Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rapid React: Mavs Beat the Heat to Win the NBA Title

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat (in Miami) 105-95 to win the 2011 NBA championship, the first for the Mavs franchise. I haven’t looked at a box score yet, so there may be more to come if I can find some time before hitting the road for a bit. I didn’t have a strong rooting interest in this series. I wanted a good finals and felt like the series more than delivered, short of going seven games. It was good fun–like sports should be. A few quick thoughts for now…

I feel best for the two Jason’s. Jason Kidd has been such a great player for such a long time. This was sweet for him. Although the end is near for Kidd, he was still an integral piece of this Mavs championship season even if not this series. Jason Terry was unbelievable in game six after being very good in games 4 & 5. JET took over game six early on Miami’s home floor and hit big baskets to help close out the Heat late in the game.

I thought the series had something for every kind of fan. If you like good guy-bad guy narratives the Heat (love ‘em or hate ‘em) are compelling theater. If you like nitty gritty x’s and o’s this was also a series Hubie Brown could love. Carlisle made some nice subtle calls; not afraid to go deep into his bench to experiment with matchups, unlike most coaches. Even more impressive in my eyes was his decision, after game one, to move Jason Terry off the wing to the middle of the floor (flipping Kidd to the wing) to create space for the P&R game.

As for the Heat, I imagine that many teams in the East must be feeling heartened right now about next year’s playoffs. Predictions of a Miami dynasty notwithstanding, the Heat looked pretty ordinary when they were unable to convert forced turnovers for easy baskets or to consistently hit three point shots. Although the importance of fourth quarter performance is easy to overstate–especially when it is isolated from the rest of the game–clearly Miami has issues at so-called “crunch” time that must be addressed.

I will offer a couple sentences on LeBron, since this series is something of a referendum on him. He’s got some holes in his game (e.g., no serious post-up game, limited mid-range scoring ability, close to worthless without the ball), and rightly deserves some criticism. But if recent history is any indicator, much of the criticism is apt to be way overstated.

13 comments on “Rapid React: Mavs Beat the Heat to Win the NBA Title

  1. JK47

    Watching this game, it seemed obvious that Wade and LeBron are pretty redundant players. Neither of them are very good without the ball in their hands. They are both so good WITH the ball in their hands that they almost make up for it, but they got beat by a good-not-great Dallas team.

    LeBron will get eviscerated, and he will deserve a lot of the criticism. The Heat were a whopping -24 with LeBron on the floor tonight, and you could see why– he wasn’t very good on defense, and he turned it over six times. And you can’t overlook the ugly truth that LeBron scored only 18 points in 6 fourth quarters, hardly ever getting to the line. The killer instinct is just not there.

    The Heat were pressing, trying to make the spectacular play every time, and they got beat by a team that played a much more simple, P&R oriented game. Don’t let the Heat get easy baskets– make them earn it in the half-court– and you can beat them.

  2. BigBlueAL

    I’ll say one thing, I think this will make it harder for the Heat to win it all next season and every season there after until they win it all.

    I fully expect the Heat to win 60+ games next season but come playoff time if a team can stay with them and just make it a bit tough on them those demons will show up every time until they exercise them.

  3. nicos

    Plenty of blame to go around for the Heat players but to me Spoelstra also got completely out-coached. He had no answer for either the Mav’s zone on the offensive end or the high P & R with Terry handling the ball on D. Showed no ability to make adjustments beyond just switching personnel. Also- do you think Mike Bibby is rethinking his decision to void the last year on his contract now? Hard to see the Heat re-signing him (or anyone giving him much beyond a million or two to be a back-up).

  4. Rashidi

    One defeat does not take away the fact that Miami are the favorites to win championships over the next 4 years.

    LeBron and co basically played 3 on 5 and had no outside shooting help to speak of once James Jones got hurt. Mike Miller was awful this year due to wrist injuries. Mike Bibby is clinging to the league by a thread and lost his rotation spot to 3rd stringer Eddie House. Up front, Udonis Haslem missed the bulk of the year, Zydrunas Ilgauskas fell out of the rotation and Erick Dampier never cracked the playoff roster over Jamaal Magloire.

    It will be an interesting off-season for Miami because they will be looking for legitimate starters at the PG & C positions.

    Free Agents
    PG: Mario Chalmers (R), Mike Bibby, Eddie House (1.4 Player Option)
    SG: N/A
    SF: James Jones (1.4 Player Option)
    PF: Juwan Howard
    C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas (1.4 Player Option), Erick Dampier, Jamaal Magloire

  5. Brian Cronin

    The Lebron coverage makes me imagine what kind of BS Jordan would have had to go with when he was Lebron’s age if we had the internet and the cable news industry like we do now.

    “He just can’t win the big game. He doesn’t make his teammates better. You can just push him around and he’ll fold.”

    And then, from age 27 onward (you know, a year older than Lebron is now) the guy won six titles.

  6. Z-man

    The media was pretty active in those days too. They didn’t say that about Jordan because it wasn’t true, even before he won anything. Also note that he was 6 for 6 in the finals.

  7. Nick C.

    Interesting point. Jordan definitely still did get that “just a scorer” type of stuff but … he also had the “Jordan Rules” which was what Detroit’s defense to stop him was called. I’m not sure Jordan did or would have drawn attention to himself the way LeBron did.

  8. SeeWhyDee77

    I’ve been sayin this all along..and I’m not gloating- but Lebron never should have signed with Miami. LBJ + Wade does not mesh as well when it counts due to lack of floor spacing for the 2. Until one of them develops a reliable outside game, they will always have an extremely hard way 2 go in the postseason. Those 2 are talented enough to possibly overcome it, but I just can’t see much sustainable success for them as currently constructed. Basketball has always been that way. They say hindsight is 20/20..but NY really was the spot 4 Lebron. Either that or Wade should have come 2 NY. Both would have thrived with the spacing the offense affords players. Talent does not always win..it helps..but it doesn’t always mean success- in every sport. The Yanks from a few seasons ago..the Cowboys during TO’s tenure..the Lakers when they had Malone and Payton..hell even the the Trailblazers when they could go 2 deep at every position about a decade ago. The Eastern Conference is officially a real competition now..Congrats 2 Dirk, Life and the crew. And what an underrated job Carlisle has done huh?

  9. SeeWhyDee77

    Oops..I’m using my phone 4 this and I keep forgetting I have auto correct active on this thing. It was supposed 2 say Congrats to Dirk, Kidd and the crew..not Dirk, Life and the crew lol..I’m beginning 2 hate this phone

  10. Mike Kurylo

    Z-man:
    The media was pretty active in those days too.They didn’t say that about Jordan because it wasn’t true, even before he won anything.Also note that he was 6 for 6 in the finals.

    Oh they sure did. Before the titles, Jordan had the reputation of being a me-first scorer. Back then everyone pointed to Magic & Bird as the epitome of team players, and Jordan was the selfish genius. Hence why his legacy is so strong, because Jordan “overcame” that flaw (ironically at the same time HOFer Pippen came on-board). Also why Phil Jackson is seen as someone who poops marble, because he inserted the triangle offense which forced Jordan to share with his teammates.

    It’s a great narrative, but it’s 99% malarkey because if Jordan in his first or second season walked on to the 1991 Bulls with a half decent coach, they’d have won a title right then & there. He was just that freakin good.

  11. David Crockett

    Mike Kurylo: Oh they sure did. Before the titles, Jordan had the reputation of being a me-first scorer. Back then everyone pointed to Magic & Bird as the epitome of team players, and Jordan was the selfish genius. Hence why his legacy is so strong, because Jordan “overcame” that flaw (ironically at the same time HOFer Pippen came on-board). Also why Phil Jackson is seen as someone who poops marble, because he inserted the triangle offense which forced Jordan to share with his teammates.

    I remember the pre-Scottie days when Jordan refused to pass to Orlando Woolridge (who was Agent Zero before Gilbert Arenas). God, can you imagine if the Oak-for-Cartwright deal never happened and Oak had to co-exist with MJ?

  12. citizen

    David Crockett: I remember the pre-Scottie days when Jordan refused to pass to Orlando Woolridge (who was Agent Zero before Gilbert Arenas). God, can you imagine if the Oak-for-Cartwright deal never happened and Oak had to co-exist with MJ?

    Random thing noticed from their basketballreference profiles: in their only full season together, Woolridge had a higher TS and EFG than Jordan at only slightly lower usage!!

  13. Thomas B.

    The LBJ talk overshadows the most interesting thing about the series, that being Rick Carlisle totally outcoaching Erik Spoelstra. Carlisle had Dallas playing stick and move. Dallas would make an adjustment and Spoelstra was just too slow to counter. Where Dallas changed looks without changing roles (see Terry not starting but not losing playing time). Meanwhile, Miami took Bibby out of the rotation. Sure Bibby wasn’t producing but he is a better ball handler than Wade. Playing without a point only exacerbated Miami’s problems getting the half court offense working. Miami makes a killing on fast breaks and scores after turnovers, but when Dallas made offensive adjustments to reduce turnovers, the Heat had big scoring droughts.

    The Dallas zone worked wonders. Miami could not shoot their way out of the zone–this is where Spoelstra decided a zone buster (House I guess) was more important than a ball handler. That was a mistake. Oh and the guy who was actually hitting mid range shots, Bosh, was not getting the ball. Why? No real point on the floor. I know LBJ and Wade can make nice passes but neither of them can really manage a halfcourt offense. They can produce for themselves in the half court with penetration or good outside shooting, but each of them seemed not to be able to do that in this series. And they don’t know how to run an offense in such a way as to work the ball to Bosh.
    Finally, Chandler and Marion on defense and rebounding really helped Dallas a lot. Miami lacks defensive forwards who are that active, so do the Knicks come to think of it.

Comments are closed.