3 TRUTHS – NBA FINALS Edition: Game OVER

Posted: June 13, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA
Tags: , , , , , , ,

One of the greatest NBA Finals is in the books, and the Dallas Mavericks finished up business in a manner that belies how competitive of a series it began as. By the second half of game 6, the Mavs were in sync so well that it seemed like the everything that left their hands was dropping straight in, “Pleasantville” style. There was so much to this series that it can’t possibly be summed in just a few sections here.

But here you have it, the CHEAP SEAT’S final word on what all took place between the Mavericks and Miami Heat, and why the name with the brightest lights means nothing if it doesn’t have something behind it.

In the end, the numbers game was too much to deny the Mavericks their first world title.

TRUTH #1-ALL FOR ONE, PLUS ONE: From the outset of these Finals, my word has been that the Mavericks where the better team, however overcoming the high ceiling All-Stars on Miami would be too much of a task. Well the last two games of the Finals proved the greatest truth of the NBA: superstars shine, but the better team always wins. In the course of this series both elements proved true on repeat, with the names on the marquee taking their time shining, but it took the total team K.O. that the Mavs gathered up that in the end made the series look like a major mismatch. This was the best total team win for the ring since the Detroit Pistons took out the Lakers in 2004. Simply put, 10 determined players with a mission will always beat out three high ceiling players every time. When you combine that with an amazing run by Dirk Nowitzki, they had every element needed to take the series. Most importantly, they And while nobody picked the Mavericks coming into the season, and even headed into this series, in the end it makes all the sense in the world why they are where they are now.

 

TRUTH #2-MIND OF MATTER, MATTERS: Outside of failures to protect leads or close out, the Heat on repeat defeated themselves in another way as well: they continued to feed the Mavericks with more and more reasons to want to beat them. There has been no team that has had a bigger target on its back this season, even the formerly defending champs in L.A. But what became increasingly evident and just became laughable in the end is that the Mavericks not only were not scared of the Heat, they were driven into not even respecting them. What’s the worst part about this is that it was created by the “team leaders” of the Heat in LeBron and Wade. The Mavericks stayed in their ears while they gave them their best shot, and took the slaps across the face like Hulk Hogan going into manic mode. It just made them stronger. Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and DeShawn Stevenson basically told LeBron he wasn’t going to beat them, and in the end, it seemed like they convinced him of just that.

Nowitzki used fewer words than his opponents, but turned theirs into his advantage.

And that plays into exactly what happened in the end: one half talked the walk…and then got walked all over. On the flipside, Dirk Nowitzki, the target of much of the antics and shenanigans around the series said little to nothing and just went to work. He followed that model all the way to the end of his work year and walked right off the floor after washing his hands of LeBron, Wade and their sideshow antics…and didn’t extend a hand to either after defeating them. The example for everything the Heat need to learn was right in their face the whole time, until he was done with them. Then he had no words for them, just a few more trophies and a winner’s legacy to redefine his career. Pay attention kids.

 

TRUTH #3-WHAT ARE WE WITNESSING? Inevitably, in the end it all comes back to LeBron. Such is his place in the game that he even takes the spotlight from one of the great Playoff performances ever from Dirk and one of the most impressive runs ever to a title by the Mavericks. What was proven without a doubt is that LeBron James is not ready to win right now. His debut trip to the Finals with a team designed from the floor up around him will be characterized by perfect non-attendance in the fourth quarter, a playing up off-court rumors and the largest overall fall off in points production from regular season to the Finals in NBA history (-8.9 points difference). He looked out of it, like he couldn’t bring together all of the skills that have twice made him the best player of the first 82, and worse…it looked like he didn’t know how nor want to even.

This series made me thinking about the part in Superman II when Superman lost all of his powers and got his lunch handed to him in the bar by some trucker guy. Even saw himself bleed for the first time. That’s what we just saw here with LeBron, he got put out on front street, tried to dig down and become the guy he thought he was, only to find out in a hurry he didn’t have it in him…and got flowed for six games in a very aggressive fashion, leaving all questions and no answers.

However, that same situation can play true to what could become, on a few different levels. LeBron can let this series give him the Clark Kent, or worse…Christopher Reeves treatment, and be beaten to crippled by the beating. Or he can gut down, learn something, realize what his potential is and grow up for the final time behind this loss. Superman went back, regained his poise and confidence in his skills and then and handled the guy that knocked him down before. He either will make folks “Witnesses” or continue to be one to everybody else making the name for themselves that he is supposed to be creating for himself.

LeBron has to learn from his many mistakes in the last two weeks to make the final jump to what he is supposed to be.

 

Sincerely,

A guy that wakes up and has his own set of problems, but doesn’t get folded in by them, Clark.

 

Follow me on Twitter for more on the NBA (maybe…if this isn’t the last game for a while) and more at @CheapSeatFan and @STLSport360

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Comments
  1. TKee says:

    First good article. Second, I think lebron can regain the respect of the public the same way that Kobe and Vick did (granted their situations were much worse). He needs to get out there humble himself learn some post game from someone like Hakeem. He could also reach out to Magic to gain some insight on how to be assertive and versatile at the same time. Like magic, james should be able to play all five positions. Magic took lessons from Kareem on post game. Maybe lebron can do the same.

    Lastly, he needs to tame down the theatrics and gain some substance. I believe he is the most talented player. A lot of people want to see the meat and potatoes from him. We have seen a determined wade who doesn’t back down. I personally want to see it from bron bron. He needs to use this hatred to grow fire within himself. Like MJ says a lot of peopl thought that my game was bit on flash and not with fire. Lebron can become a killer but it starts right here in the off season. Most killers are born from being slighted or taking a loss and then in turn building a hatred for that feeling. People like MJ, Reggie Miller, Bird, Kobe became killers during the offseason by working harder than everyone else because they hate failure. Now that lebron has to grow from the ground up like everyone else instead of being crowned without a ring, I believe that he will grow into King James and become one of the most unstoppable angry forces of all times. He just needed Mr.T Nowitzki to give him a knockout. Simba James will regain his thrown.

    • I agree, the ball is completely in his court on what to do next. An experience like this (and everything he’s done in the last year so I’d imagine…) has to be a learning experience and more importantly, a motivator. If he isn’t defeated by the defeat (the key) and channels it into becoming better, he still has the opportunity to become an era defining talent, rather than being an extremely talented guy that manages to get a championship along the way sometime.

      • TaRael says:

        My bad for posting twice but yea he has a chance and I’m rooting for him. I just didn’t appreciate things being handed to him and him accepting it. He has to earn the right to be mentioned with the all time greats. Athletic gifts cannot put you there alone. He has to work and fight to get there. There have been more athletic basketball players than Jordan but no one has been greater..

  2. TaRael says:

    First good article. Second, I think lebron can regain the respect of the public the same way that Kobe and Vick did (granted their situations were much worse). He needs to get out there humble himself learn some post game from someone like Hakeem. He could also reach out to Magic to gain some insight on how to be assertive and versatile at the same time. Like magic, james should be able to play all five positions. Magic took lessons from Kareem on post game. Maybe lebron can do the same.

    Lastly, he needs to tame down the theatrics and gain some substance. I believe he is the most talented player. A lot of people want to see the meat and potatoes from him. We have seen a determined wade who doesn’t back down. I personally want to see it from bron bron. He needs to use this hatred to grow fire within himself. Like MJ says a lot of peopl thought that my game was bit on flash and not with fire. Lebron can become a killer but it starts right here in the off season. Most killers are born from being slighted or taking a loss and then in turn building a hatred for that feeling. People like MJ, Reggie Miller, Bird, Kobe became killers during the offseason by working harder than everyone else because they hate failure. Now that lebron has to grow from the ground up like everyone else instead of being crowned without a ring, I believe that he will grow into King James and become one of the most unstoppable angry forces of all times. He just needed to be knocked down to earth. Clubber lang nowitzki was more than ready. All and all I believe Simba James will return and claim his thrown.

  3. Oates says:

    Tarael hit it on the head.

    Since I saw his debut in 2003, I have told people that you dont see the desire in the guy. He’s a talent that wins because of that talent but rarely ever wins because he wants to. Thats why, like Tarael, I despise the notion that this guy is even in the parking lot of the MJs, Kobes, Magics, Birds & others that were maniacal about their needs for a championship. Those guys didnt want championships, they had to have them as if nothing else could satisfy them. They worked hard, they studied the game, they evolved, they were all fans of the game, they didnt go promoting their own cartoons during the NBA Finals especially after giving up a 15 point lead. There was only basketball.

    Ive seen a little growth out of LBJ though. He’s stopped all of those stupid pregame antics. I think someone sat him (and Dwight Howard) down and showed them the tape of the greats and how they used pregame time to mentally prepare instead of yucking it up for ESPN’s cameras. But now its time he starts grow on the court, the man is 6’8″ and 270 lbs but refused to post up Jason Kidd & Jason Terry. That is unforgivable for a guy closing in on a decade of basketball. There is no more excuses for the guy. He cant blame it on his teammates (he played w/ 2 out of 4 of the other starters for Team USA and they all showed up in the Finals). Being a facilitator doesnt mean you stand up at the top of the key & are a non factor if you dont have the ball. The Heat looked eerily like the Cavs in the finals & there was a common denominator.

    Final Note: I give no credence to the idea that his mom had relations w/ Delonte or Rashard w/ his girl. Even if those things did happen, then the man must learn to compartamentalize. Bad things happen in life, but if everything is gonna lead to you shutting down then I dont feel sorry for you. Not at all. I watched Jordan play an NBA Finals after his Dad was murdered (for reasons that are rumored to be Jordan’s fault i.e. Gambling debt), I watched Kobe play some of the best basketball of his life while going through the CO rape trial, even on his own team Dwayne Wade was embroiled in a nasty divorce & custody battle and could still show up. In the words of Dick Vermeil “Its time to grow up, time to take off the diapers”

  4. In covering this series and looking for new angles (in repeatedly similar situations) it became easy to write about LeBron’s shortcomings. But without being an apologist or sympathizer (which each article since Game 1 definitely were not), it showed just how unique of a situation and player he is.

    I give a nearly equal credence to service time and actual age, and LeBron is at a weird hybrid where it’s not like 2007 and it’s all ceiling time left for him, but it is still too early for me to cash him in. That’s why I don’t compare him to Kobe, who has a halftime more of career logged already. And definitely not any of the 80’s/90’s greats, who were more mature in life, which carries over to being able to adapt differently career wise as well.

    He’s at the crossroads now. If he was 30 and at about where (for career time comparison’s sake, Kobe was at in 2008 vs. the Celts) then I’d be in the camp of banishing him to Ewing and Malone ville. But I won’t yet, because I see the steps towards maturity he’s taking. He adjusts when faced with criticism. It doesn’t happen instantly and in the access we have now and opinion sharing pools, he doesn’t get the leash to struggle in the wins column while being a dominating talent (like Jordan did from 87-90). But he has to take it from here. Either grow and overcome, or continue to not get it and act like a 25 year old forever.

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