Tag:Jose Barea
Posted on: June 10, 2011 1:51 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 6:46 am

NBA Finals: Nothing easy for the Heat

DALLAS -- If you remember, all the way back when this whole thing started, Dwyane Wade said something that, at the time, seemed arrogant. Now it just looks ignorant.

"The hard part is out of the way," Wade said when the Heat pulled off the free-agency coup of a lifetime, turning the Heat into a super-powered super-contender with super-expectations and super-criticism. The quote has been revisited time and time again as a reminder of what this thing looked like back in July.

But after Game 5 it was put in particularly stark relief. Because, for the Heat, nothing has been that easy. From the first loss to Boston in the season opener, to the injuries suffered to Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, to the inability to grab the top playoff spot, to two playoff series that looked easy on the outside and were tough, gritty affairs on the inside, all the way to the daggersaurus Jason Terry morphed into with 33 seconds left ... the entire season has been an unexpected battle for Miami.

Think about that. A team with three All-Stars. Three superstars. Everything handed on a free agency platter, what was supposed to be the "hard part." 

And things don't look any easier for the final game, or games, of their season. That much is clear after Game 5.

But what might be of most concern is that, as the series has gone on, things have actually gotten harder for the Heat, and easier for the Mavericks. If Game 5 represented anything, it was the Mavericks' offense finally busting out of the muzzle the Heat's defense had put on it after a playoff run where they had looked nearly unstoppable at times. The first four games were more than a grind, they were a desperate scratch and claw up a sheer cliff. Game 5 was a cannon fire contest and the Heat did not have the guns. As the Mavericks offense broke out, it became about open looks for the Mavericks while the Heat were running head-first into walls. Even as Miami managed to get five players in double figures, along with some bench production, the Mavericks had already gotten out of their corral. And the Heat could not wrangle them again.

An open look for Jason Kidd. A contested 3-pointer in rhythm for Jason Terry. Shots the Heat need the Mavericks to miss, finally fell. After Game 5, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra credited the Mavericks' early work in creating open dunks and looks inside for getting the Dallas into a rhythm from which there was no looking back.

"I think what led to (the late 3-point shooting) were a lot of 'relief' points they got in the first half," Spoelstra said, referring to points created when the defense collapsed on a ball handler and the rotation broke down. "And we talk about this all season long. We try to take away the relief. Easy opportunities in the open court, easy opportunities right at the rim. They were getting all of that in the first half. And the psychological part of that is naturally the basket starts to look bigger."

It certainly did to the Mavs, who shot a blistering 68 percent from 3-point range. They shot an effective field goal percentage (factoring the added weight of 3-pointers) of 65.9 percent, which is the equivalent of landing 48 haymakers in a boxing match. They blistered the Heat by creating open looks inside and then capitalizing on the reactions on the perimeter.

Before Game 4, DeShawn Stevenson said the Heat "don't want to play a tough game." In Games 4 and 5, the Mavericks made the Heat play that tough game, and the result is two losses. Even with an improved offensive output in Game 5, the Mavs offense made the Heat pick a poison, and no matter what they chose, it was toxic. It reminded you of that scene in "The Princess Bride" where the Man in Black poisons both glasses of wine. No matter what the Heat chose, they died from the adjustment.

Spoelstra said after the game that "nothing that [the Heat] have achieved this year has been easy" and they are "certainly not going to start [being easy] now." It's a long way from where the Heat were when Dwyane Wade and LeBron James thought this ride would be a breeze.

Instead, it's only gotten harder.

The only question left concerns Miami's need to win two games, back-to-back. Has winning a title against a team they have been unable to do beat consecutively, even at home where the three superstars first took the stage together, become simply too tough for the Heat?

If it has gotten too hot for the Heat, they won't have to worry about getting out of the kitchen.

Dallas will be happy to throw them out.

Posted on: June 10, 2011 1:12 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:09 am

Can Heat win a title with Wade not 100 percent?

Posted by Matt Moore

DALLAS -- Dwyane Wade makes no excuses, and will play in Game 6.

Dwyane Wade is not going to miss Game 6. He can't miss Game 6. He won't miss Game 6. That was clear from the moment he stepped to the podium after the Heat fell behind in a series for the first time in this season's playoffs. Now, the Heat find themselves just a game away from elimination. Wade made it obvious right from the get-go that the hip contusion that held him to 34 minutes, which is still a good amount of time for any NBA player, will not limit him from playing when the series shifts back to South Beach. Wade considered it a non-starter after the game.

"You know I'm not going to do that. I don't talk about injuries. It was unfortunate I had to leave the game. But I came back and I finished it."

Wade also said he could play even if he's not 100 percent, referencing the same was true in Game 5 Thursday night.

But without a fully healthy Wade, who has helped carry the Heat in this series, and with the Mavericks seemingly having "figured out" LeBron James enough to withstand his scoring, and with Dallas effectively swarming Chris Bosh on each possession ... well, things are stacking up against the Heat.

Wade said he felt confident in both his teammates and himself, but Wade's explosiveness has worn down. Just as James seems worn down by the heavy-minutes and long season, Wade seems to similarly lack his earlier explosiveness. Everything is difficult, everything is inches.

With an injury compounding issues, the Mavericks having completely stolen momentum, and exhaustion settling in while the Mavericks' offense has finally broken out, the question has got to be asked.

Is this the hip that breaks the Heat's back?
Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:55 pm

Video: Jason Terry, thy name is dagger

Posted by Royce Young

The Mavericks probably had the Heat right where they wanted them anyway. They were leading 105-101 with 45 seconds remaining and possession of the ball.

But with No. 3, No. 6 and No. 1 all on the other side in black, the Mavs needed another bucket to really feel good about their chances. And Jason Terry was there to provide it.

The fact it was right over LeBron had to make it a little bit sweeter, but the triple put the Mavs up seven with 35 seconds left. And pretty much, basically made sure the Mavs were taking a 3-2 lead back to South Beach.

Dirk called Terry out for not being the kind of fourth quarter clutch player that he's been in the past. He wasn't hitting big shots, wasn't doing his jet routine, wasn't closing out games the way he's supposed to and the way the Mavs needed him to.

He kind of sort of made up for that Thursday. He hit the 3 that tied the game at 100-100 and this 3 that put the Heat on ice. Happy now, Dirk?
Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:41 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 11:47 pm

Video: Dirk goes baseline for big dunk

Posted by Royce Young

The Heat had finally taken control of Game 5 but after Jason Terry tied the game with a 3, Dirk Nowitzki caught the ball baseline and pulled out one of his very Dirk-ish moves.

A subtle head fake and he went hard along the baseline for a big two-handed dunk to put Dallas up two. And to cap off the sequence, Tyson Chandler stepped in to take an important charge on LeBron James, wiping away what would've been a tying layup.

This was the first time Dallas had regained the lead after holding one for almost the entire game. The Heat had battled back to take a five-point lead after a 9-0 by Miami. But the Terry 3, then the Dirk dunk put the Mavs back on top for good and they finished it off 112-103 to take the all-pivotal Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:53 pm

Video: Chalmers drills halfcourter in Game 5

Posted by Royce Young

Maybe it's just Mario Chalmers' shot.

For the second time this series, Chalmers nailed a half court shot to end the first quarter. This one though, unlike Game 3's, was entirely legal.

The interesting thing about it is that Chalmers' shot gave the Heat their first 30-point quarter since Game 5 of the Boston series. That's 24 quarters that have passed since it happened, and it took a miracle 3 from Chalmers to get it done in this one. Pretty crazy.

Also pretty crazy: How good Chalmers evidently is at this shot.

Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 10:51 pm

Dwyane Wade leaves Game 5 with hip contusion

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade suffered a hip contusion during Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals.

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade exited Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter and the Dallas Mavericks leading the Heat, 23-19.

Wade exited for the Heat locker room and remained away from the bench for the duration of the first quarter. Shortly thereafter, the Heat reported that he suffered a "left hip contusion" and was "questionable" to return. 

The injury apparently occured when he drove to the basket and was fouled by Mavericks reserve center Brian Cardinal. Wade collided into Cardinal and then crashed to the ground, also contacting Mavericks guard Jason Terry on the way down. At the time of his exit, Wade's line was 8 points, 2 assists and one turnover. 

With 8:52 remaining in the second quarter, Wade returned to the court. Upon his re-entry to the game, Miami was leading, 40-38.

Update: Wade did not start the second half. Heat forward Mike Miller started in his place. He reentered the game with 4:29 remaining in the third quarter after receiving treatment in the Heat locker room. The Mavericks were leading when he returned, 75-71.

Here's video of the injury courtesy of YouTube user DailyThunder.

A "contusion" is simply a fancy name for a bruise. 

This post will update if any additional information becomes available.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:18 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 7:42 pm

Video: LeBron, Wade mock Dirk for being sick?

Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade apparently mock Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki for being sick. Posted by Ben Golliver.


Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki impressed just about everyone with his Game 4 performance, scoring the game-deciding basket and 21 points and 11 rebounds to even the series, 2-2.

Among those apparently left unimpressed? Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

In the video below, shot by CBS Dallas, Wade and James are shown heading for the team bus after shootaround, laughing and covering their mouths with their shirts, as if to protect themselves from being sick.

Wade turns to James and says, "Did y'all hear me cough? Do you think I'm sick?"

Were they making light of all the headlines about Nowitzki's heroic performance or taking a shot at Nowitzki? I guess that's all a matter of perception, but the television broadcaster provides the Dallas perspective, saying, "Wade and James were mocking Dirk's sickness today."

Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user FrownsUpsideDown.

Hat tip: ESPN Dallas.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 7:57 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:17 pm

Brendan Haywood inactive for Game 5

Posted by Matt Moore

Two days after playing just over three minutes in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, coach Rick Carlisle announced before Game 5 that Brendan Haywood would be inactive against the Heat.

In his place, the Mavericks will once again turn to inexperienced Ian Mahinmi in an attempt to control the offensive glass. Mahinmi struggled in Game 3, getting dunked on by LeBron James, missing a layup and turning in a foul-ridden performance. Mahinmi's primary responsibility is to take those fouls responsibly when necessary and just allow the Mavericks to survive long enough for Tyson Chandler to recover. Chandler will no doubt play over 40 minutes in Game 5. He was a beast in Game 4, dominating the offensive glass and helping the Mavericks control the paint as well as playing expert defense on the Heat's pick and rolls.

Carlisle joked with reporters pre-game, saying Caron Butler would be active in his stead, before saying "I'm just kidding" when all the reporters in the room just about wet themselves. Carlisle also joked about questions regarding Corey Brewer's playing time, after affirming that the young wing was ready to go, saying "I appreciate everybody asking about him, because, you know, he's obviously well thought of."

Rick Carlisle, such a kidder.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com