Well, this is an awkward post. For a lot of reasons (and this Bill Simmons sentiment is dead-on-balls accurate), I’m not happy that Miami won the NBA title. But I don’t want to be a parade-rainer… and any Heat fans who might be visiting today should be spared my bittnerness, so… I’ll just save it for another day, congratulate them, and talk about the Mavericks. I actually decided to keep a log of things that Antoine Walker did in the game that made me laugh, but… I don’t feel like using it now. Maybe tomorrow.
The Mavs lost last night for the same reasons that they lost Games 3 and 5… poor execution down the stretch. For some reason, the offense tightens up. Jumpshots take the place of penetration. Shots stop going in. They can get open jumpers… the shots they’re taking aren’t necessarily bad, but it’s not when the Mavericks are at their best. When they become a jumpshooting team, they’ve proven to be very streaky. And those cold streaks seem to come at bad times.
On officiating-related matters… well, when you lose in six games (including four straight), you pretty much give up the right to bitch. That doesn’t say that bad calls didn’t take place, but it’s not like it came down to the last second of the 7th game. There were a couple of questionable calls at the end of this one too (Nowitzki getting called for the violation of taking a Dwyane Wade forearm to the stomach, or Gary Payton clearly having a handfull of jersey on the in-and-out Terry three at the buzzer), and both of them went against the Mavs. That doesn’t help things.
But just like with the Super Bowl, I think it’d be unfortunate if this series was remembered for the officiating. There’s not much anyone can do that change that, though… that’s the way it’ll be. Seems like we can’t have any sort of championship game anymore without the talk always surrounding the officials. Are officials worse now than they were ten years ago? Or do players and funs just bitch more? I’m not sure of the answer to that one… but it’s a bad direction for things to be going.
This series turned, quite obviously, at the end of Game 3. The Mavs blew that one, and then responded Game 4 with a total hangover game, getting blown out. From that point, they lost confidence, Miami’s confidence started to snowball… and the series went where it went. Antoine Walker and Jason Williams now have rings.