Forgive me for being sort of a vindictive kind of guy, but I always love reading the paper of the team that the Mavs beat after a big game. Take what the Miami Herald is saying this morning after last night’s improbable Mavs comeback victory.
Entering the NBA Finals, it seemed nothing could top the craziness that was the Heat’s comeback in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Then Thursday happened. The Heat led by 15 points with seven minutes left before the Mavericks reeled off a 17-2 run to tie the score at 90 with 57 second to play.
Launching threes, hitting threes, shutting down superstars, holding the slimmest of leads at home or on the road — all of it appeared to be a piece of cake for LeBron James and the Heat in these playoffs.
And then Thursday happened. And then the fourth quarter happened. And then Dirk Nowitzki happened.
And then all those good feelings that had been built up over the past two series of impressive close-outs dissolved with one left-handed layup. An injured left hand at that.
The Heat, which was lulled into the quicker game by Dallas’ smaller lineup at times, had a postseason’s worth of highlights consolidated into one 40-minute segment of basketball.
It looked easy when Wade was either carving up the Mavericks defense and scoring, or kicking out to wide-open shooters. It looked stifling when the Heat defense forced turnovers that resulted in so many dunks that both rims are probably bruised.
It looked like such a sure thing when Wade hit that fadeaway three in the corner to extend the Heat lead to 88-73 that those seat covers were probably all bunched up and ready to be launched in the crowd.
Perhaps it was too early, then. Because the complacent Heat offense immediately appeared. The overconfident approach kicked in. The stand-and-watch LeBron offense kicked into high gear, and this time he wasn’t in savior mode.
This time, he was in “What’s going on, here?” mode.
And then the Dallas Morning News with this:
When Dwyane Wade, who had 36 points, poured in a 3-pointer from the corner right in front of the Mavericks’ bench with 7:14 to go, the Mavericks were down 88-73. Carlisle called a timeout, and LeBron James threw some soft punches into Wade’s chest as the pair did a little dance heading to the Miami bench.
“They were emotional and excited,” said Mavericks forward Brian Cardinal. “I don’t know if it ignited us. I’m sure it helped refocus everybody. You notice everything. That’s the beauty of having 15 guys on the bench. Everybody’s got an eyeball on something.
A 22-5 run later, the Mavericks had proved they were well aware of the Heat’s antics.
Let that be a lesson boys and girls. Never, ever start celebrating in advance. One thing you have to give credit to the Mavs for: They don’t even celebrate when they win a series!
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Some people have bet large sums of money on the Miami Heat (Off the Bench)
Oh no! A hard salary cap in the NBA would make the Big Three unaffordable for the Miami Heat. [Larry Brown Sports]
Mark Sanchez Jumping, Doing Back Flips Off Catamaran In Maui (Busted Coverage)
And how many of us saw this coming?
TODAY IN REX MORGAN:
That’s what SHE said.
OK peoples, go have yourself a super day. Shout out to all the Cavs for Mavs fans out there!