FanDuel - WFBC

June 10, 2011

Mavs Win Game 5 in Shootout: Shooting 56.5 percent for the game, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat 112-103 in game 5 of the NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki scored 29, Jason Terry 21 and three other players were in double digits. LeBron James bounced back from game 4 with a triple-double: 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Dwyane Wade suffered a first quarter hip contusion that kept him out of part of the game in the locker room.

posted by rcade to basketball at 12:04 AM - 35 comments

I have a question: why is it every player in the league does the post game press conference one on one against the press, but LeChoke and D. Wife need to hold hands and do it together? Just askin'.

posted by Atheist at 12:53 AM on June 10

Woo, Mavs!

posted by tron7 at 02:06 AM on June 10

68% on three-pointers! What a time to put up those kind of numbers.

Also, that ref's pelvic thrust deserves a technical. Someone is auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance.

posted by dfleming at 06:20 AM on June 10

Needless to say, LeBron James' scoring has been non-existent in the 4th quarter of this series... James is averaging just 2.2 PPG in the 4th quarter of these finals after averaging 8.2 in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Bulls. LeBron has yet to score more than five points in the 4th quarter of any game in the NBA Finals and has scored 2 or fewer points each of the last four games.

Are you hearing this Scottie Pippen? If MJ would have performed like this in his playoff appearances, he would have....I can't even finish this comment. It just wouldn't have happened.

posted by dyams at 08:29 AM on June 10

why is it every player in the league does the post game press conference one on one against the press

The Celtics often did paired conferences, usually Pierce and Garnett.

posted by yerfatma at 09:02 AM on June 10

What's the deal with Lebron? He forgot how to score or something. He still had less points than Wade, even though Wade was ailing and missing a significant amount of time. Then, he got outplayed in the 4th quarter by Terry. Lebron made it worse for himself by making such a big deal of this game. Also, did anyone think the Lebron's charge in the 4th quarter was related to the flopping incident?

On the other hand, I hope this doesn't become the Lebron choking story instead of the Nowitzki story. Nowitzki is playing phenomenal basketball on the biggest stage.

posted by bperk at 09:18 AM on June 10

Wall Street Journal discovers Mavs' secret weapon against Heat: Mavs are more touchy-feely.

posted by graymatters at 09:28 AM on June 10

Gave LeBron a dollar bill and asked for change, he only gave me 75cents back because he had no 4th quarter.

(*stolen from elsewhere)

posted by cixelsyd at 09:37 AM on June 10

did anyone think the Lebron's charge in the 4th quarter was related to the flopping incident?

I thought that very thing when it happened.

posted by graymatters at 09:54 AM on June 10

I think Spoelstra is playing LeBron too much. Give him a breather now and then so he's got more left in the fourth quarter.

posted by rcade at 10:56 AM on June 10

From Gray's link: "The Wall Street Journal logged every moment when two teammates could be seen touching each other on camera, whether it was a high-five, a hug, a chest pat or a butt slap." I love the smell of journalism in the morning.

posted by rcade at 10:57 AM on June 10

I think Spoelstra is playing LeBron too much

Pretty much the pattern Spoelstra used all year long, Wade gets spelled while LeBron leads the 2nd unit. When Wade was chasing the likes of Ray Allen on defence it made sense, but this series LeBron is the one guarding a quick small in Jason Terry and could use a blow now and then. The hands at the waist D on Terry's late 3 is a clear indicator he was gassed.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:04 AM on June 10

I think Spoelstra is playing LeBron too much. Give him a breather now and then so he's got more left in the fourth quarter.

Yeah, he's been playing a lot of minutes. He also played a lot of minutes during the regular season. He's only 26, but he could be wearing down.

posted by bperk at 11:10 AM on June 10

Gave LeBron a dollar bill and asked for change, he only gave me 75cents back because he had no 4th quarter.

(*stolen from elsewhere)

Stolen from an emailer from Mike & Mike in the morning

Yeah, he's been playing a lot of minutes. He also played a lot of minutes during the regular season

LeBron is playing 45 mins per game in the Finals as opposed to the 38 mins he was playing in the regular season.

I would say he's gassed.

posted by BornIcon at 11:11 AM on June 10

"The Celtics often did paired conferences, usually Pierce and Garnett."

It seems weird to me. Last night the coaches and all the players went to the podium individually, even Chris Bosh did his alone, only Lebron James and D. Wade appeared together. I mean I understand when Lebron wants help and apparently needs a lot of it to win playoff games, but does he really need help in a press conference?

I have seen a lot of great players over the years and many of them had to deal with the can't win the big one monkey, but I have never seen a guy who so clearly did not want the pressure of super stardom as much as James. Personally I understand missing shots. Sometimes you're hot and sometimes you're not, but he seems to not even want to attempt the big shots or drive the lane when the game is on the line? Clearly his confidence is shaken, and he is struggling. I would feel bad for him but nah, after the decision, the bragging, the on the court behavior, the failure to shake hands after previous playoff exits, and his overall playoff failures followed by the finger pointing, I can't help but enjoy watching him and his all star teammates struggle. Regardless of whether or not the Heat can win the series, it seems to me not winning the title in Cleveland has less to do with his lack of help as it did his own inability to come up big ( as expected) when it really matters. The Cavs did not have a problem achieving the best record in the league during the season, they just could not do it in the playoffs, the reason is becoming obvious.

He has a lot of talent and I fully expect him to get off the mat so to speak at some point in the near future (hopefully not this year). Maybe this dose of humble pie will make Miami a much better team in the future, although I am hoping the fans of Cleveland get their championship before James does. If the Mavs can win, it will be a nice consolation prize for them as it won't feel like they lost their chance when Lebron left. With the Cav's draft picks, it may be that Lebron leaving could have actually got them closer.

posted by Atheist at 01:11 PM on June 10

This NY Times article indicates the strategy behind the interviews, and I'm pretty impressed with it.

posted by bperk at 01:51 PM on June 10

bperk - That was interesting. I see what the strategy is and frankly I think it is chicken shit for lack of a better description. To me it implies they need to be protected from the hard questions, and the press. What message does that send to Bosh. It appears like it isn't the big three but more likely the big two plus the other guy. Even if Bosh joined them it still separates these guys from the rest of their teammates. Those role players need to be part of everything, or what you wind up with is an all star team within a team, that begins to look like two separate teams. If someone is going to speak to the press then let them, if they are going to speak as a team than let them, but to create a team within a team cannot be conducive to the overall chemistry IMO

posted by Atheist at 02:07 PM on June 10

It's an impressive strategy to keep the press from pursuing a narrative about James and Wade being at odds with each other. But it makes James look like he's not a man who can stand up for himself and it makes Bosh seem like of a third wheel. The idea of Michael Jordan refusing to speak to the press without a teammate present boggles my mind.

posted by rcade at 02:09 PM on June 10

Is it just me, or do NBA players get away with a lot more pivot foot movement than they did in the past?

posted by rcade at 02:11 PM on June 10

Now you also see the video of Wade and James arriving at the arena and mocking/imitating/making fun of Notwitzki for being ill. Then after acting like elementary-age kids, they go on the court, lose, and Nowitzki dominates them again.

I seriously try to like the NBA, but this stuff always comes up and it reinforces the fact it's guys who make spectacles of themselves who are celebrated as being so amazing, while guys who go about their business and are actually better, more reliable players (like Nowitzki is) who never get the recognition they should receive.

posted by dyams at 02:28 PM on June 10

I seriously try to like the NBA, but this stuff always comes up and it reinforces the fact it's guys who make spectacles of themselves who are celebrated as being so amazing, while guys who go about their business and are actually better, more reliable players (like Nowitzki is) who never get the recognition they should receive.

Go back and read the posts here since the playoffs began; Dirk's not been suffering from a lack of accolades from fans for his achievements. If he lacked before, it's because the Mavericks have, for years, underachieved in the playoffs and he's led them the whole way along.

He's also been a 10 time all-star and he's won an MVP award. It's not like people "forgot about Dirk", which, incidentally, would be a good Dr. Dre tune.

posted by dfleming at 02:37 PM on June 10

Now you also see the video of Wade and James arriving at the arena and mocking/imitating/making fun of Notwitzki for being ill. Then after acting like elementary-age kids, they go on the court, lose, and Nowitzki dominates them again.

Lebron and the Heat are like school in the summertime: no class. (stolen from Fat Albert.)

Karma is a bitch. Forgive my bias, but Mark Cuban was one of two NBA team owners that voted against the Supersonics moving away from Seattle, so he and Dirk get my support. If I could bring myself to care enough about the NBA to actually root for someone.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:13 PM on June 10

Dirk's not been suffering from a lack of accolades from fans for his achievements.

I know people are all talking a lot about his excellent play, as they should, but that's not even what I'm talking about. It's the guys who yap and run their mouths, act flashy, and adhere to the stereotypical version of a NBA basketball player who get their faces all over everything to the point you can't move your eyes without seeing them again. Granted, Dirk isn't flashy, or even spectacular to look at, but I don't really see LeBron as being that easy on the eyes, either. Fact is, Nowitzki is every bit the player James is, if not more of one, yet he'll always remain in his (James') shadow for reasons having nothing to do with basketball.

posted by dyams at 03:45 PM on June 10

Lebron and the Heat are like school in the summertime: no class. (stolen from Fat Albert.)

that made me laugh out loud :-) You don't get too many chances for Fat Albert quotes these days.

On the other hand, I hope this doesn't become the Lebron choking story instead of the Nowitzki story.

I think it'll be a story of both, as they go hand-in-hand...2 big ALL-TIME NBA stars, one who is rising up to the challenge of the championship series and one who is shrinking like a violet. It's an especially apt comparison given the Dirk forever lived with that "choker" reputation himself.

Regarding Lebron, his mom's not in town is she?

posted by bdaddy at 04:05 PM on June 10

Fact is, Nowitzki is every bit the player James is, if not more of one, yet he'll always remain in his (James') shadow for reasons having nothing to do with basketball.

Without agreeing with your assertion (especially given Nowitzki had the same "Folds faster than Superman on laundry tag" tag up until recently), what are those reasons? Because this sounds a lot like you want those noisy kids to get off your lawn.

posted by yerfatma at 04:25 PM on June 10

I think some players do a lot of talking and some players let their play do the talking. A few players do both. My problem with the Heat was that they did a lot of talking as a team before they started even playing as a team. Had they waited until they proved they could win one game before claiming they could win 70 games in a season, or proved they could win one title before claiming they could win 6.7. 8 titles, they probably would not be hated quite so much, and certainly could have reduced the amount of pressure they have heaped upon themselves.

Even when Nowitzki plays phenomenally, he always credits his teammates, downplays the performance, and last night reminded everybody that they had not done anything yet worthy of celebrating. He did say he hoped he could celebrate next week sometime.

When you play well everybody knows it and you really don't have to talk about your "talents". Others will do the talking for you.

Those noisy kids are just a little obnoxious.

posted by Atheist at 05:01 PM on June 10

Fact is, Nowitzki is every bit the player James is, if not more of one, yet he'll always remain in his (James') shadow for reasons having nothing to do with basketball.

Nowitzki has outplayed James in this series, but he is not a better player overall than James. James is top 10 in the NBA in scoring, assists, and steals. He is an excellent basketball player having a horrific series. Now, I'm a little mad at you for making me defend him because I prefer being a hater where he is concerned.

posted by bperk at 05:14 PM on June 10

To help you be a hater here is the link for the video of Wade and James mocking Nowitzki prior to the game

www.cbs12.com/articles/game-4733025-miami-points.html

posted by Atheist at 05:16 PM on June 10

the strategy behind the interviews

I suppose that makes sense, but it's beginning to look like LeBron trying to make sure that Wade does not get too much of the spotlight. After the Heat's Game 3 win, Wade was interviewed on the court. As the interview concluded and Wade started to leave, he turned back clearly because someone called to him. And there was LeBron who appeared to have been waiting out on the court. They then left the court and headed to the locker room together. It looked like LeBron was lurking to make sure Wade did not get too much attention by himself. Not saying that was the reason; saying that was the appearance.

posted by graymatters at 06:38 PM on June 10

Because this sounds a lot like you want those noisy kids to get off your lawn.

It does reek of that. I can't stand James, and if there is a god miami will lose. But I think he's taking much more abuse than he deserves simply because of his personality, especially compared to Nowitzki.

Also, there's an elephant in the room, but I'm going to choose to ignore it.

posted by justgary at 06:53 PM on June 10

I want James to succeed. I want to see greatness emerge. But he looks worn down, and his "now or never" comments are delivered in a manner that any opponent should instantly recognize as weakness.

From a technical standpoint--caveat: I'm no shooting coach--I don't like his jumper. He's always leaning backwards. I want to see him go straight up. Seems almost an emblem of his game right now.

If I were his coach--caveat: I'm no coach--I'd also put him on the opponent's best man with instructions to abuse that guy no end. Make every cut hurt, make every screen-setter pay. There's nothing that ignites offense like chip-on-shoulder defense.

And he should forget about three pointers. One turnaround after another. One elbow jumper after another.

About another, better-performing player, Nowitzki: the comment above about pulling the pivot foot should be about him.

That said, he's a hell of a player. I'd love to build a franchise around his skill set. Weird: he has 47 rebounds, 45 of which are defensive.

justgary--your elephant--it's also a card, right?

posted by Uncle Toby at 08:32 PM on June 10

Uncle Toby, you're on to me.

posted by justgary at 09:15 PM on June 10

From a technical standpoint--caveat: I'm no shooting coach--I don't like his jumper. He's always leaning backwards.

That has been a criticism since he was drafted; his mechanics are not what you would teach any player growing up. He scored so many points that it didn't really stick, but I think everyone's aware that LeBron's shooting style is by no means best practice, although I don't think that's what's holding him back in the series.

For me, it's the peripherals; he's only gotten to the line 16 times in 5 games. In the last two games against Chicago, he got to the line 11 and 13 times. In playoff games where he's there 8 or more times a game, they're 10-1; when he's there 7 or less, they're 4-5. They need LeBron to put the effort into driving and drawing contact because they're a better team when he does.

You can say what you want about D-Wade, but he's getting his points. Bosh is in and out, but LeBron is the effort player the team needs to really roll on offence.

posted by dfleming at 08:22 AM on June 11

Don't read too much into my comments. The fact James is black and Nowitzki white is just that: A fact. My point is James has had the hype and publicity machine following him since high school. This means he automatically gets his face everywhere. Meanwhile a player such as Nowitzki plays dominant, consistent basketball year after year, game after game, yet is consistently an afterthought. Not as big a deal right now, though, since it's very likely Nowitzki will soon have a NBA championship and Finals MVP to his credit. I tend to feel that's all he is concerned about.

posted by dyams at 09:24 AM on June 11

your elephant--it's also a card, right?

Meh, only if you find that lampshade-on-the-head New Year's Eve shtick to be funny. Honestly, the guy is a bit heavy-hoofed for my tastes. Dunno why gary hangs out with him.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on June 11

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