By Matt Noonan
Remember when the “Broad Street Bullies” saved the National Hockey League from the Soviet Union in 1976? Well, doesn’t that particular game have some parallels to Sunday’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks?
I’d say, yes!
In case you don’t know, LeBron James and his Heat teammates came up short in this year’s NBA Finals. Yep, despite promising, “not one, not two, not three…” championships, the Heat found themselves in a position they weren’t used to, which is second place.
They didn’t win a championship and now, every NBA fan has more reasons to insult the leagues most hated squad. Although, this is what the basketball die-hard’s wanted, right? They wanted Miami to lose and Dallas to win, correct?
I know this is true because everyone jumped aboard the Mavericks bandwagon and cheered for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler. In fact, some fans admitted that their blood was not red, but instead, blue and white. They also felt connected to the Mavericks because they wanted this group of “over the top” stars to beat Miami and well, that mission was accomplished.
Beating Miami was what everyone wanted. Seriously, did you want to watch James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh dance around the American Airlines Arena chanting, “We’re number one, we’re number one?” I doubt it.
Miami was labeled the “bad-boys” from day one of the ‘10-‘11 season, but now, they probably should receive a new name, “fakers.” They’re fake, non-believable and certainly, not that good. They may think that having a variety of talent on their side will result in championships galore, but really, it won’t. Instead, they need to improve mentally, physically and emotionally.
For starters, they may want to discover why James was star-struck in the Finals. Against the Mavericks, he averaged 17.8 points, 4.0 turnovers, 1.7 steals and 7.0 rebounds, as well as imploded in various fourth quarters. Yet, are those numbers that good? Seriously, besides 17-points, he failed offensively and defensively. So, if they do return to the Finals, James needs to stay focused.
Second, Miami needs more experience. Between James, Wade and Bosh, they need other experienced veterans who know how to win. Also, they need someone who can take the pressure off Wade, especially in the closing minutes. Players like Mike Bibby, Erik Dampier, Eddie House, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire aren’t exactly true “studs.” Yes, all five of them have a boatload of NBA experience, but certainly, not enough. Had they been more vocal or stressed the importance of “team basketball,” they might have won this series, but again, that’s a thought.
Overall, these are just a few quick ideas on the Heat, but allow me to return to my original point, beating Miami and what exactly does that mean?
It’s a sweet feeling, especially as a basketball lover. I couldn’t be happier, but this also proves that James should never be in the same sentence with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Those guys all won championships, as well a persevered over the years.
Also, Dallas’s win helped the city of Cleveland, as well as the people of Ohio rejoice in song and dance. Hey, I doubt everyone held hands and sang, “kumbaya,” but I am sure the Cavaliers are elated.
All in all, this win is special because it proved the point, you can’t buy championships. It’s going to be a long off-season for the men dressed in black and red, but in the end, I think it’s fair to say that everyone across the country and world will sleep much better knowing that once again, James choked.