Tag:Jason Kidd
Posted on: May 31, 2011 5:18 pm
 

NBA Finals Heat vs.Mavericks: A question of speed

Posted by Matt Moore

J.J. Barea knows LeBron James shut down the MVP Derrick Rose. J.J. Barea knows LeBron James is stronger. J.J. Barea knows LeBron James has a bigger wingspan, a bigger frame, a bigger defensive skillset, and every physical attribute in the book outside of raw speed defensively. 

J.J. Barea still thinks he can get around LeBron James. 

"He's taller and stronger, but I still think I can get by him," Barea said Tuesday before Game 1. 

The diminutive Mavs bench spark plug is not lacking for confidence in speed, nor should he. He's been torching defenders with his abilty to get to the rim all season. When the defense does adjust, Barea  loops under the basket. Barea's made a name for himself by being fearless and aggressive and said he has no plans to change that. 

"I'm attacking. I'm going to stay aggressive. I bring a lot of energy on both ends, and we'll see what happens." 

But with LeBron guarding him? With that wingspan?

"I think Westbrook and LeBron are pretty similar. LeBron's stronger, but we'll see what happens." 

That kind of confidence comes with success, and Barea's had a lot of it, and it's been predicated on speed. The Mavericks, though, aren't a barnburner, up-and-down squad, not even in the playoffs. They're just highly efficient. In this series, however, they may wind up having to try and pick up the tempo a bit more. 

The Mavericks were 20th in pace this season, at an estimated 93.1 possesions per game. The Heat, funnily enough, were right behind them, 21st, at 92.9. And in the playoffs, where everything slows down, we've seen the same comparative trends. The Mavericks are ninth among all playoff teams at 86.6 possessions per game, while Miami is 12th at 86.2. What does those numbers mean? It means neither team has been running Seven Seconds or Less. It doesn't mean either team lacks ability on the break though. Both teams have the same attitude about fast breaks that Rick Carlisle described Tuesday morning. 

"Aggressive."

There's a gap between running for running's sake (most of those teams you'll find in the lottery or one-and-done in the first round, not naming any names), and being aggressive when the opportunity presents itself. Carlisle said that the same things which spark the Mavericks' break are what the Heat use as their core: defense and rebounding. It's those types of elements that allow for the break, to let Jason Kidd cut down the middle and find an open cutter or a shooter on the perimeter, and that lets Barea get to the basket behind a defense. It's also those things that give LeBron and Dwyane Wade highlight opportunities. And it's those opportunities that will likely have a huge impact in this series. 

Carlisle was particular before Game 1 of saying they weren't going to slow down or speed up the offense. "We're going to play our pace," the Mavericks coach said Tuesday morning. It's a generic quote meant to avoid any strategic leak of information, but it's also indicative of the Mavericks' confidence going into Tuesday night's Game 1. 

The Mavericks will be fast when they need to. They'll grind when they need to. And they'll hope that they can make more plays. Half-court, full-court, defensively, this is going to be a series about speed. Whoever gets to the spot first, wins. 

We know one thing, though. Barea thinks it'll be him, no matter who's guarding him, even if it's LeBron James.

Read more: 2011 NBA Finals | Miami Heat | Dallas Mavericks
Posted on: May 31, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 4:38 pm
 

NBA Finals: Who has the most to gain?

Posted by EOB Staff



Legacies mean a lot in sports, no matter what players say. You want to be crowned a champion because you don't want to remembered as the guy that was great but never put on a ring. So as The Finals tip off tonight, we wondered, who has the most to gain?

MATT MOORE

Miami:
I think for the Heat, LeBron's the obvious one. There's really no comparison. He's trying to avoid being "the best to never win a ring." That's a long and illustrious list, but it would absolutely devastate his career arc. Bosh is along for the ride. Bibby is just kind of there, though I think the fact that he has a chance to finally cash in on the work he put in in the early 2000's is interesting. Juwan Howard's another nice one. Ilgauskas, though seeing him hoist that trophy as a member of the Heat would cause some bitter tears for Cavs fans.

How about Wade, though? That multiple rings club is exclusive, and it puts you at another level. That's why the Celtics were so determined to win more than one. Winning two is a really big deal and puts him at another level. Everyone kind of forgets that Wade's a champ because he came in-between dynasties. But winning this title means he's really one of the greatest players of all time, and he's still got a lot of years left.

Dallas: Dirk. Duh. But then there's Kidd. Kidd's been here before. Kidd's tasted so much success and he's worked so hard. This would be such a huge payoff for him, especially with it being with the Mavericks. He wins a ring, that changes his entire career storyline. He's HOF, but this makes him a lock. It changes so much about his legacy and puts his career in a different light.

ROYCE YOUNG
Miami:
I don't think there's any doubt at all LeBron has the most to gain. A lot of what he did in the offseason would immediately be validated and all the talk and bashing would chill for the most part. LeBron James would now be "LeBron James: NBA champion." All the talk about rings and what he's accomplished would have to take on a new perspective.

I really think though quietly Chris Bosh could make a pretty important career statement. He's already rehabbed his reputation pretty well as the the third wheel during this postseason but with a matchup looming with Dirk, Bosh could remind people that at one point he was considered by most to be the best or at least one of the best power forwards in the game.

The last person with a ton to gain? Whoever the guy was that planned the summer welcome celebration in Miami after The Decision. That whole thing has been made fun of to no end, but it might not look quite as bad if Miami wins this. It'll just look more like foreshadowing. Still completely ridiculous, but at least it was backed up.

Dallas: When a roster is older like the Mavs is, a lot of people have a lot to win, or lose in this type of situation. It's very likely this could be their last shot at a trophy. The window could very well shut after this run. So every player -- Dirk, Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion even Tyson Chandler -- this is a massive chance for them.

One guy though that's been overlooked is Rick Carlisle. He's always been consistently one of the best coaches in the league. Always produced winning teams. But never has gone to the next level. He was a winner in Minnesota, but couldn't finish with a championship. He won in Detroit, but faced the same fate. Now he has an opportunity to really establish himself as one of the league's elite coaches with a title. It's one thing to win, it's another to win it all. And if Rick Carlisle can attach a championship to his name, he'll instantly become one of the league's top coaches.

BEN GOLLIVER
Miami: Am I looking forward to no longer being able to criticize LeBron James if he wins a ring? No, I'm not. I'm dreading it. But if he pulls it off, it will serve as a validation not only of his basketball skill but also his roster-building philosophy and new-age approach to the NBA. And let's be real: he's already gained a lot in this year's playoffs. We just spent a week debating "Is LeBron as good as MJ?" without breaking down immediately in laughter or rolling our eyes. Sure, true NBA fans know it's still a ridiculous comparison but it made a big leap from "completely and totally not worth discussing" to "barely worth discussing but at least it will rile people up."  Other than James and Chris Bosh -- who will become a much less funny punchline -- let's not forget about Juwan Howard and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. This is what they signed up for, like so many veterans desperate to get one ring. But how often does it blatant ring-chasing actually work out? Both consummate professionals and good people. We're all winners if they become winners.

Dallas:
I'm shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that Mark Cuban's name wasn't the first one mentioned here. The career arc potential for Cuban is like the ownership version of James' situation. He goes from being one of the most recognizable, hated, and ridiculed figures in the game to a champion with the ultimate ammunition to fire back at his critics. He gets validation for his methods -- big spending, modernizing facilities, making splash trades and free agency signings -- and his huge capital investments. He completes the turnaround of a franchise that was once regarded as a perennial loser and then mocked as a perennial choker. He'll have done it all on his own terms. That's a ton to gain. (Now that I think about it we could all be in huge danger here. If you think he's insufferable now...)

MATT MOORE

Miami:
I feel like Bosh can't win here, though. If he wins, unless he dominates, it'll be said because of James and Wade. If he loses, it'll be on him. On a "can't win" team, Bosh is the can't-win-ingest. He's just in an impossible situation. On the other hand, you realize Udonis Haslem would become a two-time NBA champion and a guy who beat Dirk twice? MONSTER CRED.

Dallas:
What about DeShawn Stevenson? NO REALLY, WHAT ABOUT DESHAWN STEVENSON? Greatest player to ever have a neck tattoo, edging out KMart because of his rings? Plus, he beats LeBron to a title?

ROYCE YOUNG

Miami:
For whatever reason I'm stuck on coaches because I think Erik Spoelstra could really be looking at the beginning of a really charmed NBA coaching career. He could put a title away in his fourth season at the helm of an NBA team and at the age of just 40. And with that roster, if he can get this one, he could be the man in charge for a number of championships. Just like that, we could be talking about Spoelstra as a championship coach and maybe one of the best in the game.

Dallas:
Don't forget Peja Stojakovic for Dallas. So close in Sacramento, then he bounced around and played a part in New Orleans' run a few years ago. He's sort of the forgotten great international player because of the seven-foot German on his team, but a title would certainly be sweet for Peja. One of the all-time great 3-point shooters and as we tend to forget, one of the league's best scorers for a lot of the last decade.

BEN GOLLIVER
Miami: I agree that Bosh can't win. His entire persona seems to be constructed of being cool with that fact. His body language screams "I know that I will never be able to prove myself to you but I'm OK with that.

Dallas:
Last but not least, I think we can declare stat nerds big winners either way it goes. The Mavericks have been pouring over numbers forever trying to gain an extra advantage. The Heat, and Spoelstra in particular, have cited plus/minus figures, lineup combinations and the like as being important drivers on their way to the Finals. The NBA is continually getting smarter and here are two teams -- management, coaching staff, even players -- that take the intellectual side of things very seriously. For like-minded fans and media members, that's a great development.
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 4:30 pm
 

NBA Finals Shootaround Notes 5.31.11

MIAMI -- Notes from NBA Finals media availablity following Shootaround before Game 1 Tuesday, May 31st. 



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. 

Why? 

"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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There's already been a lot of talk about potential adjustments Erik Spoelsta could make, with one maybe being that LeBron guards Dirk in some stretches. 

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.
Posted on: May 31, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 5:24 am
 

LeBron James stands behind Tressel, OSU

LeBron James comments on the resignation of Jim Tressel at Ohio State. 

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- Yes, LeBron James is still being asked about things in Ohio. Following a shootaround Tuesday morning, reporters asked James to comment on the Jim Tressel situation at Ohio State. Yesterday, Tressel resigned in advance of a new set of allegations that trace recruiting violations back to 2002 and beyond.  James, being from Cleveland, and a known Ohio State fan, was asked about it, because if there is anything tangentially related to James, he will get asked about it. About six times. When asked about Tressel, James was supportive of both the coach and university. 

"He's done some great things for that university. It's unfortunate all the allegations and things that have come out in the past year," James said."Everyone in Columbus and Ohio knows how important, how great he was for the team and university.

James, for his part, is pretty supportive of the Sweater Vest and OSU: 

"I wish him the best, and the organization. Hopefully the university will come back.  It's one of the best universities we have in America." 

James understands what it's like to have everyone jump on you, but oddly, Tressel might do more to harm Ohio sports than James did, but Tressel will still be considered a God no matter what and James will still be the devil. That's what a difference a championship can make. 

Consider what Eye on College Football's Adam Jacobi wrote Monday about the question of Tressel being "worth it": 

The highest of highs. The lowest of lows. The situation's not quite over yet, but what amount of punishment would make Tressel's ten-year tenure not worth it to Ohio State? After all, the entire point of college football is to play for national championships and to beat the living daylights out of your rivals, and Jim Tressel did that in spades. Ohio State's on a streak of seven straight BCS bowl game appearances. Seven. Even if the NCAA hands down a postseason ban of a couple years--and there's not a whole lot about this situation right now that appears to warrant such a ban--is that really enough to put a cloud of shame over the Tressel Era forever? Would no college football fan endure two years' probation for 106-22 in the 10 years prior?
via Jim Tressel resigns; was his tenure 'worth it'? - CBSSports.com.

Makes you wonder if LeBron had won the title in 2009 or 2010 if the level of disgust, hatred, and envy would have been the same. We'll never know. But at least James isn't "repping 'The U'" or something.

Read more EOB coverage of the 2011 NBA Finals here. And here's more coverage of just the Miami Heat or Dallas Mavericks.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: May 31, 2011 9:59 am
 

Analyzing NBA Finals Headlines 5.31.11




Posted by Matt Moore

Here are your NBA Finals Headlines for Tuesday morning before Game 1. 


Ken Berger likes the Mavs in seven, but we here on EOB think the Heat take it. Most experts are leaning Heat, predictably. The most logical answer is that this will be a long series and it's going to come down to heart/a few bounces. Of course, after the season it has been, logic and reason can be tossed aside. 

KB also chimes in to let you know that even if Dirk doesn't get that jewelry, his legacy is secure. Nowitzki holds an extremely niche title: "Greatest 7-foot pure shooter in NBA history." But that just makes his standing that much more unique. There will be other players like LeBron James, just not as good. There will be other players like Dwyane Wade, just not as good. There will be other players like Chris Bosh... and probably better. But there will never be a player like Dirk Nowitzki again. A 7-footer with that kind of range, that kind of touch, and that kind of longevity? He's in a classification all his own.  We get to see him on the biggest stage for at least four more games (if not more). Enjoy it.

The Palm Beach Post goes over the Heat's drama-filled year through a review of the different "gates" they've gone through. A personal favorite is Bump-gate. Remember that one? A half-second moment of contact with a player coming off the floor is supposed to be  indicative of a lack of respect for a coach who Dwyane Wade has supported for three years. Got it. The Heat have certainly caused themselves the majority of their drama. But everything has also been overly analyzed not just by the media, but by fans. And they still managed to get to this point. Spoelstra told reporters that "Bump Gate" was influential in creating a bond between James and Spoesltra. 
 
Gregg Doyel takes a look at who's supposed to guard Dirk Nowitzki.  I've got a hint for you. Udonis Haslem did a much better job in 2006 than anyone is remembering and has the perfect size and skillset for it. Is Dirk going to get his? Absolutely. But Haslem will make him work for it, and that's all you can do. 

Dywane Wade opened up media availability yesterday by saying "I'm not hurt. Get that out of the way, move on."  There were a lot of questions about Wade's health due to his struggles in the last two games against Chicago, even with his late-game bursts. The reality is he probably is hurt, but just not with anything significant or at least significant enough to keep him out. Cameras caught Wade icing down his shoulder and being massaged on the sideline. That's nothing out of the ordinary for NBA guys, but it was the timing, urgency, and manner it was done that drew raised eyebrows. Something to keep an eye on, because the Heat need Wade to not only be healthy enough to score, but be able to draw contact. 

The Heat shot just 13-45 against Dallas' zone this year, according to ESPN. That's an interesting set of digits right there. The Heat aren't a great cross-court passing team, the best way to beat the zone, primarily because they get too flashy and try to do too much with the ball. They need shooters to knock down shots to get Dallas out of that. 

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel takes a look at some of the things that were said about the Heat, in a negative context, leading up to the NBA Finals, all the way since preseason.  

Zach Lowe of SI brings up an interesting point. If Barea is on the floor with Miller, he lacks the size to guard the Heat shooter. Will the Heat post Miller? It's an unorthodox concept but anything the Heat can do to get Barea off the floor will help and anything they can do to force a double off someone other than the Triad will create juicy opportunities for them. 

Jason Terry will have his trophy tattoo removed if the Mavs don't win the title this year.  That's just sad to hear. 

Ben Golliver notes in the Playoff Fix that the Mavericks struggled with LaMarcus Aldridge this year.  When you consider the damage that David West has done to them in the past, you start to notice the Mavericks have some issues with stretch fours. How's that going to jive with Chris Bosh doing damage from mid-range. Once again, as it has been all year, the pressure resides with Bosh to make some things happen for Miami.

We'll have coverage from shootaround this morning before Game 1 and our LiveChat kicks off at 8:30 p.m. EST. Join us! 
Posted on: May 31, 2011 9:09 am
 

LiveChat: NBA Finals Mavericks-Heat Game 1

Join us at 8:30 p.m. EST for our NBA Finals Game 1 LiveChat. Matt Moore and Royce Young are live in Miami and will bring you pre-game and post-game info here on Eye on Basketball. During the game, we'll be discussing topics like: 

Fun starts at 8:30 p.m. EST. 


 
Posted on: May 30, 2011 10:57 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 11:18 pm
 

NBA Finals Fix: Heat host Mavericks for Game 1

The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will play Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals in Florida on Tuesday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.



One Big Thing: Following Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said that the Miami Heat were "Hollywood as hell." The entire world immediately agreed with him. Whether that's a positive or negative attribute, one thing is clear: The NBA Finals are basketball's biggest stage and the Heat give off the air of a team that is poised to seize that stage. Game 1 will be decided by whether the Dallas Mavericks can withstand the initial surge of momentum the home team possesses in such a long awaited game. The Mavericks have already won in tough environments during the playoffs, beating the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder in arguably the two loudest, craziest NBA arenas. They also walked into the original basketball Hollywood -- the Staples Center in Los Angeles -- and stole both Games 1 and 2 from the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. If there's a team in the NBA that figures to be ready from jump amid hostile mayhem, it's these Mavericks.  

The X-Factor: If Dallas hopes to beat Miami four times out of seven games, they'll need to win the three-point shooting battle, and win it big. The X-factor to watch in Game 1 isn't necessarily what percentage Dallas shoots or how often they chuck it up from long distance, but how Miami is able to defend the three-point line. Conventional wisdom dictates that the Heat have the athleticsm, quickness, basketball IQ and discipline to provide help to Dirk Nowitzki or on pick-and-roll situations and still close out hard to weakside shooters to consistently contest shots. The Mavericks' passing picked apart the Lakers and left the Thunder confused at times. Will there be a learning curve for Miami? Will they be able to effectively force spot-up shooters to create off the dribble? Will that be enough to throw a wrench into Dallas' fine-tuned offensive machine?

The Adjustment: Both teams face the same basic, huge adjustment: Defending a superstar caliber player who is producing at the top of his game. The Mavericks overcame teams led by LaMarcus Aldridge, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. All three had flashes offensively, but none was able to sustain consistent, volume production over the course of their series against the Mavericks. Aldridge was the victim of swarming defense; Bryant settled far too often from the perimeter; and Durant was regularly muscled off the ball and away from his spots. The Heat, meanwhile, arguably had it even easier on this point. First, they faced the Sixers, who lack an elite No. 1 scorer. Then, they defeated the Boston Celtics, who lost their best offensive weapon when Rajon Rondo dislocated his elbow, limiting his effectiveness and ability to create offensive opportunities for the Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Finally, they faced an elite scorer in Derrick Rose who was overburdened by the lack of a consistent No. 2 and No. 3 scoring option. They were able to overload on Rose and then sic LeBron James on him, daring anyone else to make them pay. The rest of the Bulls came up very small.

The Mavericks must now deal with not one, but two, superstar high-end scorers in James and Dwyane Wade, both of whom are aggressive with the ball in their hands and have recently shown that they are focused on create high-percentage opportunities. The Heat will have to deal with Nowitzi, an elite, multi-dimensional scorer, but also keep track of secondary scoring options like Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea. Which team will handle their new defensive challenge more effectively?

The Sticking Point: 2006 lingers. There can't be a Mavericks-Heat Finals without some discussion of the officiating. While the Mavericks have gotten excellent contributions from their bench throughout the playoffs, guys like Stojakovic, Barea and even Brendan Haywood are going to wind up being major defensive liabilities if they see extended court time, especially simultaneously. Marion and center Tyson Chandler, in particular, will need to play defense very intelligently to avoid getting dinged for quick fouls. The Mavericks starters match up fairly well with the Heat's. Take out a piece or two unexpectedly for a six minute stretch, though, and Miami is more than capable of going on a quick double-digit run to wrest control of the game. Everyone expects James and Wade to get free points at the free throw line. The question is whether those trips take a second toll by throwing off Dallas' rotations. For the sake of this series, hopefully both teams are allowed to play.
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Jason Terry to remove trophy tattoo if Mavs lose

Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry says he will remove his tattoo of the Larry O'Brien trophy if the Miami Heat win the 2011 NBA Finals.jason-terry-tat  Posted by Ben Golliver.

In case you hadn't heard, Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry got a tattoo of the Larry O'Brien Trophy -- the gold orb trophy thing that goes to the team who wins the NBA title -- on the inside of his right bicep. (Pictured to the right.) Terry got inked prior to the season as a way to motivate himself reports Star-Telegram.com.

"Everybody laughed and thought it was a joke at the time, but then when they saw me actually get it they were like, 'This boy's serious,'" Terry said. "And our whole conversation was about right now, about us getting to this point and winning it all.

With the Mavericks now poised to face the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, reality and regret regarding the tattoo is starting to set in for Terry. The obvious question: What happens if the Heat beat the Mavericks? It's going to be pretty awkard to have a tattoo of something you didn't win on your arm forever, right?

Indeed, Sun-Sentinel.com reported on Sunday that Terry said he will remove the tattoo should the Mavericks up come short. 
"It symbolized the fact we had a realistic shot of getting there." Terry said Sunday before the team departed for Miami. "If I didn't think we had a chance, I definitely wouldn't have put that on there. ... For me, it's something I have to sleep with, something I wake up with. I definitely know it's going to hurt worse if I have to take this thing off."

Yep, if Dallas doesn't win the trophy, look for Terry to get it removed.

"It means it was bad luck." Terry said. "I'm very superstitious."
That would be the single most depressing tattoo removal of all time. Maybe there's a way the artist could just alter it rather than remove it. Maybe a tweak to make it look like the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or maybe the Space Needle -- an homage to Terry's hometown of Seattle?

It's a little disappointing Terry is already considering the possibility of removing the tattoo before the Finals has even started. What a perfect opportunity to guarantee a Dallas victory: "This ink isn't going anywhere!" Now that would have been awesome. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com