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10 Things to Remember from the NBA Finals

June 14, 2011

By: Nabeel Ahmadieh. 6/14/11. 7:28PM

Did the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Finals or did LeBron James and the Heat lose it?

The media, led by ESPN, make it seem like the Heat lost it.  That the Mavericks didn’t earn it through hard work, team chemistry and a superior fourth quarter closing ability.  But the Heat, due to LeBron James, choked on the NBA’s biggest stage.

Either way, in the year of the stardom Heat, Phil Jackson’s last hoorah with the Lakers, the rebirth of the Knickerbockers, Kevin Durant’s second season capturing the NBA scoring crown, Derrick Rose becoming the league’s youngest MVP, the Celtics making a final push with their aging roster and the Spurs revitalizing their seasoned crew with the second best record in the NBA; Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks shockingly captured the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Trophy. 

Yup, a trophy that belonged elsewhere — at least we thought so — ended up being hoisted by an unlikely bunch.  The odd group, with the outlandish owner Mark Cuban, don’t have a single player on the roster with an NBA ring.  Prior to the postseason run, they were a tabbed choke artists. 

It’s been a pretty remarkable story, for the well-deserving team.  Not just well-deserving, but the most deserving.  This team earned its right to be called champs.  Yet, the media wants us to remember the Heat losing, not the Mavericks winning, like the Patriots of 2007.

Here’s the ten things I’ll remember:

10)  The Dallas Mavericks were the best team of the NBA postseason.  A brilliant coach, an incredible closer, a formidable sidekick in Jason Terry and a cast of role players who knew their roles, and never bitched nor moaned for the betterment of the franchise. 

9) DeShawn Stevenson’s comments on LeBron James from a few years ago, he called James “Overrated.”  At the time it was preposterous.  Now, fans are actually buying into his theory.  Pretty crazy that a man with an Abraham Lincoln tattoo on the center of his neck, was correct about something that was moronically said a few seasons ago.   Also, I’ll remember him celebrating after every three he connected on like he won the lottery. 

8)  Chris Bosh is blessed to be playing alongside Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.  I can’t think of any player as talented as him that gets more open looks. 

7)  Jason Terry is one of the greatest role-playing clutch players of all-time.  Alongside, Robert Horry and Derek Fisher. 

6)  Jason Kidd is a top-five point guard of all-time.  How many players are willing to work on their deficiencies to prolong their careers and enhance their teams chance of winning an NBA title while they’re still making butt-loads of money?  Not many.  Kidd went from being a horrendous three-point shooter early on his career, to becoming a legitimate threat since returning to Dallas.  At 38, in a league dominated by quick point guards, the old-timer will be a viable scoring option for Dallas for at least two more seasons. 

I’ll also remember Jason Kidd guarding Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James throughout the playoffs. 

5)  After starting the NBA Finals series off hot, Dwayne Wade cooled down mightily following a late-game fumble in Dallas.

4)  I have a love/hate relationship with Mark Cuban.  Sometimes (like when he takes a verbal jab at Phil Jackson) I can’t stand his guts.  Other times, when he’s yelling at officials vigorously over violations, I love him.  He’s passionate, but a prick.  However, his comments ensuing the final win, telling Miami fans “We punked them,” made me appreciate the owners’ brashness.

3)  Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA.  Playing zone defense, adding J.J. Barea to the starting lineup and giving Brian Cardinal more minutes all paid dividends in the end.  Brilliant stuff from the man at the helm.  He was not afraid to play with his consistent rotation in the most critical moments of his coaching career.    And he looks like Jim Carrey. 

2)  LeBron James choked.  Period.  If you’re the most talented player in the NBA and you shy away in the fourth quarter, your lack of assertiveness makes you a coward.  What happened to the LeBron we saw against Boston and Chicago?  Because he wasn’t the same against the Mavericks.  (cough, cough: Rashard Lewis with his girl) 

1)  Dirk overcame the adversity and cemented his name as a borderline top-20 all-time player.  Also, Dirk has become the first-ever loved European baller by the American people.  Dirk is the man.  

 

Tags : NBAFinals

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The Mavericks may have found the biggest slpeeer in the draft.I'm a big Jeremy Lin fan, and not just because he's a future pastor/minister. At the 2010 Portsmouth Invitation (similar to the NFL's pre-draft Senior Bowl) against future NBA draft picks, Jeremy Lin averaged 10 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 60% FG percentage. In 2008 in 7 games (some multiple) against Colorado, George Washington, UConn, and BC, he averaged 20 points, 5 rebs, 5 assists, and 3 steals, even though the other team was double or triple teaming him all game as the only good player for Harvard. In 2009 against UConn and BC twice he averaged 27 points, 5 rebs, 5 assists, and 3 steals, again while double or triple teamed. His entire life Jeremy Lin has constantly faced obstacles and discrimination (not to mention racial slurs) in the basketball world, because of his race. He was California's basketball State Player of the Year after taking an unknown HS team to take the championship over powerhouse Mater Dei, yet was offered no Division-I basketball scholarship from any school. Harvard was the only school to give him a spot, and with no scholarship. I don't think it ever happened before that a Player of the Year in a huge state like California, didn't get any college scholarship offers to play. Then, at Harvard, all he did was break all sorts of conference records, put Harvard on the map without any other legit player on the team, and this year finished as a finalist for both the John Wooden and Bob Cousy Award, for best D-I college player and best D-I guard in the country. If his last name were different, he might have gotten a chance to start at a different college and become a 1st round pick. He is taller than Avery Bradley, and just as athletic if you look at his dunks, blocks, and steals playing against players who were picked in the draft.For those not familiar with him, here are some ESPN, Time Magazine, and Washington Post articles:time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1951044,00.htmlespn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=oneil_dana&id=4730385washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/23/hoyas-preparing-for-crimsons-do-everything-lin/To the poster Rex': Jeremy Lin plays an extremely unselfish game and makes his team's better, but you can't blame him for those losses. His Harvard team had literally no other decent players, and basketball is a team game. Everyone saw how far Cornell went this year in the March Madness tournament (Sweet 16), with 3 legit NBA prospects. Against Cornell, Jeremy's Harvard team was no match, but Jeremy had 24 points on 7 for 12 shooting. He was hardly shut down' by Cornell, he simply had no help.
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