June 12, 2006

The only time the Heat were able to come close to making a comeback was when Shaq was on the bench in the fourth quarter, so maybe he has a point. It seemed like the Mavericks defense was so focused on containing Shaq when he was in the game (which they did a great job of, holding him to career playoff lows), that they had a little more trouble defending the Heat's more distributed offense when Shaq was out. If the Heat don't come up with something, they're going to get swept.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:12 AM on June 12, 2006

I think the Heat's late comeback had more to do with the circumstances than Shaq riding the pine. If they switch to a Shaq-free lineup, they should retroactively lose in the first round. They don't win this series unless he comes up huge.

posted by rcade at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2006

I think there is not enough credit being given to Avery Johnson for his ability and willingness to adjust his lineup during the playoffs. In the Memphis series, he stuck with his regular season lineup because it was working. Against San Antonio, after losing game one, he moved Harris into the starting lineup and made other adjustments. Against Phoenix, after losing game one, he adjusted by essentially matching their speed and for the most part eliminating the center position. No real adjustments needed so far against Miami, since the Mavs have pretty much gone back to their regular season lineup. The question is can Riley adjust? And how? The way I see it: No Shaq, no chance.

posted by graymatters at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2006

well put, graymatters. avery johnson doesn't seem to get enough credit for the coaching job he has done thus far in the playoffs. dallas never makes it past san antonio without key game planning and adjustments by avery.

posted by ksb122 at 02:15 PM on June 12, 2006

Avery Johnson and the added maturity of Dirk Nowitzski have definitely made the Mav's into what they are today, a much tougher, resilient team than they were under Nelson. Avery has done one of the best coaching jobs I have ever seen. And, the lack of egotistical jerks is a pleasure to watch on the floor. The chemistry on this team is quite remarkable. And I agree that, without Shaq, they have no chance. I fully expect Riley and crew to make some noise the next two games.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:39 PM on June 12, 2006

shaq has one more half before he quits entirely and gives up ... expect him to veiled comments that his teamates didn't get him the ball enough*.

posted by Mike McD at 07:19 PM on June 12, 2006

expect him to veiled comments that his teamates didn't get him the ball enough* He'd have to speak to the media to do that.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:55 PM on June 12, 2006

The Little General is quickly becoming one of my favorite coaches ever. I will add however that the whole egotistical jerks thing is funny to read. Some of the most pompous guys to ever play pro ball have done more for their communities in days than you have done for yours during your whole life. But all you see is them doing a little dance or beating their chest a little bit and you get all riled up. Like you know these guys or they owe you something. They put in a lot of time and effort to be great in their field and rest assured they are much better at what they do, than you are at what you do. Go Mavs!!

posted by Drallig9399 at 08:54 AM on June 13, 2006

I just read this post and you know what...its so true. Shaq has been more hindrance in this series than help. Him AND Antoine's constant jacking of 3's...what the Heat need is more Haslem/Mourning inside, and then some combo of Posey/Williams/Payton flanking Wade out there. Shaq and Walker are KILLING the Heat...and that's why they're down 2-0. Want proof...look at the 4th quarters of the last 2 games. Shaq was on the bench with Walker when the Heat made a semi-run to finish the game. Game 3: it was Posey and Williams with the big shots (next to Wade's Jordan-esque performance) and Payton (not Wade, Shaq or Walker) with the game winner. Clearly those 5 are the key to beating Dallas's versatile lineup... The Mavs? Just do what you've been doing guys...cuz Riley doesn't read my thread...and I KNOW the Heat will just keep going with an overmatched Shaq and Walker (who couldn't put the ball in the Atlantic the way his shot is going).

posted by chemwizBsquared at 01:16 PM on June 14, 2006

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