Posted by edsalwaysright on 1st June 2011
The much anticipated 2011 NBA Finals finally got underway Tuesday night, as the Miami Heat took Game 1 at home behind yet another strong performance by the Big-3, who racked up 65 points, 28 rebounds, and 14 assists. There was a lot to talk about pre and post game on Tuesday, and a lot of early questions about the Heat-Mavericks match-up got answered in Game 1, so let’s look at some quick reactions/notes from the opening chapter in the 2011 NBA Finals. (Which by the way TNT is trying to sell us as the apocalypse or something, and I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of working. Some of their promos/intros have been nothing short of epic. Like this one.)
—Boy was that first half ugly. 17-16 at the end of the first quarter? 27-26 with 5 minutes left in the first half? I guess it was to be expected with players’ nerves and both teams trying to get a feel for each other in the early goings. Both defenses obviously played a part in the low score — which I’ll get to later — but that was still a brutal half of basketball. When Shawn Marion is making the prettiest plays and shots early on you know things aren’t going well.
—It’s crazy to think that Game 1 was played at exactly the tempo Miami wants the game to be played at, and yet the Heat, who clearly have the better athletes, only had 7 fast break points. It’s also crazy to think that two of the Heat starters, Joel Anthony and Mike Bibby, combined for 0 points. So as much as the talk after Game 1 was about how “the Heat played the perfect game and completely dominated tempo,” let’s keep in mind that this Miami team can beat you in more than one way, and actually played far from a perfect game. So before you go ahead and think that if Game 2 is won in the 110-115 point range the Mavs are golden, remember that Miami has a few guys that aren’t too shabby in an up-and-down track meet type game. Even if only 4 Heat players score and Mike Bibby can’t make an open jump-shot for his life.
—Hate him or love him, LeBron James does things no one else in basketball today can do. That ridiculous fall away three-pointer at the half-time buzzer was inhuman. While any other player taking that kind of shot looks like they’re trying to heave a bowling ball 40-feet through the air, James looks like he’s taking a free-throw during warm-ups. Fact.
—Before I get crucified by the Mavs fans, let me say that Dallas is far from out of it. Everyone will want to jump all over the Heat and crown them champions (sorry they already did that after the Celtics series), but it’s still very early in this series, and as Wade would tell you from leading the Heat back from a 2-0 hole against these very same Mavericks, it’s not over till the fat lady sings. Or in his case it’s not over till the 40,000 people living in Miami who just this year started calling themselves “Heat fans” sing. That being said, the Mavs have a tough task ahead of them. Dirk Nowitzki’s finger injury on his left hand surely won’t make things any easier, and Dallas badly needs to find a way to crack Miami’s defense and get some better match-ups on the offensive end. Having Jason Terry going up against LeBron James is just cruel.
I’ll leave it at that for today, as I could very easily write a book or two on Game 1 and what we can expect to see the rest of this series. Make sure you tune in to Game 2 on Thursday at 9:00 PM Eastern on ABC, and order your jerseys and memorabilia before it’s all over so you can impress your friends and family and show them how you are a huge fan of whoever wins. And yes, that’s a direct stab at Heat “fans.”
Tags: basketball, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Lebron James, Miami Heat, Miami Heat basketball, Mike Bibby, NBA, NBA Finals, NBA Playoffs, Team-Superstore
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