13 June 2011

Post-mortem Finals thoughts

AP Photo

1. After watching LeBron disappear earlier in the series, I was convinced he'd be back with a vengeance. This was not the case. Whether it was Dallas' zone defense, Marion's attempts at shutting him down or some mental breakdown, LeBron never jumped to that high level great players have in big moments. A disappointment in every way.

2. The Mavericks are possibly the only example in NBA history of a championship team with only one bonafide star. Who is Dirk's second banana? Terry? Kidd? Barea? None of these guys are All-Stars, thought they each had their times when they played well. It's amazing.

3. And Dirk wasn't exactly a virtuoso out there this series. He shot 41% from the field, 36% from deep and snagged 9.7 boards per game. He did hit an amazing 97.8% of his free throw attempts, but he didn't up his game like many of the great stars have done on the league's biggest stage. Game 6 was won mostly thanks to his role players, as he only connected on 30% of his shots (1-7 from deep) and scored 21 points. That said, Dirk hit shots late, when they mattered. Just a weird NBA champion overall.

4. This is the last professional basketball we will see for a good long time. The draft will be fun to watch, and maybe we'll have some summer leagues (?), but if the players and owners can't figure this out soon, we may miss half of the 2011-2012 season or more. Glad it was a hard-fought Finals.

5. It appears Rick Carlisle will get the recognition he's been working for all these years. His coaching was superb the entire series, and the way he managed to get his offense working against the vaunted Miami defense was impressive. And that zone... just shut down Wade and LeBron from time to time. I bet everyone in the East will work on implementing a zone defense in the offseason.

6. Good for Mark Cuban. The guy is often annoying and over-the-top, but he cares about his team a lot more than most NBA owners do. For him to see a championship resulting from his years of hard work and stress was good. Wouldn't mind him being the owner of the Jazz.

That's about it. Time to focus on the draft, then the imminent arrival of college football and we're back into the swing of things. Happy summer, everyone!

No comments: