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2002 : Jason Kidd & Kobe Bryant

Song : Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf "Methods"

hipsterorathlete:

Jason Kidd tells everyone he “isn’t being ironic” when he watches Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives on mute while listening to Smash Mouth.

hipsterorathlete:

Jason Kidd tells everyone he “isn’t being ironic” when he watches Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives on mute while listening to Smash Mouth.

theidiotking:

YES!!!! YES!!!! After years of searching, I’ve finally found Jason Kidd’s 1994 rap track “What The Kidd Did.” I’ve long been searching for this song, where he talks about how good he is at basketball and everything else.

This is big day for me.

Listen to famous 1994 rap star J Kidd “kick ass like Jim Kelly.” And i’m pretty sure that’s Money-B from Digital Underground in the background. WESS COAST!

From @AndrewPerloff:

Interesting Jeremy Lin-Jason Kidd illustration from a newspaper my friend sent me from Taiwan. Slight editorializing?

Original Tweet

From @AndrewPerloff:

Interesting Jeremy Lin-Jason Kidd illustration from a newspaper my friend sent me from Taiwan. Slight editorializing?

Original Tweet

If you’ve ever wanted a cartoon Kobe Bryant lighter, today is your lucky day.

via yrmomma

If you’ve ever wanted a cartoon Kobe Bryant lighter, today is your lucky day.

via yrmomma

realkingfish:

"This is different from watching the last Harry Potter how exactly?"

Uff, exactly. Come along on a journey to a nearaway place filled with magic and eye fakes.

“Do you think we won that trade yet?”
- Mark Cuban

“Do you think we won that trade yet?”

- Mark Cuban

"No layups!" is a constant refrain in the NBA playoffs, but rarely does it so directly determine the outcome of a game. Jason Kidd may be 38 years old, but he still lives that shit, delivering a double-armed takedown of Wade on a breakaway. Wade couldn’t get the easy two, and then, still shaken by the J-Kidd collision, missed one of his two subsequent free throws. Maybe he thought Kidd was going to throw a cookie at him?
Kidd reached deep for the strength to foul this hard. He thought of his jealousy, when Jim Jackson stole Toni Braxton. He remembered the white-hot rage of Alonzo Mourning when he attacked Kenyon Martin for making fun of his bad kidney. He thought of the stupid face Keith Van Horn made every time he thought he was fouled, and how infuriating that was. But mainly, he remembered growing up on the mean streets boulevards of the Oakland Hills, going to prep school on the hardscrabble island of Alameda, and how it felt during college, when his favorite Berkeley cafe ran out of the organic tabouleh, and he had to eat his falafel with the regular kind. And all that resentment turned into pure aggression that denied Dwyane Wade’s dunk attempt.
THE EAST BAY SAYS “NO LAYUPS!” AND START COMPOSTING ALREADY!
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Sean Keane)

"No layups!" is a constant refrain in the NBA playoffs, but rarely does it so directly determine the outcome of a game. Jason Kidd may be 38 years old, but he still lives that shit, delivering a double-armed takedown of Wade on a breakaway. Wade couldn’t get the easy two, and then, still shaken by the J-Kidd collision, missed one of his two subsequent free throws. Maybe he thought Kidd was going to throw a cookie at him?

Kidd reached deep for the strength to foul this hard. He thought of his jealousy, when Jim Jackson stole Toni Braxton. He remembered the white-hot rage of Alonzo Mourning when he attacked Kenyon Martin for making fun of his bad kidney. He thought of the stupid face Keith Van Horn made every time he thought he was fouled, and how infuriating that was. But mainly, he remembered growing up on the mean streets boulevards of the Oakland Hills, going to prep school on the hardscrabble island of Alameda, and how it felt during college, when his favorite Berkeley cafe ran out of the organic tabouleh, and he had to eat his falafel with the regular kind. And all that resentment turned into pure aggression that denied Dwyane Wade’s dunk attempt.

THE EAST BAY SAYS “NO LAYUPS!” AND START COMPOSTING ALREADY!

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Sean Keane)

Game 3 Recap and Game 4 Preview: Where Dwayne Wade Happens
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are on the same team. It’s still hard for some to fathom. Not the fact that they are playing together but the fact that they are the top two players in the NBA.
Lurking all season in the shadow of a 6’9”, 280 pound monster named LeBron is the second scariest force in the NBA. Wade is so good that sometimes his 6’3” frame eclipses the large and more imposing LeBron James. 
Let’s be clear for a moment, LeBron hasn’t been bad, he just hasn’t been LeBron. His numbers are very good for anyone else, people have just been “spoiled” to the point that they expect better. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6 assists on 51.1% shooting in the finals. He also carried Miami through the three previous series while Wade was sleepwalking. Dwyane Wade has finally woken up. And he’s hungry. Starving, even. He’s momentarily become the best player on the planet, averaging an unreal 29.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals on 56.7% shooting in the Finals. 
I’m not sure why people find it to be an issue when Wade outplays LeBron in a game. It is, after all, Dwyane Wade. For some of us, this is a phenomenal ”problem” to have. For others, it’s nothing more than gasoline to help drive their LeBron James book burning. I think the issue for some folks doesn’t stem from their disdain for LeBron as much as it highlights, as Kelly Dwyer pointed out last night, how underrated Wade has been for his entire career. 
Dwyane Wade is the 2nd best player in basketball, and on some nights, he’s the best player in the world. That’s what makes this Miami team so lethal. It’s a combination so good that it drove LeBron to torch his own legacy to be a part of. I’m surprised that more people can’t comprehend the fact that it’s okay for LeBron to deffer to Dwyane. Did Shaq and Kobe not share the spotlight to three rings? Didn’t Kareem and Magic both win Finals MVPs? Didn’t Tony Parker hoist up his own Bill Russell Trophy as Tim Duncan was crowned with his 4th title?
These things happen because great TEAMS win titles. And great teams are littered with great talent. That’s how they get this far and that’s how they win. And last night we saw exactly why the majority of NBA fans despised this Miami trio. On any given night, anyone of the Big 3 can light you up. You don’t know who and you don’t know how, but you know for damn sure it’s going to happen. 
I called Wade winning the Finals MVP coming into to this series for one reason, match-ups. LeBron has to deal with Shawn Marion, the best 1-on-1 defender Dallas has, while Wade is going at a 38-year old Jason Kidd and a 6’1” Jason Terry. Who do you think has the advantage here? Maybe we should applaud LeBron for having the basketball I.Q. to not force the action. The man is doing the exact opposite of what we grill Kobe Bryant for, he is facilitating his teams entire offense and leading them on defense, yet, for some reason, we find a problem with this. As J.A. Adande wrote today, “LeBron is in a no-win situation”. We want him to be Jordan, when he is more Magic. We want him to win rings, but we want him to be selfish in doing so. But we hate how selfish he is off the court. With Miami up 2-1, I wonder what the knock will be on LeBron if they do win the title. “LeBron let Wade lift the Larry O’Brien trophy first”? 
Oh, by the way, some All-Star named Chris Bosh hit the game winner for Miami last night. Unfair? C’est la vie. 
But enough about Miami, let’s get into a little Dirk-speak. The Big German almost did it again. 34 points and 11 rebounds might not be enough for this Dallas team. He’s going to have to drop a cool 40 every night for Dallas to have a chance. JJ is over matched and the Jet seems to be gassed. Shawn Marion is the x-factor and the guy that most teams double off of but he has to deal with LeBron’s recovery speed, which has been unreal, and the weary legs of covering that very same freak of nature on the other end of the court. 
Spoelstra made some very good adjustments in this game after I burned him at the steak for his unwillingness to coach the final 7 minutes of Game 2. No series is over until it’s over but the winner of Game 3 when the series was tied 1-1 has won the title 11 times out of 11 series. That’s a staggering number and while historic stats don’t tell the whole story, Miami can go ahead with a little reassurance. The game of basketball is about match-ups and adjustments. Miami will always have the match-up war won because they will always have 3 of the best 4 players on the court. Now it’s on Spoelstra to make the proper adjustments to get this team in a position to win. 
Let’s take a look at the Eight Factors of this game and how each team will need to adjust going forward.  
1. No Rebounds, No Rings - Miami got outworked on the glass for the second straight game. I have to fault Chris Bosh for this one as much as I have to credit Dallas’ team effort. Bosh is averaging a puny 6.7 rebounds a game. Some of it comes from the nature of his playing style and some of it is due to how aggressive and menacing Dallas is in the paint. Chandler and Haywood have been bruisers all playoffs and they haven’t toned it down one bit for the Finals but for Dallas, rebounding has become a team effort. Last night Dirk and Kidd stepped in to help Tyson control the boards. Dirk, who has always been knocked for not rebounding enough, collected 11 rebounds and it’s that rebounding effort that helped Dallas stay in this game until the end. 
2. J.J. Barea - I know he’s tiny in stature, but Dallas has to find him and quickly. Maybe they need to get him in the game when Bibby will have to guard him because Mario Chalmers has outplayed JJ on both ends of the court. Dallas can’t play Peja and JJ has been a non-factor so all Dallas has left on the bench is Terry. Last night Terry struggled too. Things are looking bleek if Dallas’ bench, who player starter like minutes, can’t find their groove. 
3. Turnovers - Dallas had 18 assists in Game 3 and 14 turnovers. Miami, in contrast, had 20 assists and 10 turnovers. But turnovers from Dallas are more costly than those by Miami because, as Rick Carlisle, Miami turns turnovers into dunks at an amazing pace. Of course they do, they have LeBron and Wade shooting the passing lanes then throwing each other ally-oops. It’s a guaranteed highlight every single time. Kidd has to do a better job taking care of the ball. 
4. Odd Lineups - Miami went with a little more conventional lineup to end Game 3, with Mario Chalmers playing for Mike Miller. By design, this position isn’t based on size, it’s simply designated to be a 3-point shooter and for this game, Mario was the one who couldn’t miss.
Spoelstra also made an obvious adjustment in Game 3 which he should have made in Game 2, he put Udonis Haslem on Dirk to close the game out. through out the game, Dirk was seeing a combination of Joel Anthony and Haslem. Joel did a good job, even blocked Dirk’s unblock-able fadaway, but it was UD that earned the right to defend Dirk in the clutch and defend he did. Dirk ended the game with an ugly turnover and a missed fadaway at the buzzer. Here’s the thing, Udonis is keeping Dirk to just 39% shooting. Everyone else has allowed Dirk to hit at a rate of 50%. I don’t think Miami will use Bosh on Dirk again. 
If Haslem is the one guarding Dirk for the last few minutes of Game 2, do the Heat lead this series 3 games to none? It’s something to ponder. 
5. Chandler, Marion, Haywood - Chandler was as great as he can be with a fully operational Dwyane Wade zooming around the hardwood. The issue for Dallas was that Haywood is out with an injury and Shawn Marion is struggling on offense. Although, Marion has done a good job of focusing his efforts on defending LeBron. but again, none of this matters when Wade is playing at 100% effectiveness. He can get to the cup at will and last night he did that. Miami outscored Dallas in the paint 40 to 22.
Many might find that to be odd, especially since Miami’s only big man who can score prefers 17-foot jumpers. They forget that drives and dunks are also points in the paint and Miami has a duo that are the best in the league at finishing at the rim. 
6. Like A Bosh - Chris Bosh absolutely stunk for the third straight game. But he hit the game winner. So like a Bosh to do such a thing. 
7. Getting Dirk’d On - Or perhaps, Miami isn’t getting Dirk’d enough. Dirk took 21 shots in this game and while that’s above his regular season and playoff averages of 16 and 18 respectively, it’s nights like this that Dirk has to carry a heavier load. If his teammates, who can be streaky shooters, aren’t going to hit their shots, Dirk’s going to have to take closer to 25 or 30 field goal attempts in a game. 
I don’t think anyone would have a problem with that, especially if Dallas wins the game. 
8. Free Throws - Miami is still far behind Dallas in free throw attempts in this series and I don’t think they are going to catch them. LeBron, who is crowned with more superstar calls than anyone I’ve seen in a long time, has had just 10 free throws in 3 Finals games. Some of it has to do with LeBron taking and making a lot of long jumpers. But LeBron just isn’t getting the calls in this series and it’s obvious, sometimes blatantly obvious. But that’s not here or there, both teams can’t change that or adjust for it. You live by what the officials call, or in this case, don’t call. 
For Game 4, I can see Dallas coming out motivated and desperate with a fired up Dallas crowd behind them. Game 3 was a very close game, as has this series, and I don’t see that changing for Game 4.
We can expect Miami to be a little complacent considering they just won back home court advantage and have a respectable 2-1 series lead. But I expect a different outcome. I bet LeBron is going to take the idiotic question and article from some condescending reporter and use them to burn Dallas with a Wade-esque performance of his own. 
Game 4 is Tuesday, 9:00PM EST on ABC. Tune in and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. 
@Suga_Shane

Game 3 Recap and Game 4 Preview: Where Dwayne Wade Happens

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are on the same team. It’s still hard for some to fathom. Not the fact that they are playing together but the fact that they are the top two players in the NBA.

Lurking all season in the shadow of a 6’9”, 280 pound monster named LeBron is the second scariest force in the NBA. Wade is so good that sometimes his 6’3” frame eclipses the large and more imposing LeBron James. 

Let’s be clear for a moment, LeBron hasn’t been bad, he just hasn’t been LeBron. His numbers are very good for anyone else, people have just been “spoiled” to the point that they expect better. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6 assists on 51.1% shooting in the finals. He also carried Miami through the three previous series while Wade was sleepwalking. Dwyane Wade has finally woken up. And he’s hungry. Starving, even. He’s momentarily become the best player on the planet, averaging an unreal 29.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals on 56.7% shooting in the Finals. 

I’m not sure why people find it to be an issue when Wade outplays LeBron in a game. It is, after all, Dwyane Wade. For some of us, this is a phenomenal ”problem” to have. For others, it’s nothing more than gasoline to help drive their LeBron James book burning. I think the issue for some folks doesn’t stem from their disdain for LeBron as much as it highlights, as Kelly Dwyer pointed out last night, how underrated Wade has been for his entire career. 

Dwyane Wade is the 2nd best player in basketball, and on some nights, he’s the best player in the world. That’s what makes this Miami team so lethal. It’s a combination so good that it drove LeBron to torch his own legacy to be a part of. I’m surprised that more people can’t comprehend the fact that it’s okay for LeBron to deffer to Dwyane. Did Shaq and Kobe not share the spotlight to three rings? Didn’t Kareem and Magic both win Finals MVPs? Didn’t Tony Parker hoist up his own Bill Russell Trophy as Tim Duncan was crowned with his 4th title?

These things happen because great TEAMS win titles. And great teams are littered with great talent. That’s how they get this far and that’s how they win. And last night we saw exactly why the majority of NBA fans despised this Miami trio. On any given night, anyone of the Big 3 can light you up. You don’t know who and you don’t know how, but you know for damn sure it’s going to happen. 

I called Wade winning the Finals MVP coming into to this series for one reason, match-ups. LeBron has to deal with Shawn Marion, the best 1-on-1 defender Dallas has, while Wade is going at a 38-year old Jason Kidd and a 6’1” Jason Terry. Who do you think has the advantage here? Maybe we should applaud LeBron for having the basketball I.Q. to not force the action. The man is doing the exact opposite of what we grill Kobe Bryant for, he is facilitating his teams entire offense and leading them on defense, yet, for some reason, we find a problem with this. As J.A. Adande wrote today, “LeBron is in a no-win situation”. We want him to be Jordan, when he is more Magic. We want him to win rings, but we want him to be selfish in doing so. But we hate how selfish he is off the court. With Miami up 2-1, I wonder what the knock will be on LeBron if they do win the title. “LeBron let Wade lift the Larry O’Brien trophy first”? 

Oh, by the way, some All-Star named Chris Bosh hit the game winner for Miami last night. Unfair? C’est la vie. 

But enough about Miami, let’s get into a little Dirk-speak. The Big German almost did it again. 34 points and 11 rebounds might not be enough for this Dallas team. He’s going to have to drop a cool 40 every night for Dallas to have a chance. JJ is over matched and the Jet seems to be gassed. Shawn Marion is the x-factor and the guy that most teams double off of but he has to deal with LeBron’s recovery speed, which has been unreal, and the weary legs of covering that very same freak of nature on the other end of the court. 

Spoelstra made some very good adjustments in this game after I burned him at the steak for his unwillingness to coach the final 7 minutes of Game 2. No series is over until it’s over but the winner of Game 3 when the series was tied 1-1 has won the title 11 times out of 11 series. That’s a staggering number and while historic stats don’t tell the whole story, Miami can go ahead with a little reassurance. The game of basketball is about match-ups and adjustments. Miami will always have the match-up war won because they will always have 3 of the best 4 players on the court. Now it’s on Spoelstra to make the proper adjustments to get this team in a position to win. 

Let’s take a look at the Eight Factors of this game and how each team will need to adjust going forward.  

1. No Rebounds, No Rings - Miami got outworked on the glass for the second straight game. I have to fault Chris Bosh for this one as much as I have to credit Dallas’ team effort. Bosh is averaging a puny 6.7 rebounds a game. Some of it comes from the nature of his playing style and some of it is due to how aggressive and menacing Dallas is in the paint. Chandler and Haywood have been bruisers all playoffs and they haven’t toned it down one bit for the Finals but for Dallas, rebounding has become a team effort. Last night Dirk and Kidd stepped in to help Tyson control the boards. Dirk, who has always been knocked for not rebounding enough, collected 11 rebounds and it’s that rebounding effort that helped Dallas stay in this game until the end. 

2. J.J. Barea - I know he’s tiny in stature, but Dallas has to find him and quickly. Maybe they need to get him in the game when Bibby will have to guard him because Mario Chalmers has outplayed JJ on both ends of the court. Dallas can’t play Peja and JJ has been a non-factor so all Dallas has left on the bench is Terry. Last night Terry struggled too. Things are looking bleek if Dallas’ bench, who player starter like minutes, can’t find their groove. 

3. Turnovers - Dallas had 18 assists in Game 3 and 14 turnovers. Miami, in contrast, had 20 assists and 10 turnovers. But turnovers from Dallas are more costly than those by Miami because, as Rick Carlisle, Miami turns turnovers into dunks at an amazing pace. Of course they do, they have LeBron and Wade shooting the passing lanes then throwing each other ally-oops. It’s a guaranteed highlight every single time. Kidd has to do a better job taking care of the ball. 

4. Odd Lineups - Miami went with a little more conventional lineup to end Game 3, with Mario Chalmers playing for Mike Miller. By design, this position isn’t based on size, it’s simply designated to be a 3-point shooter and for this game, Mario was the one who couldn’t miss.

Spoelstra also made an obvious adjustment in Game 3 which he should have made in Game 2, he put Udonis Haslem on Dirk to close the game out. through out the game, Dirk was seeing a combination of Joel Anthony and Haslem. Joel did a good job, even blocked Dirk’s unblock-able fadaway, but it was UD that earned the right to defend Dirk in the clutch and defend he did. Dirk ended the game with an ugly turnover and a missed fadaway at the buzzer. Here’s the thing, Udonis is keeping Dirk to just 39% shooting. Everyone else has allowed Dirk to hit at a rate of 50%. I don’t think Miami will use Bosh on Dirk again. 

If Haslem is the one guarding Dirk for the last few minutes of Game 2, do the Heat lead this series 3 games to none? It’s something to ponder. 

5. Chandler, Marion, Haywood - Chandler was as great as he can be with a fully operational Dwyane Wade zooming around the hardwood. The issue for Dallas was that Haywood is out with an injury and Shawn Marion is struggling on offense. Although, Marion has done a good job of focusing his efforts on defending LeBron. but again, none of this matters when Wade is playing at 100% effectiveness. He can get to the cup at will and last night he did that. Miami outscored Dallas in the paint 40 to 22.

Many might find that to be odd, especially since Miami’s only big man who can score prefers 17-foot jumpers. They forget that drives and dunks are also points in the paint and Miami has a duo that are the best in the league at finishing at the rim. 

6. Like A Bosh - Chris Bosh absolutely stunk for the third straight game. But he hit the game winner. So like a Bosh to do such a thing. 

7. Getting Dirk’d On - Or perhaps, Miami isn’t getting Dirk’d enough. Dirk took 21 shots in this game and while that’s above his regular season and playoff averages of 16 and 18 respectively, it’s nights like this that Dirk has to carry a heavier load. If his teammates, who can be streaky shooters, aren’t going to hit their shots, Dirk’s going to have to take closer to 25 or 30 field goal attempts in a game. 

I don’t think anyone would have a problem with that, especially if Dallas wins the game. 

8. Free Throws - Miami is still far behind Dallas in free throw attempts in this series and I don’t think they are going to catch them. LeBron, who is crowned with more superstar calls than anyone I’ve seen in a long time, has had just 10 free throws in 3 Finals games. Some of it has to do with LeBron taking and making a lot of long jumpers. But LeBron just isn’t getting the calls in this series and it’s obvious, sometimes blatantly obvious. But that’s not here or there, both teams can’t change that or adjust for it. You live by what the officials call, or in this case, don’t call. 

For Game 4, I can see Dallas coming out motivated and desperate with a fired up Dallas crowd behind them. Game 3 was a very close game, as has this series, and I don’t see that changing for Game 4.

We can expect Miami to be a little complacent considering they just won back home court advantage and have a respectable 2-1 series lead. But I expect a different outcome. I bet LeBron is going to take the idiotic question and article from some condescending reporter and use them to burn Dallas with a Wade-esque performance of his own. 

Game 4 is Tuesday, 9:00PM EST on ABC. Tune in and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter

@Suga_Shane

Dwyane Wade is so good that he takes surfing lessons… DURING THE GAME!

Dwyane Wade is so good that he takes surfing lessons… DURING THE GAME!

Eight Factors To Winning A Ring - NBA Finals Preview: Miami vs. Dallas
What started out as the wildest NBA off-season of all time quickly evolved into a much anticipated season. Never before I seen a team be crowned, uncrowned, and then crowned again only to again uncrowned once more like the 2010-11 Miami Heat. 
Like the Titanic itself, LeBron’s maiden voyage with Miami started out with celebration. As Pat Riley smashed his champagne of his newly built ship and South Beach’s Big Three counted down championship that they had yet to win. This was the ship which could not be sunk. It wasn’t a matter of “if” this team would win, it was a question of “how soon” and “how many”. 
Miami got off to a rough start and when they finally had looked like they had figured things out, more injuries and bad luck came their way. The journey to LeBron’s first ring looked as cursed as the city of Cleveland. Although Miami was headed into the playoffs, many were still unsure their ability to surpass the Chicago and Boston icebergs. 
Like an Arctic cutter, they shred through those teams in 5 games a piece. Lebron seemed to be running his propellers at maximum speed to close out two foes that had given him trouble through the course of this season and the last. The only thing preventing Miami from docking their ship at the Championship harbor now is the U-Boat from Dallas. 
The Dallas Mavericks spent the majority of the season lurking below the public’s radar. They put up a 57-win season, their 11th 50-win season in a row, yet many pegged them to be sunk by the Blazers. The media again picked Dallas to fall two more times, picking both the Lakers and Thunder to defeat them. And again, Dallas conquered, this time sweeping the 2-time champs and crippling the young guns of Oklahoma with a barrage of long distance bombs delivered with ultimate precision and efficiency.  
So here we are today, the 2011 NBA Finals, locked in for a battle of an unstoppable offensive power and an unmovable defensive force. The narrative seems like a classic story from Greek Mythology (or a replay of the 2008 NBA Finals). Who shall overcome? Who’s weakness will give way and allow their season to be swallowed up whole? 
Here’s seven factors that will determine who we crown the 2010-11 NBA Champion:
1. No Rebounds, No Rings - I’m putting this first because rebounding is one of the oldest concepts to winning that still plays a factor in the ever-evolving NBA. Many things have changed about the game but rebounding has remained a vital part of success. Perhaps it’s those extra possessions that they can provide or pivotal stops when needed. I care to think that rebounds go further than that. The energy that a team puts into rebounding directly influences how hard they play on both ends. Nothing is as underrated as a clutch rebound. You never hear about it, but the grit that’s on display by players who are hungry for those boards is the same grit that helps champions gut it out through June. Pat Riley wasn’t kidding when he said “No Rebounds, No Rings”. If it means anything to you, the Heat are ranked above the Mavs in both OReb% and DReb% in the playoffs. 
2. J.J. Barea - JJ’s been a big for Dallas as a 5’9” NBA player can be. He’s provided ample scoring and a great change-of-pace that Jason Kidd’s 38-year old body can no longer provide. The only problem for JJ and Dallas is that Miami might have the best back-up point guard they have faced all post-season. 
Mario Chalmers might not have the reputation of a good NBA point but he certainly has the repertoire. Not only is Mario a potent 3-point threat, he’s also a viable defender that has both the quickness and I.Q. to lock Barea up. This might be the most unheralded yet most important battle of the series. 
3. Turnovers - Jason Kidd has been a prolific pocket-picker in these playoffs. He’s nabbed himself 33 steals in 15 games, good for 2.2 a night. LeBron and Wade are pretty good at turning it over. Wade’s averaging 3.3 turnovers a night and LeBron is giving it away 2.8 times a night. 
But it’s not just Miami who has issues. Dirk’s losing the ball 3.2 times a night in the playoffs. If Miami can come up with some forced turnovers, they can get out and run the ball, something they excel at. 
4. Odd Lineups - Miami’s quickness and speed will have to be on full display if the Heat want to win the whole thing. Dallas showed some weakness when Oklahoma went with a smaller lineup and ran the heck out of the ball. (see Game 2, Western Conference Finals). If Miami effectively implements either their small-ball or odd-ball look, it could be an ugly series for the older and much, much slower Mavericks. Miami’s small-ball lineup usually has LeBron James playing the 4 or even the 5 with Chalmers, Jones, Wade and Bosh running and gunning. 
The odd-ball line up isn’t that odd because it’s the “dream” five that Miami envisioned would play the majority of the season. I call it the odd-ball line up because it dares to change the concept of basketball positions. Miami has used it since Haslem was healthy enough to play against Miami and it has Wade, LeBron, Bosh, Haslem and Mike Miller playing an undefined amoeba-like offense that has no positions, only nightmares for opponents. According to BasketballValue.com, that unit has played 23 playoff minutes together and is an astounding +46.34 points per 100 possessions, scoring at a efficiency rate of 124.39 and limiting opponents to 78.05. You should be very, very scared of those numbers. 
5. Chandler, Marion and Haywood - The Dallas Mavericks will rely heavily on these three to lock up the middle and turn LeBron and Wade into long distance shooters. 
According to NBA’s Stats Cube, LeBron James shot just 31% vs. the Mavericks in two regular season games, both of which Dallas won. If Dallas can turn LeBron and Wade into jump shooters, like they have previously, they have a very good shot at winning the title. 
6. Like A Bosh - Chris Bosh has been playing incredible this post-season. It’s almost as if he’s the 2nd best player on the Heat (someone wake up Dwyane Wade, we have reached the Finals!). In two regular season games vs. his home town Mavericks, When Bosh was on the floor with Dirk, he held Dirk Nowitzki to just 34% shooting. That’s nearly 16% less than Dirk shot for the season. And here we all were, for years, thinking that Chris Bosh was the reason Toronto played no defense (I’m looking at you, Andrea…). Speaking of 7’ Power Forwards that don’t play defense…
7. Getting Dirk’d On - Okay, fine, I’ll be the first to say it, Dirk’s been getting a bad rap this entire season. According to Synergy Sports, Dirk’s a decent defender, giving up just 0.82 points per possession. That’s a decent mark that has him ranked 71st in the NBA.
But let’s be honest here, the Mavs didn’t get to their 2nd franchise Finals by riding Dirk’s defensive prowess. Dallas is here because Dirk hasn’t missed a mid-range-one-legged-fall-away jumper in over a month (okay, maaaybe he missed one). If Miami can’t stop it wouldn’t surprise anyone. No one can stop Dirk right now. He’s averaging a silly 28.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 52% shooting from the field, 52% shooting from the homeland and 93% from the Wade-throw line. Which brings me to my favorite factor of them all…
8. Free Throws - Is it 2006 all over again? Coming into the Finals, Dirk is averaging 9.3 free throws per game and he is making 8.7 of them (93%). When I first read this number on NBA Stats Cube, I nearly fell out of my chair. Not because 9.3 is an obscene amount, Durant average 10.8 FTAs last season, but because it’s an obscene amount for a player that spends the majority of his time 18-feet from the basket lobbing up impossible fall away after fall away. it’s rare for someone that doesn’t attack the basket to make so many trips to the line. 
On the flipside of things, LeBron is averaging 9.1 Free Throw Attempts per game in the playoffs, hitting 7.1 of them. Bosh is getting 6.3 Free Throws a game, hitting 5.3 of them. And their best friend and infamous free-thrower, Dwyane Wade has gotten to the line 8.7 times a game in the playoffs, making 7 of them a game. Bringing Dwyane back to a place he was very familiar with in 2006 might be the catalyst that finally wakes him from his post-season slumber. If there has ever been a series that will see a ton of stand-still scoring, it’s going to be this one. 
With all of that said, here are the predictions from the NBAO crew:
Myself - Heat in 6 (for all the reasons above)
Doug - Heat in 6 in the boring series, In the Bronze medal series, Thunder in 7.
Keith - Mavs in 6, so says my psychic octopus.
Kristin - *Sobbing* Heat in 6
Mark - Bulls in 6, oh wait. 
Thomas - Heat in 5. I really don’t feel good about giving the Mavs that one game, but I feel obligated to respect the chance of there being one night where Tyson Chandler and/or Shawn Marion negates Bosh, Jason Terry & Jason Kidd are unconscious from the outside, & Dirk has a 4th quarter where he is getting calls & converting a few three point play opportunities. This Miami team is a force of nature and it’s a little scary, and very depressing, to think this was the season the rest of the NBA had to exploit the holes in their roster. Just think of where they were the last time these two played back in December. Dallas won that game by 2. Sure, the Mavs are better, but how much better is Miami? The last 12 weeks Miami is 27-6. SIX LOSSES IN THREE MONTHS. It seems as if they are actually improving as the competition gets tougher. The player most “experts” thought would end up costing Miami dearly against Boston & then Chicago, Chris Bosh, is playing at an All-Star level(crucial when going up vs. a zone-like defense that the Mavs employ). Then there’s LeBron…and Wade…Eh, I’m just going to stop now before I change my pick to a HEAT sweep.
Follow us on Twitter and enjoy the show!
@Suga_Shane
(Photo via @RHurstDesigns)

Eight Factors To Winning A Ring - NBA Finals Preview: Miami vs. Dallas

What started out as the wildest NBA off-season of all time quickly evolved into a much anticipated season. Never before I seen a team be crowned, uncrowned, and then crowned again only to again uncrowned once more like the 2010-11 Miami Heat. 

Like the Titanic itself, LeBron’s maiden voyage with Miami started out with celebration. As Pat Riley smashed his champagne of his newly built ship and South Beach’s Big Three counted down championship that they had yet to win. This was the ship which could not be sunk. It wasn’t a matter of “if” this team would win, it was a question of “how soon” and “how many”. 

Miami got off to a rough start and when they finally had looked like they had figured things out, more injuries and bad luck came their way. The journey to LeBron’s first ring looked as cursed as the city of Cleveland. Although Miami was headed into the playoffs, many were still unsure their ability to surpass the Chicago and Boston icebergs. 

Like an Arctic cutter, they shred through those teams in 5 games a piece. Lebron seemed to be running his propellers at maximum speed to close out two foes that had given him trouble through the course of this season and the last. 

The only thing preventing Miami from docking their ship at the Championship harbor now is the U-Boat from Dallas. 

The Dallas Mavericks spent the majority of the season lurking below the public’s radar. They put up a 57-win season, their 11th 50-win season in a row, yet many pegged them to be sunk by the Blazers. The media again picked Dallas to fall two more times, picking both the Lakers and Thunder to defeat them. And again, Dallas conquered, this time sweeping the 2-time champs and crippling the young guns of Oklahoma with a barrage of long distance bombs delivered with ultimate precision and efficiency.  

So here we are today, the 2011 NBA Finals, locked in for a battle of an unstoppable offensive power and an unmovable defensive force. The narrative seems like a classic story from Greek Mythology (or a replay of the 2008 NBA Finals). Who shall overcome? Who’s weakness will give way and allow their season to be swallowed up whole? 

Here’s seven factors that will determine who we crown the 2010-11 NBA Champion:

1. No Rebounds, No Rings - I’m putting this first because rebounding is one of the oldest concepts to winning that still plays a factor in the ever-evolving NBA. Many things have changed about the game but rebounding has remained a vital part of success. Perhaps it’s those extra possessions that they can provide or pivotal stops when needed. I care to think that rebounds go further than that. The energy that a team puts into rebounding directly influences how hard they play on both ends. Nothing is as underrated as a clutch rebound. You never hear about it, but the grit that’s on display by players who are hungry for those boards is the same grit that helps champions gut it out through June. Pat Riley wasn’t kidding when he said “No Rebounds, No Rings”. If it means anything to you, the Heat are ranked above the Mavs in both OReb% and DReb% in the playoffs. 

2. J.J. Barea - JJ’s been a big for Dallas as a 5’9” NBA player can be. He’s provided ample scoring and a great change-of-pace that Jason Kidd’s 38-year old body can no longer provide. The only problem for JJ and Dallas is that Miami might have the best back-up point guard they have faced all post-season. 

Mario Chalmers might not have the reputation of a good NBA point but he certainly has the repertoire. Not only is Mario a potent 3-point threat, he’s also a viable defender that has both the quickness and I.Q. to lock Barea up. This might be the most unheralded yet most important battle of the series. 

3. Turnovers - Jason Kidd has been a prolific pocket-picker in these playoffs. He’s nabbed himself 33 steals in 15 games, good for 2.2 a night. LeBron and Wade are pretty good at turning it over. Wade’s averaging 3.3 turnovers a night and LeBron is giving it away 2.8 times a night. 

But it’s not just Miami who has issues. Dirk’s losing the ball 3.2 times a night in the playoffs. If Miami can come up with some forced turnovers, they can get out and run the ball, something they excel at. 

4. Odd Lineups - Miami’s quickness and speed will have to be on full display if the Heat want to win the whole thing. Dallas showed some weakness when Oklahoma went with a smaller lineup and ran the heck out of the ball. (see Game 2, Western Conference Finals). If Miami effectively implements either their small-ball or odd-ball look, it could be an ugly series for the older and much, much slower Mavericks. Miami’s small-ball lineup usually has LeBron James playing the 4 or even the 5 with Chalmers, Jones, Wade and Bosh running and gunning. 

The odd-ball line up isn’t that odd because it’s the “dream” five that Miami envisioned would play the majority of the season. I call it the odd-ball line up because it dares to change the concept of basketball positions. Miami has used it since Haslem was healthy enough to play against Miami and it has Wade, LeBron, Bosh, Haslem and Mike Miller playing an undefined amoeba-like offense that has no positions, only nightmares for opponents. According to BasketballValue.com, that unit has played 23 playoff minutes together and is an astounding +46.34 points per 100 possessions, scoring at a efficiency rate of 124.39 and limiting opponents to 78.05. You should be very, very scared of those numbers. 

5. Chandler, Marion and Haywood - The Dallas Mavericks will rely heavily on these three to lock up the middle and turn LeBron and Wade into long distance shooters. 

According to NBA’s Stats Cube, LeBron James shot just 31% vs. the Mavericks in two regular season games, both of which Dallas won. If Dallas can turn LeBron and Wade into jump shooters, like they have previously, they have a very good shot at winning the title. 

6. Like A Bosh - Chris Bosh has been playing incredible this post-season. It’s almost as if he’s the 2nd best player on the Heat (someone wake up Dwyane Wade, we have reached the Finals!). In two regular season games vs. his home town Mavericks, When Bosh was on the floor with Dirk, he held Dirk Nowitzki to just 34% shooting. That’s nearly 16% less than Dirk shot for the season. And here we all were, for years, thinking that Chris Bosh was the reason Toronto played no defense (I’m looking at you, Andrea…). Speaking of 7’ Power Forwards that don’t play defense…

7. Getting Dirk’d On - Okay, fine, I’ll be the first to say it, Dirk’s been getting a bad rap this entire season. According to Synergy Sports, Dirk’s a decent defender, giving up just 0.82 points per possession. That’s a decent mark that has him ranked 71st in the NBA.

But let’s be honest here, the Mavs didn’t get to their 2nd franchise Finals by riding Dirk’s defensive prowess. Dallas is here because Dirk hasn’t missed a mid-range-one-legged-fall-away jumper in over a month (okay, maaaybe he missed one). If Miami can’t stop it wouldn’t surprise anyone. No one can stop Dirk right now. He’s averaging a silly 28.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 52% shooting from the field, 52% shooting from the homeland and 93% from the Wade-throw line. Which brings me to my favorite factor of them all…

8. Free Throws - Is it 2006 all over again? Coming into the Finals, Dirk is averaging 9.3 free throws per game and he is making 8.7 of them (93%). When I first read this number on NBA Stats Cube, I nearly fell out of my chair. Not because 9.3 is an obscene amount, Durant average 10.8 FTAs last season, but because it’s an obscene amount for a player that spends the majority of his time 18-feet from the basket lobbing up impossible fall away after fall away. it’s rare for someone that doesn’t attack the basket to make so many trips to the line. 

On the flipside of things, LeBron is averaging 9.1 Free Throw Attempts per game in the playoffs, hitting 7.1 of them. Bosh is getting 6.3 Free Throws a game, hitting 5.3 of them. And their best friend and infamous free-thrower, Dwyane Wade has gotten to the line 8.7 times a game in the playoffs, making 7 of them a game. Bringing Dwyane back to a place he was very familiar with in 2006 might be the catalyst that finally wakes him from his post-season slumber. If there has ever been a series that will see a ton of stand-still scoring, it’s going to be this one. 

With all of that said, here are the predictions from the NBAO crew:

Myself - Heat in 6 (for all the reasons above)

Doug - Heat in 6 in the boring series, In the Bronze medal series, Thunder in 7.

Keith - Mavs in 6, so says my psychic octopus.

Kristin - *Sobbing* Heat in 6

Mark - Bulls in 6, oh wait. 

Thomas - Heat in 5. I really don’t feel good about giving the Mavs that one game, but I feel obligated to respect the chance of there being one night where Tyson Chandler and/or Shawn Marion negates Bosh, Jason Terry & Jason Kidd are unconscious from the outside, & Dirk has a 4th quarter where he is getting calls & converting a few three point play opportunities. This Miami team is a force of nature and it’s a little scary, and very depressing, to think this was the season the rest of the NBA had to exploit the holes in their roster. Just think of where they were the last time these two played back in December. Dallas won that game by 2. Sure, the Mavs are better, but how much better is Miami? The last 12 weeks Miami is 27-6. SIX LOSSES IN THREE MONTHS. It seems as if they are actually improving as the competition gets tougher. The player most “experts” thought would end up costing Miami dearly against Boston & then Chicago, Chris Bosh, is playing at an All-Star level(crucial when going up vs. a zone-like defense that the Mavs employ). Then there’s LeBron…and Wade…Eh, I’m just going to stop now before I change my pick to a HEAT sweep.

Follow us on Twitter and enjoy the show!

@Suga_Shane

(Photo via @RHurstDesigns)

Lame-O Stat of the Night!
Nick Collison and Russell Westbrook each had more turnovers than made baskets for Oklahoma City.
Jason Kidd also achieved this dubious feat, though he only took three shots - and racked up eleven assists.

Lame-O Stat of the Night!

Nick Collison and Russell Westbrook each had more turnovers than made baskets for Oklahoma City.

Jason Kidd also achieved this dubious feat, though he only took three shots - and racked up eleven assists.

You sweep the Lakers, you get the SI Cover.

You sweep the Lakers, you get the SI Cover.

How did JJ Barea get so open in Game 2? The Lakers can’t defend the pick-and-roll, and the other Mavericks set “hella screens” for him.

Barea grew up in Puerto Rico and played college ball in Massachusetts, so I think it’s safe to say that Northern California’s own Jason Kidd taught him to say “hella.” No word on whether Barea thinks you get to the Staples Center by taking 110, or the 110.

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