Good series, empty feeling and whither LeBron
By all measures, this has been a pretty good series so far.
Largest margin of victory through four games is eight, each of them went down to the final few minutes, it’s tied and reduced to a best of three.
So why do I feel a bit let down by it?
Maybe it’s because there have been so few “wow” moments and outside of the two Dirk shots – the make to win Game 2; the miss at the end of Game 3 – there really haven’t been a lot of good things that are creating memories.
We talk about LeBron’s disappearing act in Game 4, there was Bosh’s slow start, the absence of production from anyone on the Dallas bench for a couple of games and the same old, same old from just about everyone else.
I presume as we get to Game 6 and, perhaps, Game 7, something will emerge to make us remember this one for good plays and drama rather than missed shots and failures but, right now, this is the most disappointingly close series I can recall.
Was another rather odd day for him yesterday after the oddest of nights imaginable on Tuesday.
Yes, he sat at the podium and gave all the right answers to all the right questions about wanting to be more aggressive, be more active, have a greater impact on the game than he did in his Game 3 disappearing act.
But the thing that got me was that he was, um, a bit passive doing it.
I expected a higher level of anger or determination or defiance or something. I kind of expected him to get after a questioner or two who doubted his talents, to get his back up a little bit.
Now, he might have been seething inside – and if you’re a Heat fan you hope that he is – but he kind of sat there and took it.
But, then again, there’s been very little normal about that guy this whole series.
It’s all well and good that he said he plans to make a much bigger mark on Game 5 tonight but, right now, I have my doubts.
Things I hate: Long-winded interview room questions that include the words “I think” or “talk about” in them.
Rick Carlisle is not prone to colloquial expressions, which is somewhat odd for an NBA coach.
Not sure that in all the interview rooms I’ve been in, a coach has come up with this one.
Carlisle’s asked if he ever steps back and appreciates what’s going on in the game when the game gets good:
“At times. You know, we’re all so immersed in this, both teams. It’s such a binary situation. You win or you lose.”
Well, this certainly isn’t good news.
Stopped by the labour talks yesterday after practice to hang out and see what was up and the mood was, well, a bit dark.
Darker than it was the day before.
Now, they’re going to meet again twice next week so that’s a good thing and they said they’d commit some things to paper so that’s a good thing.
They were tossing around words like “far apart” and “little movement” and the three big issues from ownership – a hard cap, no guaranteed deals, shorter contracts – are still unresolved.
That’s three huge issues with just three weeks until the deadline and I don’t know whether they’ve got enough time.
I also think they won’t miss games next fall because I don’t think they’re that stupid but I do think we’ll have a nice, lazy summer. And I’m quite all right with that.
Yes, the Mighty Rockies are on a bit of roll, with little thanks to, well, to me.
Guess we beat The Dastardly Other Team in a 12-11 thriller last night to go 3-1 on the season.
Considering we went 2-13-1 last year, we’re at dizzying heights.
Here’s one that’s series-specific because I like the more esoteric ones for the mailbag.
Q: Hi Doug. In the last couple of games I've watched on TV there have been different times when LeBron and Wade have looked completely gassed. Wade last nnigth at the free throw line in the final minutes (he missed one) In game 3 when they were drying up the floor and LeBron was sitting under the basket he was huffing and puffing even though he was sitting there for like 3 minutes.
I am wondering if a) players who play heavy minutes always look tired like that but the fans just don't see them close enough to notice and b) Are the minutes D-wade and LeBron have played in the playoffs starting to wear on them and maybe contributing to LeBron's poor performance?
Jeff M, Saint John
A: There is a theory floating around here that, indeed, that fatigue is a factor, especially with LeBron, who has taken off about 19 seconds in total of all the second halves of all these games.
I’m not buying it at all. These are exceptional athletes in the prime of their career in an NBA Finals and if they’re tired, they should be ashamed of themselves if it affects their play.
You don’t think the Mavs are just as tired? Think Dirk might have been worn out late in that Game 4?
And, besides, if LeBron was worn out late in the game, how do you reconcile the fact he was detached and uninvolved in the first quarter as well?
Tired? An excuse. A bogus one, too.
But it is something that’s been floated around year. Yawn.
Brain cramp or reading bios wrong or whatever but had one big glitch in this little rundown of the two finalists for Jay’s job.
Dwane Casey’s been here in Dallas for three years and was a finalist last year for the Atlanta job.
Oh, dopey me.
Anyway, I think we’re maybe a week from getting resolution to this one and that should give the new coach and his staff lots of time to be involved in the draft process, just as Bryan wanted from the get-go.
Okay, you Irregulars know I seldom do this because you could spend all day sitting around shooting down stupid rumours and I have better things (coffee, rest, work) to do with him time.
But there’s some nonsense that’s been out there about Toronto and Minnesota and I’m getting soooooooo many questions it’s ticking me off.
Never talked about.
Hasn’t been discussed.
Not going to happen.
Hasn’t been contemplated.
And, no, I won’t reveal my sources but, trust me, they’re good and they’re right and whoever started that crap needs to turn off his or her internet connection and go get a job.
Speaking of the draft, the last I heard was the next workouts for the HOTH are scheduled for the middle of next week and could include Tristan Thompson of Brampton.
Other than that, there are four other days scheduled for workouts but because they have such a short list of possibilities at No. 5, I don’t imagine they’ll include any legitimate candidates for that pick.
Places I wish I were.
The Euro camp in Treviso this week.
Not to see the players as much as to sit in the restaurant at La Ghirada and have some of their outstanding pasta with clams and pour my own Moretti from the draught pump that’s in the middle of the table. Best.