Dallas: - Miami
posted by lilnemo to basketball at 04:33 PM - 15 comments
If Shaq can stay out of foul trouble this should be a great series. As much as I despise Mark Cuban, I'd like to see Avery Johnson win another championship. And when was the last time somebody won an NBA championship as a player and coach in the same decade????
posted by Grndizzle at 05:52 PM on June 05
my money is on miami. the pure heart and will of D. Wade should be enough to overcome tne empty soul of lenny, i mean, corky, I mean mark cuban and his misfit/ david hasselhoff lovin' soldiers.
posted by billsfan1000 at 05:56 PM on June 05
Well, I was going to make this more expansive and turn it into a column tonight, but screw it, I'll take the easy way out. The Ufez Jones 4 Things to Watch in the NBA Finals: 1) Pace - The team that controls the pace more often will have a definite advantage in this series. If the Mavs are able to run the Heat while Shaq is in the game (as they did against the Spurs), especially in transition offense, while holding the Heat to a slower pace while Shaq is out (as they were able to do against Phoenix), I expect to see them do quite well. However if there is little to no transition offense while Shaq is in the game (a large concern, seeing as how he very well may score at will) and Wade with Williams and/or Peyton are able to run the Mavs around while Shaq is out, give the edge to the Heat. 2) PG Play - Neither team is afraid of having two PG's on the court at the same time, and the efficiency of Peyton/Williams and Terry/Harris, especially in those situations where all four are on the court together will be crucial. All four can be extremely effective and extremely streaky. In a matchup where you fully expect to see Shaq and Dirk get theirs (for the most part), the play of these four should be a mitigating factor. 3) Josh Howard - Both on the offensive and defensive ends, J-Ho's going to have a chance at seriously impacting the game. He'll be the primary defensive presence against D-Wade, who is obviously crucial as a scorer, decoy, passer, and rebounder for the Heat. If Josh wants to make the great leap forward and become a recognized defensive force in the National Mindset of the NBA, he's going to have to do it here. The only problem is, he has a tendency, especially early in games, to get into foul trouble. On the offensive end, the wide speculation is that the Heat will try to put Udonis Haslem on Dirk and Antoine Walker on Josh Howard when the Mavs have the ball. Given that 'Toine was one of the big reasons that the Mavericks were from Allas for quite some time, he's got a chance to explode, if he can find his jump shot. He's a noted slasher, but will he be able to slash to the hoop (and possibly draw fouls) with Shaq or Zo in the middle? Remember, the Mavericks are 23(ish?)-0 when Howard scores more than twenty points this season. 4) Coaching - Here we have the old grizzled, experienced, widely lauded veteran agains the spunky, young, hard nosed rookie. One hell of a matchup, considering both have their teams rallied and chomping at the bit and completely bought in to their respective systems. In spite of the controversial signings of traditional locker room cancers like Williams, Peyton, and Walker, I'd be surprised if we saw any antics from anyone on the Heat on the court or in the locker room (random mouth-guard flinging notwithstanding). This is going to come down to how effective each coach can be when it comes down to making adjustments on matchups, scoring (nearly) every time coming out of timeouts, and closing out quarters strongly. Pat Riley's been at it for years. Avery has shown that he can do it quickly, plus he's got a deeper bench to work with. The question is, who is going to do it better for the next seven games? Of course there are other things to take into consideration - injury potential, home court advantage, whose cheerleaders do more coke - but I see these four aspects as being the ones that decide the series. Should be a great matchup. If you want my prediction, it goes like this: Mavs win games 1, 2, 5, 7. Heat win games 3, 4, 6. Thus they swap home losses, and the Mavs win in seven, where I'll be jumping in Section 316, row G, seat 4, screaming my ass off.
posted by Ufez Jones at 05:57 PM on June 05
mavs in 5
posted by skins fan at 06:32 PM on June 05
If the Heat play the way they did against Detroit, spreading the floor and crashing the boards, feeding Shaq the ball when he's in position and keeping him off the foul line (fewer than 8 free throws per game), then I say Miami in 7.
posted by MW12 at 08:32 PM on June 05
I'm still coming to terms with the Piston's loss.
posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:33 PM on June 05
Shaq was running the floor like a friggin' point guard against the Pistons. If he's got enough gas left to keep it up, Dirk can't handle him. Of course, D-Wade may only shoot 60%, but still, Heat in 6.
posted by ctal1999 at 08:40 PM on June 05
Dallas will win in 6. (Oh it's true!)
posted by curtangle at 11:02 PM on June 05
I just got home from California...Dallas and Miami in a series...well that should be interesting. Ufez Jones, man you hit it on the spot...but I have to mention 2 more things along with what you have... 5.) Bench Play - Dallas has so many guys on that bench that all know their role. They're second unit would be a pretty imposing starting 5 what with Stackhouse, Van Horn, Dampier, Marquis Daniels and Adrian Griffin. Miami doesn't have the 10 man rotation, but they do have Payton backing up Williams, Posey's versatility on D, and who can forget that Zo is Miami's backup center for crying out loud. Dallas has more depth, but Miami can't be counted out. 6.) Dampier/Diop - Shaq has come alive again folks, and in pairing with Wade, he has a more willing partner than he had back in LA. That said, Dallas has two solid big men on their team who have 12 fouls to give. Yet Dallas needs them to give the offense something. If these two can play solid D on Shaq and contribute something on the other end, Dallas wins this one in 6. However, if we see Dirk guarding Shaq in the last 2 minutes (granted, I'd LOVE to see the Disel on Dirk in the final minutes of the finals...that's high drama right there), Dallas is in trouble. Prediction: This will be one of the better NBA finals we've seen. Tempo is THE KEY to this series. That and Shaq's substitution pattern...When looking at teams this late in the playoffs, its the little things that will take you to the top...home court, a crazy (as in crazy for his team owner), and a little luck...but I think that this will either be Shaq's greatest hurrah or Avery will show us that he is one of the greatest head coaches in the game today. Too close to call
posted by chemwizBsquared at 11:36 PM on June 05
This whole series comes down to Shaq. If he plays like he has been, then the Heat win in five or six (mostly likely six, Dallas certainly isn't a pushover). If Shaq falters, then the Mavs win in six or seven. Either way, this should be one of the most entertaining finals we've had in a while. Maybe both teams will score over 100 points in the same game. What a thought that is.
posted by donnnnychris at 02:17 AM on June 06
dallas in 6 i chose dallas because of two dallas players. diop and dirk he did a great job against tin duncun in the spurs series and i think with the help of dampier they can limit shaqs input i definetly think wheather dirk is hot or not iss what is going to determine the series and they way dirk has been playing recently i dont see dallas losing
posted by 46037123 at 08:07 AM on June 06
ok, i've heard diop's name come up a couple times here and by the media as having an impact. so i did some research because i, personally, did not think he had been a factor. i was right- round 1: 19 minutes pg; 1 ppg; 5 rpg round 2: 16 minutes pg; 4ppg; 5 rpg round 3: 26 minutes pg; 1ppg; 7rpg he's also averaging 1 block and 1 steal per game. these are not numbers of a difference maker. the mavericks are a good team but not because of diop. nowitzki(sp), josh howard, and guard play is why they are great. diop has gotten schooled the entire playoffs. in fact, his best game was game two against the suns when he had 4 points;11 rebounds; 2 blocks;1 steal. i think the mavericks take this in 6-7 but it won't be, solely or in part, because of diop's play.
posted by ksb122 at 08:48 AM on June 06
J. Williams is going to play huge for Miami, just like he did in game 6 vs. the Pistons. He's going to be the difference-maker.
posted by Bill Lumbergh at 10:59 AM on June 06
J. Williams is going to play huge for Miami. J. Williams against J. Terry? Maybe not him... I think the real mismatch here is at the 5 on both ends... It just depends on which big man can play his game better. Now, that being said, I think D. Wade is the X-factor. Miami in 6
posted by everett at 11:11 AM on June 06
ksb Diop's value isn't tied up in his stats, although if you consider that he plays 15-20 minutes a night (less than a half) those numbers aren't bad. It's mostly in that he is a great help defender, who hedges effectively on the pick and roll who recovers well enough to protect the basket. That and he allows Dirk to defend against fewer post players, which keeps him out of foul trouble. How many times has Dirk fouled out this post-season?
posted by lilnemo at 11:22 AM on June 06
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