Notes from Royce Young
Ribbing the Old Man. Jason Kidd is old, you see. He's 38 and is in his 17th NBA season. When he was a rookie with the Mavericks in 1994, LeBron James was nine years old and Dwyane Wade was 12.
So LeBron and Wade were asked what their earliest memories of Jason Kidd were. LeBron said he remembered watching Kidd with his "box" high-top fade and said that he was Derrick Rose, John Wall and Russell Westbrook before they were except Kidd was a better passer.
Wade though, no-to-subtly reminded us Kidd is old: "I think I was watching it in black and white."
Terry says Cuban trying to stay in background. Mark Cuban has always been the face of the Mavericks. His antics, his talking -- there's no missing him. He's always been vocal about officiating and has never shied away from the chance to speak on camera. But as every Maverick presser, shootaround or practice, he's inauspiciously been missing.
"I think this time it's more about us than anything else and I think this time he's tried to stay away from being a distraction and it's working out for us," Jason Terry said. "He's like a little kid right now. You can see him bubbling, his face, his expressions, his comments to us within."
Terry was then asked if he appreciate Cuban stepping back a bit.
"Oh yeah, but in the end he'll have his time to shine."
Especially if the Mavs pull this off. Then, I'm not sure "shine" will even begin to describe it.
Dirk sees the double. While the Mavericks have to prepare and focus for a three-headed Miami monster in Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh, the Heat are mainly intent on stopping on Dallas player -- Dirk.
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Whatever the case, the most often employed strategy with Dirk is playing him physical and making sure every catch is a chore. Nick Collison of the Thunder took that strategy to heart and despite Dirk having an excellent series versus the Thunder, Collison's defense was really good.
And Dirk expects to see a lot of that from the Heat.
"I think that's kind of the blueprint of how you've got to guard me. I see it all the time now. You can't give me space, you can't give me room. The whole league tries that now obviously. It's the only way to be successful, so I've basically seen that coverage through the years."
Notes from Matt Moore
J.J. feels at home. J.J. Barea said it's always great coming back to Miami because he went to high school here and with it being so close to Puerto Rico. He's expecting a ton of family in town for Game 2 Thursday.
Barea also is trying to stay in the moment. Barea has had a long journey from playing in Puerto Rico, and then playing for the D-League, having made it all the way to pivotal role player in the NBA Finals, but Barea says he's just trying to enjoy what's happening now.
"It's been crazy, but I've enjoyed it."
Mavericks' big theme: More of the same. Rick Carlisle had the kind of theme you'd expect for Game 1. "Play our game" was the theme of the day. He talked about doing the things that play to the Mavericks strengths, and the things that got them here. He spoke about defense and rebounding being the sparkplugs for their transition offense, and said preparation didn't vary greatly from any other game. Carlisle was very clear that he didn't prepare any differently for this series than any other.
Carlisle wasn't talking about adjustments built to specific players or in this series. Instead he's taking the Phil Jackson approach of "doing what we do."
Carlisle did admit "the matchups are difficult.'
"If we turn it over, they're going to convert, fast than anybody in basketball."
Barea thinks speed is his best weapon against the King. There's been a lot of talk about LeBron James possibly guarding J.J. Barea. But Barea was pretty confident that speed's his best option for attacking James. Barea admits the obvious physical advantage size-wise that James holds, but he thinks he can get the corner on the man who shut down Derrick Rose.
"I think pick and roll is going to be big. He's taller and stronger, but I still think I can get by him."
When asked about LeBron's wingspan, Barea said "I think LeBron and Westbrook are similar, but we'll see how it goes."
Kidd talking it easy, but surprised it took this long. Jason Kidd has been in the Finals before and has been in the playoffs for, well, all eternity. Kidd was remarkably laid back and matter of fact about his previous outings, saying he really thought that New Jersey team in the early 00's "would get it done."
Kidd also said he expected to be in the Finals sooner after being traded to Dallas.
More Zone. J.J. Barea was caught not knowing how to answer carefully when asked about whether Dallas would play more zone.
"Maybe more than the other series, but..."
Barea kind of trailed off, obviously not wanting to get into a jam for talking about something strategic he shouldn't. Based off his reaction, though, don't be suprised to see that zone come out early. Unless Barea was sandbagging the few reporters huddled around him. Leaking information to the enemy through us is probably a flawed approach here.
Attitudes. The Mavericks attitudes could best be described as laid back and confident, while the Heat seemed a bit more giddy, with LeBron saying everyone was so excited they didn't care what time the game started.
"Let the games begin" James said.
+1 For the Road. Rick Carlisle always looks like Jim Carrey. He especially looked like him at shootaround today in shorts, a long-sleeve workout shirt and a cap. He looked more like Jim Carrey than himself today.