First of all, I’m not surprised that the Heat closed it out in Chicago. LeBron James is really fucking good at basketball. As I said on podcavs, it certainly isn’t out of the question for these guys to gel for a playoff run. They’ll still have an offensive hiccup every once in awhile (LeBron’s made two that could’ve REALLY cost them), but defensively they’re pretty damn remarkable (which is why said miscues didn’t end up costing them).
I’m pretty excited about this Finals matchup. I really enjoy watching this Mavericks team and I love rooting against the Heat. There’s a lot of interesting things going on in this series, both with players and storylines/narratives.
Some quick thoughts:
2006 rematch, which was the last Finals with really iffy officiating. That’s sure to be a huge storyline, especially the free throw count.
Dirk’s playoff redemption.
LeBron’s first title shot with Miami and Wade’s second trip.
LeBron will probably guard Dirk. That’s going to be fascinating. Dirk used to have trouble with guys built “like LeBron” (long athletic types, notably Stephen Jackson) but has since figured it out. Problem is, there’s no one really built “like LeBron” out there.
But Dirk has been as about as unstoppable as I’ve seen a player. The shots he’s hitting are absolutely insane. His jumper is locked in, he has post moves, he’ll drive, he’ll make the right pass…. he’s doing everything practically perfect. LeBron is an amazing defender, but Dirk is unlike anyone he’s had to stop before.
You have a team composed almost entirely of young, free agents vs a team of aging veterans.
Team one-on-one vs team that runs an actual offense.
Jason Kidd is returning to the finals after losing twice as a Net. Kidd is a player who LeBron lobbied the Cavs to acquire. They’re supposedly good friends.
Mavs C Tyson Chandler is a guy I wanted to the Cavs to trade for. I always wanted LBJ to play with a big who could catch lobs. *sigh* Chandler has really transformed the Dallas defense and given them an extra edge they lacked in the past.
I’ll now be rooting for DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood. This scares me. But due to all the Cavs-Wizards battles, they bring an actual hate for Bron-Bron. So that’s neat.
How many flagrant fouls is Haywood gonna pick up? I say at least two.
Will we see Z vs Haywood? One can only hope.
The Mavericks ousted the defending champs, who then turned around and hired LeBron’s old coach.
Mark Cuban vs David Stern.
Mark Cuban’s blog post if the Heat get some really cheap whistles. (I didn’t see the tonight’s game but I heard at one point Miami got 6 straight free throws or something. A 6-0 run via free throws. Refs will be scrutinized very very sharply).
I didn’t watch tonight’s game because I was at either at work or driving or throwing a Frisbee with lights on it (look, it’s the little things in life people). Now, I had the game on the radio, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t paying attention. But I don’t like watching things that will end up pissing me off. I didn’t need to watch the Heat clinch a Finals berth.
The same thought process is why I refuse to watch cable news (either sports or current events). I don’t like being pissed off.
After those heart breakers in Sacramento, Peja Stojakovic is getting a shot. Same with Shawn Marion, who went through the playoff wars with Phoenix.
The weather in Cleveland vs the weather in Miami. Maybe this is just a story line for me, but we’re on the verge of LeBron winning the title while Cleveland hasn’t had three consecutive sunny days in lord how long (with tornadoes and flooding and a whole bunch of shit). That sucks.
Jason Terry got a tattoo of the NBA Championship Trophy on his arm back in October. He got this tattoo from DeShawn Stevenson’s personal tattoo artist. Of course he did.
Mavs should have a lot of hungry vets, kind of the opposite of their last trip (where the Heat got great effort from Mourning, Shaq, Antoine Walker and Gary Payton).
I have no idea how ‘watchable’ these games will end up being (though considering Dirk is one hell of a closer and LeBron is a two-time MVP, odds are we’ll have some drama) but if nothing else, these games will be hard played. Mavs know this is their best and last chance. LeBron and Miami have everything to prove.
Should be fun.