Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 10:51 pm
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
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
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.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 5:56 pm
Join us at 9 p.m. EST for an NBA LiveChat. We'll have Ben Golliver and Matt Moore live at American Airlines Center in Dallas as the Heat and Mavericks struggle in what looks to be an epic Game 5 for control of the 2011 NBA Finals before the series shifts back to Miami.
Topics will include:
Posted on: June 9, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 6:35 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
DALLAS -- The Heat are not going to go into a pivotal (okay, more pivotal than the other pivotal games in the NBA Finals) Game 5 Thursday with the same gameplan they went into Game 3 with. It would be natural to look at a game they lost by a bucket and think they don't need adjustments. But head coach Erik Spoelstra laid out some of the things they planned on doing differently Thursday after shootaround. For starters, Spoelstra followed up on what we wrote about yesterday -- the issue the Heat are having of running up against the clock due to the pressure the Mavericks are putting on the Heat both on the inbounds after a bucket and at mid-court. Spoelstra said the Heat had worked in the last 36 hours on not letting the Mavericks get them into what Mike Miller termed "9-1-1 shots."
"Something we definitely worked on was to get into our offense earlier against their pressure so we have more time to exploit those options," Spoesltra said.
The Heat have constantly run up against the shot clock, with James as primary ball-handler sometimes having to run sets with less than 13 seconds left. In that situation, when the Mavericks shut down the initial set, be it pick-and-roll or otherwise, the Heat are trying to reset and run a second set with less than six seconds. That results in long jumpers, contested shots, and turnovers. Some of that comes down to composure, some of that comes down to execution, but a lot of that comes down to simply creating more time to give themselves outs. It's like poker: Never go in without the best hand if you don't have outs. And against a Dallas defense primed and ready to attack the Heat's best hands in LeBron and Wade, they need those outs.
Spoelstra also commented on the work the Mavericks did against the pick and roll and how they have to counter Dallas' efforts.
"We have to have all five guys live," Spoelstra said, "and sometimes a quick pass out of that to exploit it on the weakside. The right thing to do sometimes is to be aggressive and try and get around two guys. We've seen virtually every kind of pick and roll coverage you can see throughout the course of the year. We just need to do it better and more efficiently."
James' struggles with the pick-and-roll largely come from two angles. One, he's largely rollling passively up and out to the high baseline, forcing a jump-pass which is a turnover-probable attempt. Second, while Wade's burst gets him to split the double, James has the added complication of creating contact with the fact that he's the size of a freaking truck. The concern is that this can result in a turnover on an offensive foul if the Mavericks step in and take the contact. James needs to pass quickly out of the double team to burn them for employing it and then his teammates need to knock down shots. On the second, James can't be concerned about it and has to force the officials to make an offensive foul call in Game 5 of the Finals against one of the league's biggest superstars.
The Heat's ability to convert these adjustments will be what determines their success in Game 5. It's more than effort. It's adjustments.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 2:57 pm
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki should be good to go for Game 5. Posted by Ben Golliver.
DALLAS -- Obviously, it didn't compare to Michael Jordan's "Flu Game," but Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki played very well despite being very sick during Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Nowitzki battled a 100+ degree temperature and was hacking and wheezing during his post-game press conference. Despite the sickness, Nowitzki finished with a team-high 21 points, 11 rebounds and one assist.
After taking it easy on Wednesday, it sounds like he should be good to go for Game 5 on Thursday.
Nowitzki said simply: "I feel great."
"He’s feeling better, which is important," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "That’s a plus for us."
Carlisle said the bumps and bruises wouldn't affect any of his players' availability. "We have a couple of other guys that are banged up. At this point, you play. You have to."
There is one exception: Carlisle said that center Brendan Haywood, who sat out Game 3 and was limited in Game 4 with a right hip flexor injury, will be officially listed as a game-time decision on Thursday night.
As per his custom, Carlisle wouldn't divulge his starting lineup or the members of his active roster until closer to game time.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 2:56 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
DALLAS -- It's just a basketball game, really. The Heat are going to go out and try and do the same thing they've tried to do the last 101 games they've played this year: score more points than the other team. It's the same thing Dallas has tried to do the last 102 games. The preparation will be the same, the intensity will likely not be more or less than it was in Game 1, or any of the other games in this classic NBA Finals series.
But man, did it feel like it talking to Dwyane Wade on Thursday after shootaround.
"The time is now," Wade said, "the time is here. We're in Game 5. The popcorn is popping. The movie is starting. I'm excited about this."
It's been a series of dramatics, with every single game coming down to a handful of fourth quarter possessions. Whoever winds up getting more offensive rebounds gets a huge advantage. Whoever winds up creating more turnovers gets a huge advantage. Whoever executes down the stretch wins the game, period. Early in this series it was all about "just another game" and "playing (their) game" from both teams. That wasn't the attitude Thursday from Wade or his head coach. Erik Spoelstra was confident and for a guy who is so often calm as a cucumber, even his energy translated.
"This is what all of us look for," Spoelstra said. "Any competitor, these are the moments you live for and treasure."
It's being talked about as one of the greatest series in NBA Finals history, and with good reason. Despite the absence of the supposed "must haves" in the Lakers and Celtics, despite one of the key figures a seven-foot German offensive juggernaut, despite all the burnout on the Heat coverage, the ratings are monstrous, the games are competitive, the games are intense, the storylines fresh, and the baketball on both sides has been great. It's a war of attrition with huge moments and big shots interspersed. We've had a player play through illness, the best basketball player on the planet vanish in a cloud of terrible play, vintage Dwyane Wade, terrific defense from Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers stepping up, DeShawn Stevenson giving the three-monocle and then running his mouth, Jason Terry running his mouth even more than usual, hard fouls, highlight dunks, and Mark Cuban hasn't even made an appearance. All the drama, all the entertainment, and the basketball has been really good. This may not be the best playoff series of all time, but the Finals don't get better than this.
This is a series rife with tension and intensity, with desperation and a combination of weariness and resolve from both teams. Each team wins after a loss. The momentum is definitely carrying this towards a Game 7. Both teams have won on the opponent's home floor. Both teams have showed they can fend off runs at home.
This series has everything, and with it tied 2-2, starting over in a three-game series, everyone, even the caustic, labored media here in Dallas is on the edge of its seats. The final act of this drama begins tonight in Dallas. Dirk, LeBron, JET, DWade, Bosh, Kidd, UD, Matrix, and a chess match well worthy of the stage.
The popcorn's popping. The movie is starting.
Game 5 is Thursday night.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 1:52 pm
Miami Heat forward LeBron James says Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals is the biggest game of his life. Posted by Ben Golliver.
A superstar at the center of the NBA’s media universe, James regularly pushes back on the media’s overhyping and overanalyzing his every move. On Thursday morning following shootaround, however, James was unusually happy to set his personal stakes at the highest possible level.
“It’s a big game, probably the biggest game of my life,” James said, before stopping to immediately correct himself. “Not probably. It is.”
Compared to his sullen, distant post-game demeanor on Tuesday night, James was relatively loose as he joked with reporters, although he admitted that his mind has been consumed by his 8 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 turnovers performance on Tuesday.
On Wednesday night, James said he tried to get away.
“Try to do whatever it takes to help your mind shut down,” James said. “You just try to stay up and watch TV. There’s never anything on TV. I don’t know. Get on the Internet. Read you guys’ columns. Those are fun.”
That crack drew belly laughs from the assembled media given the intensity of the criticism of James online.
“I’ve seen a lot of them,” James added with a wry smile. “They’re pretty good. I appreciate it.”
The media isn't alone in questioning James in the aftermath of the worst playoff game of his ccareer. The Mavericks have been supplying a steady diet of quotes and jabs as well.
“He has the right to say what he wants to say,” James said. “Just know I’ll be there for 45 minutes on the court tonight. We’ll see what happens.”
“That’s just how I was feeling at the time,” James explained. “A personal message to myself. It’s nothing to do with anyone else besides myself. Just in a zone at that point.”
He has no plans to change his approach late in games, where his scoring numbers have taken a major hit against the Mavericks.
“Just do my thing,” James said. “There’s times when you make shots and you don’t make shots. I will be on the court in the fourth quarter like I always am.”
Bosh said James doesn't need any major adjustments. "Just give him the gameplan, maybe a little bit of a motivation speech," Bosh said. "But other than that, he doesn't need to hear anything. He just needs to get this game started."
If James isn't contemplating specific changes – other than being more assertive with the ball in his hands – he is using recent history to help keep him focused.
“I’ve bounced back before,” he said. “I just remember some of the games that I felt like I could play better. I know what I did the next time. I’m a big believer in my abilities. I watch film, I study film, I see the things I could have done better. And I’ve been able to bounce back after that game.”
“I’ve had a few subpar games this postseason,” James admitted. “One in Chicago, one in Boston, just try to bounce back the next game, understand what’s at stake, understand what I need to do to help our team win.”
In a Game 1 loss to Chicago, James had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. In Game 2, he put up 29 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists to lead Miami to a win. In a Game 3 loss to Boston, James had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He came back in a Game 4 win with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists.
James disregarded talk that this game could define his legacy – saying that he has heard that before in each of the last few seasons – but it is inarguable that he’s treating this game differently.
“This is what it’s about. This is what we all dream about being in this moment,” James said. “It’s there. We’re looking forward to it, it’s there. That’s what I’ve been dreaming about my whole life.”
Will Game 5 wind up fulfilling that dream? Or will it be another nightmare like Game 4?