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Tag:Peja Stojakovic
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:47 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Heat PG Mario Chalmers to start for Mike Bibby

The Miami Heat have inserted point guard Mario Chalmers into their starting lineup for Game 6 instead of Mike Bibby. Posted by Ben Golliver.

In our NBA Finals Game 6 preview, we wondered whether Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would make any adjustments with the desperation factor ratcheted up in an elimination game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Spoelstra has indeed made a change: The Heat will start point guard Mario Chalmers instead of the usual starter, Mike Bibby, in Game 6 on Sunday night.

Chalmers has played well for the Heat throughout the Finals, averaging 10/6 points, 2.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game. He's also shooting 42.9 percent from deep. He has emerged as a steady presence for Miami, spacing the floor well, making good decisions and doing his best to stay with Dallas' guards. 

Bibby, meanwhile, has struggled. He's a defensively liability because of his age and is shooting just 29.4 percent from deep, averaging 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 17.2 minutes per game against the Mavericks.

The move comes shortly after Spoelstra told reporters in his pre-game media availibility that he did not want to over-react by changing his starting lineup. A little bit of gamesmanship.

This is Chalmers' first start since March 19. He started 28 games during the regular season. 
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 7:13 pm
 

Brendan Haywood active for Game 6

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: Haywood is officially active for tonight's game.

MIAMI -- The clock is ticking down to tip-off in Game 6 and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said during his pregame press address that center Brendan Haywood is still a gametime decision.

Haywood injured his hip in Game 2. He sat Game 3, played in Game 4 and then sat Game 5. Ian Mahinmi will play in place of Haywood if he's unable to go.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:59 pm
 

NBA Finals Game 6: Sleepless in Miami



Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- The next day is the biggest game of their lives. That phrase is used so often, but, really, the moment is here. On Saturday night the Mavericks went to bed knowing that when they woke up, it would be the day the could concievably win a championship. For so many of the players, this is the moment they've worked for their entire lives. And that can lead to excitement, good and bad. 

Both Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion told reporters Sunday morning that they didn't sleep much at all Saturday night. Chandler said he had barely slept in the playoffs, saying he only got about four or five hours a night. When asked if that was a good thing, Chandler smiled and said "It's been working, so I'm going to stick with it."

Marion on the other hand was a bit more blatant in not hiding his excitement.

"Not at all. You guys didn't sleep either. Y'all just as excited as we are."

Sleep has been a recurring theme of these Finals, with LeBron James saying he couldn't sleep before Game 1, and again before Game 5. In a series that has been as tight as it can possibly be, with every game coming down to a handful of possessions, it's no wonder both teams are caught up in the excitement and having long nights. It's been a "grind" as both coaches have said. If the Mavericks make good on their intention, they'll sleep late after celebrating, while the Heat will want to hibernate for the summer.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Brendan Haywood game-time decision for Game 6

Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- Rick Carlisle nodded when asked about Brendan Haywood's availability, but said that once again Haywood would be a game-time decision for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Haywood was injured in Game 2, sat out Game 3, played Game 4, sat out Game 5, so there's no telling about his availability.

Ian Mahinmi and Brian Cardinal both played well for the Mavericks in Game 5, with Mahinmi actually getting an and-one dunk and Cardinal being a presence defensively even in stopping LeBron James. It's not clear how much the Mavericks are going to need Haywood considering the likelihood of Tyson Chandler playing 45-plus minutes in Game 6. We'll keep you updated on Haywood's status in our Game 6 Experience.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 1:27 pm
 

It hasn't been all fun and games for the Heat

Posted by Royce Young



MIAMI -- They make sure to give the appearance of fun all the time. The joking, laughing, ahem, celebrating -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat try to enjoy themselves despite all the negative attention.

But it's not always good times.

"There's been times where we probably where we went through stages and didn't have fun with the game," Dwyane Wade said. "We've had fun, we haven't had fun. We've celebrated, we haven't celebrated, whatever the case may be."

LeBron jumped in. "Should you have said that?" he said, tongue firmly in cheek.

"There's three days left in the season, I don't [care]," Wade responded.

LeBron: "Well, it might get blown out of proportion."

Maybe it wasn't intentional, but the two clearly had a little fun right there in that exchange. But with the way the team has been hammered constantly with negative media attention and an eye on their every move, it would be natural to think that this whole thing might've had some of the joy sucked out of it.

That stuff though, the outside stuff, isn't what has really affected LeBron though. He repeatedly said he was prepared for it and understands that it comes with the territory. To his credit, he's never complained about what's been thrown at him. He takes it, and moves on. What gets to him is when things aren't going well on the court.

"Losing is never fun of course," he said. "Honestly the way we've gotten to this point in our career is by having fun with the game of basketball. I've always said once the game stopped being fun, there's no reason for me to be out on the court. That's the way I've always approach the game on and off the court."

That "fun" they have had though, seems to be what gets them in hot water at times. The so-called celebration in Game 2 that supposedly sparked a major Mavs comeback. The coughing incident before Game 5. Those are moments where it's kind of just boys will be boys, but have clearly backfired on the team. It's really just LeBron and Wade being themselves and trying to have a good times while playing a game -- remember these are grown men dribbling a ball while running around in shorts and tanktops -- but because of the situation, it's perceived as arrogance and ego.

What they do probably lack is a bit more self-awareness. Wade said yesterday that the coughing thing was just mean to be a prank on the media to see if they'd blow it up. Mission accomplished, he said. But not understanding the distraction that causes and how that sort of thing just piles on to the mountain is what frustrates people. They might just be having fun with stuff, but sometimes you've got to act like an adult, like a businessman.

Both LeBron and Wade have done their best to always keep perspective on their situation. Basketball is fun. That's why they play it. That's why they put in all this work. But like LeBron said, losing isn't fun. It's the opposite of fun. When he had to watch the Spurs celebrate a title on his home floor in Cleveland in 2007, he summed it up simply saying, "It sucked."

And if Dallas finishes out the Heat in Miami tonight and LeBron has to watch another team dance on his home floor, there will definitely be no joy in South Beach.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 12:48 pm
 

2011 NBA Finals: Game 6 Experience

Posted by EOB staff

Welcome to our Game 6 Experience, where you can interact with us as we bring you pregame thoughts, quotes, video, audio and the rest. We'll be tracking Game 6 material live from Miami and on the web throughout the day. 


 
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Matrix didn't bring enough socks for a Game 7



Posted by Matt Moore

MIAMI -- Shawn Marion does not consider himself a role player, he does not consider himself a "reformed" defensive player, and Shawn Marion has no intention of seeing a Game 7 in Miami.

Marion told reporters at shootaround before Game 6 Sunday in Miami that he hasn't even brought enough clothes to see a possible Game 7 should the Heat win tonight.

"I only brought two pairs of socks," Marion said. When pressed on the question, Marion simply repeated, "I only brought two pairs of socks." 

The confidence of the Mavericks has been overwhelming in these playoffs, and no one exemplifies it more than Marion. In these playoffs, Marion has defended Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James, while also providing offense. He has hustled in transition, kept his head up and kept himself out of foul trouble, and approached each game as if it was the last, while also not burning out emotionally. He's set the bar as the rest of the Mavericks veterans have. With one more game to validating a career with a championship ring, his confidence doesn't read as false bravado, but as determination.

The only thing standing in Marion's way of a trip home to the washing machine with a title is the Miami Heat.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 12:15 pm
 

Sniffle-gate, day four: No comment

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- On rolls the playoffs' most ridiculous story.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade spoke to the media after shootaround and it took about 10 questions for someone to finally ask about their response to Dirk Nowitzki calling their coughing act before Game 5 "childish" and "ignorant."

LeBron sort of turned his head as if to say, "Really? We're still asking about this?" and simply said, "We don't have a comment."

The reporter then asked Wade for his reaction.

"We don't have a comment," LeBron said again, speaking for Wade.

It's almost like they're trying to make this story go away or something. Or, maybe someone can go ahead and get fired up about them dodging the question. See, it's a no-win situation here for them. Which is probably why they really should've avoided this in the first place.

But I look forward to someone asking Dirk about LeBron and Wade saying "no comment" and then later asking LeBron and Wade about Dirk's response to the no comment. Really, I don't see an end in sight for Sniffle-gate.

Well, unless the Mavs go ahead and finish this up tonight I suppose.
 
 
 
 
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