Because I can’t find the energy to do a full post on a season where the Dallas Mavericks won a championship.
Has any team that lost in the Finals been more criticised than this year’s Heat? Sports journalists have already broken down the apparent myriad of reasons that the Heat failed. ‘It was never going to work with two alpha dogs’. ‘Too many old players, they need more youth’. ‘Eddie House/Mike Miller/Joel Anthony was never going to work in that role’. Miami apparently have to make so many changes if they want to be competitive.
But weren’t they two wins away from an NBA championship?
The Heat could certainly do some things to improve. As could all teams. But they took the eventual champions to six games. A team with a superstar playing at his peak. A team that had defeated the champion Lakers (who won less games than the Heat did). Say what you want about what Miami lacks, but they were a few big shots (and a few whistles) away from being thisclose to being champions.
Is Brian Cardinal the only player in the league to watch tape of Dwyane Wade? For years, Wade’s most potent offensive move has been the Euro step (where you step one way, then back the other, sliding past the defender). Until the Finals, I had never seen anyone counter it effectively. Twice in this series Cardinal saw it coming and defended it well. Once, he got called for a foul as he was just too late getting in front of Wade, but the second time he read it beautifully and drew an offensive foul. Wade’s step is on a list with ‘stopping Manu Ginobili and Lamar Odom going left’ as something that the viewer sees coming, but defenders seem hopeless to stop. Maybe it’s hard to make such a prediction in the midst of a game, but Brian Cardinal can see the future.