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Tag:Mark Cuban
Posted on: June 11, 2011 2:50 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Dirk calls Sniffle-gate childish, ignorant

Posted by Matt Moore

This story is beyond idiotic. Wade did make fun of Nowitzki, Wade didn't make fun of Nowitzki, its shelf life has reached absurd levels. But no. Here we are, three days after it happened, still talking about it, still asking reporters about it, still being stunningly daft about what it means in a bigger context. There's no high horse here. Obviously trash talk is a fun concept. But this has just gotten absurd and its things like this which are overshadowing actually good basketball.

With that said, here's your obligatory update to what was said after practice Saturday about Sniffle-gate. Trust me, check our numbers or anyone else's, this is what people want to read about.

Dwyane Wade told reporters Saturday that the entire episode wasn't meant to make fun of Dirk, it started as a legitimate cough, which then turned into he and LeBron James joking about how reporters would blow it up. Which, naturally, the media did.

"I wasn't fake coughing," Wade said. "I actually did cough. And with the cameras being right there, we made a joke out of it because we knew you guys were going to blow it up. You did exactly what we knew."

I'm going to pause here and let everyone get out their "Ha! Yeah, right!" 's  and their "A likely story!"'s. I'm going to let you guffaw and shake your head (or "SMH" if you're the Twittering type). Get it all out of your system. And I'm not saying that because I think Wade's being honest. He could be. He very well could not be. But the one thing he's right about is that we, the media, and oh, yes, you the fans (don't think you're not culpable here) took this ten seconds of interaction and made it into a huge deal. We blew it up, Wade's right about that. Whether he's covering or not, it became a story, during the NBA Finals, one that is rife with quality storylines. This became the story for three days. 

The Mavericks for the most part would not take the bait before practice Saturday, with Shawn Marion saying "I hadn't even heard about it until I saw it on CNN this morning." Jason Terry said he had not seen the video and didn't care about it. Dirk Nowitzki was really the only Maverick to say anything about the whole thing.

"I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant," Nowitzki said. "I've been in this league for 13 years.  I've never faked an injury or an illness before.  But it happened.  It's over to me.  It's not going to add anything extra to me.  This is the NBA Finals.  If you need an extra motivation, you have a problem."  

What you have is a situation where what Wade and James did probably irked Nowitzki. It's not that it was that bad or it was anything terrible. It's not what's going to drive Nowitzki Sunday, or any of the Mavericks. It's just another example of the Heat not only knowing how to avoid media scrutiny, but swerving directly onto the tracks, then blaming other people for driving them into the train. The Heat are obviously under more scrutiny than any team in history, but it doesn't change the fact that they do something seemingly every game to keep that white hot spotlight there. Maybe it's about attention. Maybe it's about immaturity. Maybe it's just a series of unfortunate events. But every other superstar in the league manages to avoid getting in trouble 9 out of 10 times, while the Heat bat about .400. And this time, they insulted Nowitzki, intentionally or not. 

So Nowitzki jabbed back, obviously offended on a professional level, but he's not going to let it get to him. If the Mavericks close this thing out in six, it won't be because of Wade and James acting like idiots on camera. It'll be because the Mavericks have proved they're the better team and won four out of six. This Mavericks team is made up of experienced veterans. They're not caught up in trash talk, though they dish a lot of it. They want the title, they want the glory, they want to make up for 2006. This is about legacy, not the sniffles.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Dwyane Wade injury update: Still playing

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- It's not like this is really news, because we all knew that there was no way Dwyane Wade wasn't going to play in Game 6.

He's playing, so says Erik Spoelstra. And so says Dwyane Wade.

"I'll be totally fine when it comes to tomorrow," Wade said.

Wade didn't go through contact drills, but said it was just to sort of rest. He won't be wearing any extra padding for Game 6 and didn't appear to be extra sore or anything on Saturday. He injured his left hip flexor in a collison with Brian Cardinal in the second quarter of Game 5. Wade exited the game and was listed as questionable, but returned shortly after. However, he didn't start the second half of the game because of tightness in the hip. He eventually came back to the floor and finished with 23 points.

"He'll be ready to go tomorrow," Spoelstra said. As far as how how healthy Wade might be, Spoesltra wouldn't speculate.

"I'm definitely not giving a percentage," he said.

But with Game 6 potentially being an elimination game along with the fact that LeBron James hasn't been all that effective, the Heat have to have Wade on the floor. Even if that means he's not totally healthy. Wade downplays injuries better than any player in the league (he could have a broken vertabrae and he'd say he was fine) but he's likely going to be feeling the injury a bit.

It was the same story with Dirk's finger in Game 2 though. Players are banged up. They've been playing with injuries all season. It's a big deal because this is The Finals and every small thing is important, but Wade is playing in Game 6 and most likely, he'll play well too.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Dwyane Wade injury update: Still playing

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- It's not like this is really news, because we all knew that there was no way Dwyane Wade wasn't going to play in Game 6.

He's playing, so says Erik Spoelstra. And so says Dwyane Wade.

"I'll be totally fine when it comes to tomorrow," Wade said.

Wade didn't go through contact drills, but said it was just to sort of rest. He won't be wearing any extra padding for Game 6 and didn't appear to be extra sore or anything on Saturday. He injured his left hip flexor in a collison with Brian Cardinal in the second quarter of Game 5. Wade exited the game and was listed as questionable, but returned shortly after. However, he didn't start the second half of the game because of tightness in the hip. He eventually came back to the floor and finished with 23 points.

"He'll be ready to go tomorrow," Spoelstra said. As far as how how healthy Wade might be, Spoesltra wouldn't speculate.

"I'm definitely not giving a percentage," he said.

But with Game 6 potentially being an elimination game along with the fact that LeBron James hasn't been all that effective, the Heat have to have Wade on the floor. Even if that means he's not totally healthy. Wade downplays injuries better than any player in the league (he could have a broken vertabrae and he'd say he was fine) but he's likely going to be feeling the injury a bit.

It was the same story with Dirk's finger in Game 2 though. Players are banged up. They've been playing with injuries all season. It's a big deal because this is The Finals and every small thing is important, but Wade is playing in Game 6 and most likely, he'll play well too.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 2:52 am
Edited on: June 11, 2011 10:33 am
 

Carlisle adjusts first to bring Mavs to victory



Posted by Matt Moore


DALLAS -- Never blink first. That's the rule. You're never supposed to let the other guy see you're affected, that there's anything wrong with your plan. Confidence through everything is the way. And in the NBA, you're never supposed to be the coach who makes the first major adjustment to anything. Lineup, scheme, rotation, approach, anything. Because if you do, and you lose, there's no way you can blame the players. The questions will all come back to you and why you "went away from what worked all season" or "got away form what your team did so well." You're supposed to sit idly by and hope that a trend which had not benefitted you somehow begins to. Because the alternative is far scarier, the dreaded "unknown."

Rick Carlisle didn't want to have to make such a jump. He spoke all week about playing "their" game. He repeatedly said the Mavericks just needed to get back to doing what they do best, rebounding and defense. Except that hasn't been the model for the Dallas Mavericks at all in these playoffs and it was his direct move away from from the stubborness that dooms so many coaches that has his team up 3-2 against the mighty Heat.

Carlisle was the first to make a change in his starting rotation. His insertion of J.J. Barea into the starting lineup accomplished two things. It gave the Mavericks an offensive spark-plug to immediately torch the Heat on perimeter. It also allowed DeShawn Stevenson to combo with Shawn Marion, meaning Marion didn't have to play himself into the ground. Bringing a fresh defender to guard LeBron James has had more to do with this series swinging in Dallas' favor than James' effort.

(Psst! Don't tell the rest of the media! I'm supposed to keep you hanging on to every word about LeBron's heart being made of eel skin!)

Carlisle admitted after Game 3 that changes had to be made. The same signs were present for Erik Spoelstra, but instead, he has elected to stick with Mike Bibby and company. The Heat are stubborn, the Mavericks quietly adaptable. And while Carlisle would deny and defer any praise for his strategic adjustments, it has been Carlisle that has led the Mavericks here, to this point.

Never blink. That's the thought process that turns coaching into a game of chicken. Entering into such a game is what causes you to lose in the first place.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 2:52 am
Edited on: June 11, 2011 10:33 am
 

Carlisle adjusts first to bring Mavs to victory



Posted by Matt Moore


DALLAS -- Never blink first. That's the rule. You're never supposed to let the other guy see you're affected, that there's anything wrong with your plan. Confidence through everything is the way. And in the NBA, you're never supposed to be the coach who makes the first major adjustment to anything. Lineup, scheme, rotation, approach, anything. Because if you do, and you lose, there's no way you can blame the players. The questions will all come back to you and why you "went away from what worked all season" or "got away form what your team did so well." You're supposed to sit idly by and hope that a trend which had not benefitted you somehow begins to. Because the alternative is far scarier, the dreaded "unknown."

Rick Carlisle didn't want to have to make such a jump. He spoke all week about playing "their" game. He repeatedly said the Mavericks just needed to get back to doing what they do best, rebounding and defense. Except that hasn't been the model for the Dallas Mavericks at all in these playoffs and it was his direct move away from from the stubborness that dooms so many coaches that has his team up 3-2 against the mighty Heat.

Carlisle was the first to make a change in his starting rotation. His insertion of J.J. Barea into the starting lineup accomplished two things. It gave the Mavericks an offensive spark-plug to immediately torch the Heat on perimeter. It also allowed DeShawn Stevenson to combo with Shawn Marion, meaning Marion didn't have to play himself into the ground. Bringing a fresh defender to guard LeBron James has had more to do with this series swinging in Dallas' favor than James' effort.

(Psst! Don't tell the rest of the media! I'm supposed to keep you hanging on to every word about LeBron's heart being made of eel skin!)

Carlisle admitted after Game 3 that changes had to be made. The same signs were present for Erik Spoelstra, but instead, he has elected to stick with Mike Bibby and company. The Heat are stubborn, the Mavericks quietly adaptable. And while Carlisle would deny and defer any praise for his strategic adjustments, it has been Carlisle that has led the Mavericks here, to this point.

Never blink. That's the thought process that turns coaching into a game of chicken. Entering into such a game is what causes you to lose in the first place.
Posted on: June 10, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:19 pm
 

End Game Dallas: 5 things the Mavs need to do

Posted by Royce Young



So close to the finish line. Just one little win away from the glory. But everyone knows that finishing a series and closing an opponent is the toughest game to win of all. The other guy is desperate, urgent, frantic, about winning one more game to extend the series.

And that's what the Mavericks are up against heading to a Game 6 in Miami. The Heat are down but not even close to out. They've got two games on their home floor with and a roster that includes Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Winning won't be easy. Heck, it won't even be hard. It's going to be, well, really, really hard.

If the Mavs are to close things out in Game 6 and force David Stern to hand a championship trophy to Mark Cuban in Miami, I've got five ideas that will help the cause.

1. Start fast. The Mavs will be playing a desperate Miami team for the first time this season. And a wounded dog -- especially a wounded talented dog -- can be a dangerous thing. Not that the Heat have a crowd that you want to take out of the game, but momentum is a real thing, especially in important games like this. The Mavs don't want to give the Heat any sense of confidence or swagger. When the Heat are playing lose and confident, they're a better team.

So for Dallas, starting well is important. Eliminate early momentum and make Game 6 into a second half game.

2. Just be close to start the fourth. Related to point No. 1, but the Mavs focus needs to be just making this a fourth quarter game. As well as the Mavs have played in the fourth and as poorly as the Heat have played in the fourth, it would be natural for Miami to tighten and feel the pressure if it's a one or two possession game with eight minutes left.

A close game in the final 12 minutes favors the Mavs. One, because of Dirk. And two, because unlike the Heat, the Mavs have the confidence and have shown the ability to close.

3. Go ahead and make everything again. Well, this isn't exactly realistic, but if the Mavs can hit 10 or more 3s, they'll win Game 6. They made 13-of-19 in Game 5 and while shooting almost 70 percent from 3 isn't likely, the Mavs have shown that once they get rolling a bit, they're tough to slow down.

And you know that if Dallas starts out the game hitting a couple outside shots, shot clock beater and a few contested 3s, that the Heat will hang their heads a bit and say, "Not again."

4. Play Brian Cardinal. Clearly, he was the missing factor. In games he's appeared, the Mavs are 3-0 in The Finals. Hard to argue with a concrete fact like that.

5. Stay calm. I'm in the camp of thinking veteran experience is a bit overrated in these situations, but the older Mavs aren't about to get too excited about their current situation. They know they're one game away, but they also know the mission isn't accomplished. It's natural to sense the glory and get a bit anxious and try and do too much.

But the Mavs have already closed out three series, one coming on the road in Portland. This isn't a team that panics in any situation -- seriously any situation. It's a tired cliche that you've already heard 200 times in the past five days, but Dallas really does have to just play its game. That's been good enough to win three games against the Heat. If the Mavs can put one more together, it'll get that fourth one.
Posted on: June 10, 2011 3:07 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:19 pm
 

End Game Dallas: 5 things the Mavs need to do

Posted by Royce Young



So close to the finish line. Just one little win away from the glory. But everyone knows that finishing a series and closing an opponent is the toughest game to win of all. The other guy is desperate, urgent, frantic, about winning one more game to extend the series.

And that's what the Mavericks are up against heading to a Game 6 in Miami. The Heat are down but not even close to out. They've got two games on their home floor with and a roster that includes Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Winning won't be easy. Heck, it won't even be hard. It's going to be, well, really, really hard.

If the Mavs are to close things out in Game 6 and force David Stern to hand a championship trophy to Mark Cuban in Miami, I've got five ideas that will help the cause.

1. Start fast. The Mavs will be playing a desperate Miami team for the first time this season. And a wounded dog -- especially a wounded talented dog -- can be a dangerous thing. Not that the Heat have a crowd that you want to take out of the game, but momentum is a real thing, especially in important games like this. The Mavs don't want to give the Heat any sense of confidence or swagger. When the Heat are playing lose and confident, they're a better team.

So for Dallas, starting well is important. Eliminate early momentum and make Game 6 into a second half game.

2. Just be close to start the fourth. Related to point No. 1, but the Mavs focus needs to be just making this a fourth quarter game. As well as the Mavs have played in the fourth and as poorly as the Heat have played in the fourth, it would be natural for Miami to tighten and feel the pressure if it's a one or two possession game with eight minutes left.

A close game in the final 12 minutes favors the Mavs. One, because of Dirk. And two, because unlike the Heat, the Mavs have the confidence and have shown the ability to close.

3. Go ahead and make everything again. Well, this isn't exactly realistic, but if the Mavs can hit 10 or more 3s, they'll win Game 6. They made 13-of-19 in Game 5 and while shooting almost 70 percent from 3 isn't likely, the Mavs have shown that once they get rolling a bit, they're tough to slow down.

And you know that if Dallas starts out the game hitting a couple outside shots, shot clock beater and a few contested 3s, that the Heat will hang their heads a bit and say, "Not again."

4. Play Brian Cardinal. Clearly, he was the missing factor. In games he's appeared, the Mavs are 3-0 in The Finals. Hard to argue with a concrete fact like that.

5. Stay calm. I'm in the camp of thinking veteran experience is a bit overrated in these situations, but the older Mavs aren't about to get too excited about their current situation. They know they're one game away, but they also know the mission isn't accomplished. It's natural to sense the glory and get a bit anxious and try and do too much.

But the Mavs have already closed out three series, one coming on the road in Portland. This isn't a team that panics in any situation -- seriously any situation. It's a tired cliche that you've already heard 200 times in the past five days, but Dallas really does have to just play its game. That's been good enough to win three games against the Heat. If the Mavs can put one more together, it'll get that fourth one.
Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Survivor Miami: 5 things the Heat have to do

Posted by Royce Young



LeBron James tweeted before Game 5, "Now or never." Well, this time with the Heat backed up to elimination, it's a little more now or never. And if they happen to win Game 6, it'll be now or never again.

Point being, this series isn't over yet. But the Heat have to somehow get right. They've dropped two straight to the Mavs and trail for the first time in this series. Dallas appears to be getting stronger as the Heat seem to be tightening and wearing down. If Miami is to get this to a seventh and deciding game, it's going to have to focus on a lot of stuff, but here are five things that come to mind.

1. Come on, LeBron. He had maybe the quietest triple-double in NBA Finals history. Not many players have had a triple-double in The Finals but LeBron's 17-10-10 wasn't good enough. Why? For starters, because the Heat lost. But just one basket in the fourth quarter and two points isn't good enough. It is for Shawn Marion or even Chris Bosh, but we're talking about the best player in basketball. The two-time MVP. The microscope on him isn't always fair, but it's reality.

The NBA is a game about legacy. Fans love it. Media soak that stuff up. And players think about it. LeBron has been talking about establishing himself as a global brand for a long time. He's pretty much there. But he also wants to be one of the greats. And going 0-2 in Finals appearances isn't a good way to start. Yeah, he's still just 26 and a three-peat could be waiting at any moment for him. But we all live in the present. And for real this time, it's now or never for him.

Until next time, of course.

2. Kill the offensive glass. Miami's offense was good in Game 5, but what separated the Heat in Game 1 was 16 offensive rebounds. And in Game 3, a win, the Heat pulled in nine in the first quarter alone. Offensive rebounding hasn't been part of Miami's strength this season necessarily, but any time you get an offensive rebound obviously it gives you another possession, but it takes an extra one away from the Mavericks. And in close games like these, one or two extra possessions is sometimes the difference between winning and losing.

3. Pray the Mavs don't get hot again. The Mavs shot 56.5 percent from the field in Game 5 and went a ridiculous 13-19 from 3. With the way the Mavs have shot this postseason, the Heat have really been living on the edge in this series. Their defense has been terrific, but at some point, the Maverick shooters were going to have One of Those Games.

Game 5 happened to be it. The Lakers thought that plan wasn't sustainable, but Dallas kept it up for four games. The Thunder did better, but Dallas still knocked down a bunch of shots. And if the Mavs have it in them one more time to hit crazy buzzer-beating 3s and impossible runners, Miami might not survive.

4. Pray Dwyane Wade is healthy. LeBron is certainly capable of carrying the team, because no matter what he's done the past few games, he's still awesome. But take away Wade and now the Mavs can really zero in on LeBron. Every catch, he'll be doubled. Every time he puts it on the floor, the defense will collapse. Wade takes a ton of pressure off LeBron and truthfully, allows him to settle into a distributing role, something he's more than willing to do. (Also known as "shrinking.")

Wade might not be 100 percent, but a 60 percent Wade is better than anything else. Playing with a busted hip in Game 5 he still scored 23 points. The Heat need not just his scoring, but his presence to win.

5. Don't panic. Last season, the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead to Los Angeles, needing one on the road to win the trophy. And the Lakers took both games. Dirk said it after the Game 5 win -- it's as if both teams just protected the home court. The Heat won two, Dallas three. Now the Mavs have to win one on the road to get it done.

For the Heat, it's all about Game 6. Win that one and now you're in control. Now, you've got a Game 7 on your home floor. The Mavs will probably say things like, "This is our Game 7," or "This is a must-win for us," because even though those things aren't true, they know that winning Game 6 will be easier than winning a Game 7 in Miami.

The Heat just have to step back and settle down a bit. They're behind in the series, yes. But they're far from out of it. They have the home floor and they have a terrific team. The closing game is the hardest one to win so the pressure is on the Mavs to get it done. The Heat will be desperate, but now's not the time to freak.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com