It's been a long few weeks - with a number of thoughts running through my head - so thought I'd just document them here:
- The Miami Heat are the villains of the NBA. I get it. I think the critisism is extreme - but again - I get it. The truth is that this entire season had zero upside for this team. They made it to the NBA finals - and everyone (especially the media) is saying "See - we were right - you failed". C'MON people! This team did such amazing things (um - including financially for the NBA and every other team) - so be glad that the Mavs won -- but slow your roll on the lack of greatness/accomplishment of this team. At the start of the play-offs - The Heat were not the hands-down favorite to win it all -- yet come The Finals -- suddenly they always had been..
- As an NBA fan - you cannot hate on Dirk. Period. Love to see him get a ring. Love that Cuban got a ring. Outside of "hating" Jason Terry right now -- I got respect for the Mavs team and organization - so respect due.
- This said - Lebron James sucks(?) Again - C'mon people. He didn't perform at Superstar status at the end and when it really counted. He's still an unbelievable NBA player and oh yea - only 26 years old. I actually think losing in this years' finals was better for his long-term career accomplishments. In 2004 - he was playing with house money. This year - I think he really tasted it - but it was taken by a team that wanted it more and executed much better. He will learn from it and again - I think the loss will sting and this will drive him.
- So - why did the Dallas win? Well - for starters they just exectuted better. Another part for me is that I saw the Heat just wore down. That's not an excuse that makes me feel better - again - Dallas won - period, however - this team was literally in play-off mode for pretty much the entire season. Every game they played was the other teams biggest game of the season... They had to justify their play to the questioning media after every single game. This is a team that was known for it's defense forcing contested shots - and in this finals series (even in the games they won) - Dallas had a plethora of open shots. I don't think a great defense all year forgets how to play -- I think mentally and physically drained teams are a crucial reason why defenses looked mediocre.
- Jim Carey did all the right things. SUPER-impressed at his post-season run. I think coaches are generally limited in their true impact in the NBA - but Dallas coaching staff did every single thing that they could to add their value. Match-up changes - Defensive sets - time-out control. I don't hate on Coach Spo - but I think he was out-coached in this series and hopefully he learns from it.
- Such a big deal was made of the fact that the Heat are D-Wade's team. So what? They are! Seems as if everyone (especially the media) are so obsessed with Lebron's legacy with total disregard for D-Wades. I suppose one positive to this finals series is that D.Wade was put back on the map (as I have always known he should be). This said - the Lebron legacy thing is so frustrating for me. It's like asking how the movie is going to end within the first 30 minutes. I get that it eats up air-time, but at some point it's just useless. Tom Cruise is crazy or Vin Diesel is is a horrible actor .... Do Americans really care when it comes to being entertained (or spending money). Absolutely not - and it's the same with Lebron and the NBA. Who sold more Nike Shoes - MJ or LBJ? Maybe that's a more appropriate question in 2011. Guy is a beast and perhaps people's expectation level of "greater than MJ" are the real issue rather than LBJ himself. So what - he's not a top 5 player of all time .... That's HIS inner demon - not ESPNs.
- To that note - assuming there is a season - who do you think are the 2011-2012 favorites to win the ring? Would anyone hate it if their team was favored every year? At some point it's annoying - but generally - I was able to watch over 100 games of Lebron James and Dwyane Wade do amazing things and I look forward to that continuing. I don't think anything gets blown up on this team minus some supporting cast help and I'm OK with this.
I'm definitely bummed - but it's not like a feel slighted as a fan. My team just lost to a better team this series - and all I can hope for is that the pain they are feeling right now will drive them to win more in the future. These guys have PLENTY of basketball left in them - and so I'm approaching "the big 3" from marathon perspective and not sprint.
Let's Go Heat!