Not a “worthy opponent”?

The Miami Heat – World Champions of Basketball


Here’s a June 12 story in the Dallas Morning News. Miami Fans, enjoy!

Finals will end in Miami

12:56 PM CDT on Monday, June 12, 2006

Attention, Mavs fans: In the NBA Finals ticket package you split with your business partner, here’s hoping you didn’t draw Games 6 and 7.

The only way the Mavs come back from Miami is on a float.

Map the parade route. Schedule the sick day.

Train the fire hoses on Mark Cuban.

Miami’s chances of getting back here?

Good as a Shaq free throw.

What else are you supposed to think after the Mavs’ incredibly easy 99-85 victory Sunday put the locals up 2-0?

Pat Riley knows what we’ll say. He’s heard the same in virtually each round of the playoffs.

“We were history,” he said, chuckling at the media reaction. “I’m sure we’re history right now.”

Couldn’t have said it better, actually.

Certainly Riley said it better than Shaquille O’Neal, who disappeared from this series long before he left American Airlines Center on Sunday without a word.

Never got off the bench in the fourth quarter. Came up with a career playoff-low 5 points on 2 of 5 shooting.

And that after Miami vowed to get him more touches than he had in Game 1.

Even when he got the ball, Shaq didn’t exactly help himself. He’s now 2-of-16 from the free throw line in the Finals, which pretty much sums up Miami’s effort, too.

Correction: On behalf of my colleagues at SportsDay, I’d like to apologize for the half-dozen geniuses who picked the Heat to win the NBA Finals.

Geez. I feel guilty for picking the Mavs to win in six.

In pivotal Game 2, where an angry Shaq figured to wreak havoc after going ignored in the opener and Dwyane Wade was supposed to be close to getting over his cold, the so-called best 1-2 punch in the game was KO’d.

Question: How has the best set of NBA playoffs in memory come to this ugly end?

Answer: At least it ought to be quick. Not sure how merciful.

Think this series is still too early to call? Want to remind of the San Antonio series, when the Mavs went up 3-1 and needed a miracle three-point play from Dirk Nowitzki just to get into overtime in Game 7?

Forget it. San Antonio was a far more worthy opponent. Phoenix, too.

Even Memphis wasn’t as grisly as Miami.

In these Finals, only Dallas beats Dallas.

Take Sunday’s first half. Nowitzki and Josh Howard were a combined 3-of-10 in the first quarter, a continuation of Game 1’s malaise. And their teammates weren’t much better.

Shot 33.3 percent for the quarter.

Turned it over six times.

And still led by one.

Not until midway through the second quarter did the Mavs finally take off, specifically on the 3-point shooting of Jerry Stackhouse.

Otherwise, the Mavs’ didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. Nowitzki had his usual 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Dallas’ depth, defense and versatility simply made the Heat look old and slow and confused and about two games short of summer vacation.

Who’s going to beat the Mavs now? Not Wade. Not when he’s going to have less time to recover between games.

Shaq? Not when he’s taking half as many shots as Jason Williams took in the first half.

Antoine Walker had more shots, too, and seemed to think it was a good idea afterward.

Question: Who do you think gets booted first in the Miami Heat version of Survivor, Walker or Williams?

Come to think of it, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered if Shaq had the ball any more. Any time the ball went into the post, and the Mavs moved in, Shaq simply passed out of the double team.

Note to the rest of the big, bad East: Do you think now it’s a good idea to double Shaq?

“They know who to stay home on,” Riley said of the Mavs’ defense, “and who to leave open.”

Give Avery Johnson credit. He and Del Harris have come up with another great game plan.

But don’t forget the Heat’s contribution. Riley hasn’t.

“We’ll obviously have to play a helluva lot better,” he said, “than we played here.”

And even that won’t be good enough. Four games, maybe five, and that’s it.

Question: Do they still make ticker tape?


Yes, Kevin, they do make ticker-tape and we’ll need a lot of it here in Miami! Cockiness and overconfidence will doom any team as the 2003 New York Yankees can tell you.

Buh-bye Mavs!

4 thoughts on “Not a “worthy opponent”?”


    FOUR IN A ROW!!!!

    *goes to the streets and bangs pots*

    WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe Dallas can send the confetti they planned to use? Nah, we don’t want to comtaminate ours!

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