just a guy who sounded humbled and clearly hurt.

Bosh can get overshadowed by LeBron and Wade, he is not a guy with a big personality. But after Game 6, he seemed more humanized, I could relate to him more. The loss felt personal to him.  I have no doubt Bosh will come back next playoffs better, and more mentally prepared to take one more step forward.

Video: Top 10 plays of the 2011 NBA finals

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six
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These were a damn good finals.

Close games, plenty of drama, dramatic comeback, some feistiness — these finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks had it all.

And they had some great plays. The fine folks at NBA.com compiled these for us and we bring them to you for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy watching what it looks like when LeBron James actually took on his defender and attacked the basket (it did happen a couple of times this series and we have the video proof). Also enjoy watching Dirk Nowitzki do his thing.

Is Erik Spoelstra’s job in danger? It shouldn’t be.

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six

In Miami, the blame has to go somewhere.

LeBron James is getting a heaping share. So are all the role players. But you can’t fire LeBron and in the NBA when teams don’t live up to expectations it is the coach whose job is on the line. Fair or not.

There are those wondering if Erik Spoelstra will be back with the Heat next season. He’s a young coach on a team that is as “win now” as it gets. David Thorpe of ESPN thinks that may pressure the Heat into a move (as he told Henry Abbott at TrueHoop).

I wouldn’t fire him. But I suspect they’ll think they can’t afford to wait another year to figure out of he’s the right guy for them. If he is fired, he’ll be employed again very quickly. I think he’s a terrific young coach, and he’ll get better and better.

A lot of NBA teams think that way, Thorpe is right. Pat Riley, however, doesn’t think and act like most NBA teams. Most likely Spoelstra keeps his job. And one thing Thorpe says I can verify — if Spoelstra were let go he’d be in instant demand around the league. Other GMs and basketball people speak highly of him. He is young, hard working, gets the game and considering everything he had to deal with this season he did a good job.

But next season he may well be on a much tighter leash.

One question is who would you bring in? Pat Riley is there but he does not want to return to the grind of being an NBA coach. Phil Jackson is taking a year off and might be an odd fit with that roster and front office anyway. Doc Rivers stayed put in Boston. Mike Brown is with the Lakers. Who is left that you really want to bring in? Larry Brown?

The Heat struggled early in the season but what should matter, what Pat Riley will likely take into consideration, is how they improved as things went along. By the end of the season they Heat were playing their best ball, against Boston and Chicago they had the off-the-ball action, the “big three” worked more in concert than next to each other. Things really were coming together.

On the biggest stage against a veteran team that fell apart. But that is not all on the coach — the roster is not deep enough right now, and it usually takes teams some hard losses playing together to learn how to win a championship.

Spoelstra also seems to have the backing of his players. His pregame white board in the locker room (detailing actions) is one of the better organized, more detailed in the league. And Spoelstra is figuring out how to motivate this team, Dwyane Wade told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“He’s good at analogies, using what we’ve been through, throughout this year, and stuff like that,” Wade said. “He’s actually getting better at speeches, though. He’s had a couple of good ones in this postseason and we were like, ‘Yeah.’ So he’s getting pretty good.”

What they have been through is key — Spoelstra is growing like this team is growing. They are doing it together, they have been through a season unlike one any other NBA team has dealt with in terms of media scrutiny and the feeling about them around the league.

Spoelstra is one of them. He shouldn’t be let go, he deserves a chance to grow with this team and help it take one more step.

But he might not want to get off to a 9-8 start next season.

Mark Cuban may not do championship rings

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, all those Dallas Mavericks veterans who have chased rings through their entire career… they may not get them.

Oh, they get to call themselves champions, they get the chip and the bragging rights. But on NBA TV after the game last night Mark Cuban said he may not do championship rings for the players.

“I might not get rings,” Cuban said as Chris Webber started to give him look like he was nuts. “Rings are old school. You’ve seen it before: There’s guys who pick up the sweats and towels and they have these big, blingy rings. I’m like, ‘Rings are done. It’s time to take it to the next level.'”

If not rings then what? Championship belts? iPads with pictures of rings?

The rings are a bit old school, but so is his team? Has he looked at the ages of these guys? Those players he has may like the tradition. Except for DeShawn Stevenson.

Nation tunes in to see Heat fail, television ratings up

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisl

America loves some good schadenfreude.

Miami Heat and LeBron James were on the brink of being knocked out and the nation wanted to watch, which is why the television ratings for Game 6 were the highest for a Game 6 in 11 years (the first of the Lakers three-pete titles with Shaq and Kobe).

(Look, I’d love to think America tuned in to watch the smart and efficient basketball of the Mavericks, that they finally get how special Dirk Nowitzki is, but frankly I don’t have that much faith in the American public. These are the same people who buy shape up shoes and watch the Kardashians.)

Game 6 generated a 15 rating (meaning about 15 percent of all television in the nation were tuned to the game), which is up from the 12.3 last year when traditional powerhouses (and larger television markets) Los Angeles and Boston were going at it. The 15 was the highest of any finals game this season and any of he first six from last season (Game 7 last year drew an 18.3).

That game caps off a playoffs and full regular season that saw ratings in the league up, saw interest in the league increase. There is a real momentum. It’s the one reason to hope the lockout gets solved before games are lost — that would kill everything that has been built. Both sides give lip service to that idea, but we’ll see what happens when the negotiations face deadlines.