Mavs Donuts: Regrets? Miami Has 12, Actually
REGRETABLE DONUT 1: Miami should regret celebrating the wrong things. They've done it from the start, with their preseason championship party ("Yes. We. Did.'' When they'd actually done nothing.) They do it now still, LeBron's Game 5 triple-double being celebrated even as it came in a nine-point loss … maybe because it beats the triple-single he had the game before.
It's my Manning-Brady Rule, and I've used it on Dirk so I'll use it on Bron-Bron: If you scored 17 points but your team lost by nine, I guess you shoulda scored 27.
Miami has an awkward knack for wanting to consummate the wedding before the "I do's'' are done.
REGRETABLE DONUT 2: Miami employs Chris Bosh as a 4. "Fake tough guy,'' as Kevin Durant called him. Miami also employs Udonis Haslem. "One of the best defenders in our league,'' Dirk calls him.
Yet in Game 2, Miami's paper-boy coach assigns Bosh to Dirk and tells Udonis Haslem to go wrestle with TY?
Dirk befuddles Bosh, who never put a hand on The UberMan. The Mavs win the game. And only later does Spoelstra realize Haslem-on-Dirk is the way his Godfather, Pat Riley, brought that last championship to Miami.
REGRETABLE DONUT 3: While LeBron and Wade talk like MVP's, Dirk is the runaway leader for NBA Finals MVP. Remember the discussion during the regular season – discussion that came from LeBron and Wade themselves – that their dual excellence would cause them to split votes?
Probably won't happen this time, fellas.
REGRETABLE DONUT 4: James airballed a layup in Game 2. Wade missed a game-tying free throw in Game 4. Miami, led by those two, is showing itself to be fully capable of failing to make FGs against the Dallas D for long stretches. But …
Can't LeBron and Wade get to their "launching pads'' and get to the rim and get to the line any time they want, and almost dare the zebras to favor them?
Yes. They. Can.
But instead one of them plays HeroBall, or the other goes and hides in the corner. Mario Chalmers? He's got brass ones. Hard to tell with the other cats.
REGRETABLE DONUT 5: You knew I'd stick this in here:
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REGRETABLE DONUT 6: LeBron can dance. Wade can pose. They just shouldn't do it with a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 2 against a proud comeback-oriented team.
One wrist was used to pose. The other to pat themselves on the back.
REGRETABLE DONUT 7: Miami let Dallas hang around in this series (splitting the first two at South Beach) … which allowed two subtle but inevitable factors to kick in. The first one:
Rick Carlisle is a patient man. Give him time, he will find answers. Panic? Nah. Just more education, more study, more examination, more opportunities to flex his experience muscle against third-year coach Erik Spoelstra.
REGRETABLE DONUT 8: The Custodian.
I don't mean Brian Cardinal as an actual person. I mean "The Custodian'' as a mindset.
Here's what an old coaching buddy of mine (very accomplished on the college level) told me before Game 5:
"Wade is their toughest guy. Dallas needs to lean on him more. I'm not talking 'dirty' or hard fouls, even. I'm talking about guarding him so closely that he's ending up throwing his forearm at you for clearance. Wear on him. Early in the series, it was a feel-out thing. But that's over. This is what Dallas oughta do.''
And in G5, there was Kidd, leaning on Wade. There was Marion bumping him when Wade came through the lane. And of course there was The Custodian, challenging drivers, taking blows and delivering them, and being willing to go hip-to-hip with Wade ... and Cardinal's "country stong'' hip has come out the winner.
REGRETABLE DONUT 9: They got Dirk when he was sick, Big Wood, Roddy B and Tuff Juice when they were hurt, caught/forced the Mavs to some sub-40-percent shooting games and have home-court advantage ... and are behind in the series.
REGRETABLE DONUT 10: What if LeBron would've come to Dallas? He could be the second-best player on a team favored to win a title.
REGRETABLE DONUT 11: Wade's not really getting any support. I didn't watch all of Miami's 57 regular-season wins, but I assume somebody had some sort of knack for doing some sort of something.
At this point, Mario Chalmers deserves recognition as The Fourth Heatle.
REGRETABLE DONUT 12: The first step to repairing a problem? Admitting you have a problem. This is a psychological sidecar to the narcissist: "It's not my deal.'' Or, "I can make it go away.'' Or, "It's not really a problem at all.''
I don't want to give Miami any assistance here, so don't tell them I said this, but ...
What happened to Aldridge and Roy in the end? Did they get stopped by "personal problems''? What happened to Kobe and Gasol in the end? Were their hips and egos bruised? What happened to Westbrook and Durant in the end? Did they get screwed by a controversial call in a nine-point loss?
In the end, maybe Miami will escape regret because they'll be forced -- like all the other clubs in the NBA have been forced -- to admit that it's OK to lose to a superior team.
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