2011 NBA Finals Day 7

by Maurice Bobb / @ReeseReport

Day 3 in the Big D and the mood around town is fairly upbeat after the Dallas Mavs came up short in the 88-86 Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat. Adam Figman and I were on the front lines last night live-blogging and Tweeting the play-by-play and gave you as much of a behind the scenes look as we legally could.

It was an exciting game, especially in the fourth quarter, with Chris Bosh, fresh off a mean eye-jammie, draining the go-ahead, wide-open J, and Dirk Nowitzki coming oh so close to tying it up with a contested fall away jumper with four seconds left to play.  Don’t lie, no matter which team you were rooting for, you held your breath thinking the German was going to send it into overtime.

The entertainment didn’t stop there, though.  Down in the media interview room, CBS Sports writer Gregg Doyle got his literary blank handed to him by LeBron James when he asked him about his “shrinking in the moment.” James proceeded to chide him about only reading the offensive stats on the stat sheet, gave him a little refresher course on the merits of defense, and told him to go back, look at the game footage to see what he did defensively and come back with a better question tomorrow.

Before picking his face up off the interview room floor, Doyle ran out with his tail between his legs faster than Usain Bolt in the final stretch of the 100 meters. Not surprisingly, the Internets were abuzz with ridicule for the smooth-domed scribe for his questionable “question.” His column deriding James left much to be desired because he really didn’t offer substantive evidence to support his LeBron shrinkage argument and he heard about it.

Funny moment number two was Dirk’s comment, “It stinks in here,” when he was entering the room for his presser. It was inadvertently heard by all, even in TV land. To be fair, it was hot as a sweatshop in that room. Way too many members of the media were crammed into that tiny space and after all that perspiration and what I’m guessing was a lack of hygiene on the part of some, it must have reeked of pits and deadline pressure.

Additionally, to be right there in the room when Dirk is about to come in, it’s even more hilarious to see the presser helpers put the prominently displayed Gatorade under the table before the German comes in. As he’s stated many times, the makers of the famous energy drink do not cut him any checks.

After a long day and night, Adam and I both left American Airlines Center to live and write another day.

Today, I got a late start and besides this post, I have deadlines weighing on my back like a fat full monkey. Since I’m fastly becoming quite the Hamburglar with my appreciation of IN-N-Out Burger and Five Guys, I figured I’d head to Dallas’ supposed hamburger heaven, Braums. Maybe my standards are too high and I’ve become a bourgeois member of the Burger Illuminati, but Braums only got a “Meh” review from me.

Back to basketball.

Game 4 is tomorrow and everyone is saying all the things you’d expect them to.

The Coaches postgame:

“It’s just one,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “We’re not going to make it more than what it is.  We have two wins under our belt.  We have to try to be greedy and get another one.  But there isn’t going to be anything easy that comes in this series for either team.  After Game 2, that’s so far out of our mind at this point.  It’s all about the win or the loss.  It doesn’t matter.  Even this, it’s not a good win; it’s not a bad win.  It’s a win.  We have to move on and we have to try to get the next one.”

“It’s very difficult playing from behind all the time,” said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. “We’re going to have to play more efficiently.  We’re going to have to get the ball in the basket more.  And overall we’re going to have to play a better game.”

The Players:

“We have to be a little sharper at the beginning (Game 4) and not let them (Wade and LBJ) get their rhythm,” Dirk said.  “I thought the crowd pushed us forward.  So we’re going to need the same effort out of them.  It’s a must-win situation.”

“Obviously, it’s a great road win,” Wade said.  “We got three games in a row here, so it’s good to get the first one.  Personally, I moved on from this win already.  I feel like we did nothing but get home-court advantage back.  But the next game is a big game.  We have to bring our hard hats, understanding it’s going to be tougher to win that game than it was to win this one.  I believe in this team.  If anyone can do it, I believe we can.”

The Pundits:

“The Mavs need more from Terry,” said ESPN Heat Index writer Brian Windhorst.  “When he gets his shots those have got to go down.  When he’s open he’s got to make them.  They need more from Barea and they need more from Terry.  But they’re right there.  History suggests that the series is over but the game suggests that it’s not.  The Heat keep letting Dallas back in and that’s a concern.  They are 2 or 3 minutes of bad basketball from being 3-0 in this series.”

“Miami is forcing their will on Dallas,” said former NBA player Bruce Bowen.  “With the youth and athleticism of Miami and how they’re closing out to the shooters, Dallas is no longer getting those shots that they’ve gotten throughout the playoffs.”

And, of course:

“Maybe LeBron James isn’t a superstar,” Doyel wrote.  “If the 2011 NBA Finals were the only games I had seen him play, that would be my conclusion.”

Regardless of who speaks on this series, ultimately, Dallas has to get other guys going in the offense and execute better ball management in their offense if they want to even the series tomorrow.  For Miami, they are hoping Bosh’s eye won’t bother him and that Haslem continues to do work on Dirk.  The Heat smell blood in the water and they’re on it like Jaws.

Game 4 goes down tomorrow. Adam will be manning the SLAM Twitter and I’ll be live-blogging the action.  See ya then.