“NBA Finals predictions anyone? I’m going with Miami/Dallas.” — Steve, April 11, 2011
“I think the Mavs can win it. I think things have to break right for them, and they have to continue to play at the level they’ve been playing. But why not?” — Don Nelson, May 12, 2011
I think a lot of veteran NBA types were amazed by how this series played out. The three most interesting comments I saw were from 1) Steve Nash, who was perplexed that the Heat didn’t go small and get Lebron on Dirk (something that I thought was the key to the series in my preview); 2) George Karl, who was surprised by Lebron’s lackluster last two games (something I attribute directly to the Heat’s offensive and defensive gameplans); and 3) the Warriors’ own Reggie Williams, on the post-game show, who stated that Spoelstra’s failure to get shooters on the floor (in particular James Jones) is what allowed Dallas to effectively zone Dwayne Wade and Lebron.
You can see Nellie’s influence in all of those comments. Continue reading
Can’t believe that I’m going to be missing two (one?) of the most dramatic games in Finals history… but c’est la vie. One does not live by basketball alone, as the Thaiblonde will attest.
One of the more intriguing aspects of these Finals is that both of these teams are playing Nellieball. In particular the Mavs, who are built almost exactly like the 2003 team that Nellie might have won a title with, if Dirk hadn’t gotten injured in the Conference Finals. That team featured Nash and Van Exel in the backcourt along with Finley, and Bradley and Lafrentz at the 5 next to Dirk. In addition to Finley, Nellie had 4 quintessential Nellieball defensive wings at his disposal: Bell, Griffin, Abdul-Wahad and Najera. Continue reading
Some things and some people have to be approached obliquely, at an angle. — Andre Gide
After reacting with the requisite knee-jerk snarkiness to the news of Mark Jackson’s hiring — I tweeted: “It should come as no surprise that Joe Lacob just hired an expert at walking the ball up the court to coach the fastest team in the league.” — I’ve taken the last few days to come to a considered opinion. I’ve read through the media statements, done some research, and remembered some past Mark Jackson statements from his coverage of Warriors games. I’ve looked at Lacob’s surprising choice for head coach of the Warriors from every angle.
You might be surprised by my take. Continue reading
The Heat made several interesting adjustments in Game 3. The most obvious, of course, was to take Lebron off of Jason Terry. The Heat matched up conventionally, with Lebron guarding the three, usually Shawn Marion, and Wade guarding the two. Continue reading
Just finished watching the game for the second time. I watched it the first time out of the corner of my eye from my seat at the 5-10 no limit poker table at Lucky Chances… and quite predictably, my own play suffered greatly in crunch time.
To me this game highlighted the biggest edge that Dallas has over Miami: at Head Coach. Carlisle is an absolute genius: the adjustments he made (staggered screens, etc.) to get Nowitzki open against one of the toughest defenses in history were beautiful. And he does it on the fly, mid-game, which is the hallmark of the elite. Continue reading