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Appreciation Jot Notes for JJ

Dirk has been world class all series, Terry has got it going the past couple of games and Marion has been huge on both ends of the floor, but Barea has really been a guilty pleasure of mine from game to game.  He had a rough start to the series, failing to hit double digits in the first four games, but no matter how small his contribution I can’t help but love everything he does.

I believe appreciation is a healthy practice, so I took the time to jot down everything I love about the little guy.  I remember doing this for past girlfriends.  Small, quick written notes for a small, quick playing guard.

  • Barea was a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 790 for seven years
  • Can hold a conversation with Kerry Kittles about starting beside Jason Kidd in the NBA Finals
  • Named Bob Cousy award finalist twice, given to the country’s top point gaurd

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I ask the important questions about the Finals: like Do the Mavs close out in 6?

After watching the most entertaining NBA Finals game I’ve ever seen, I have been thinking about some things as the series goes back to Miami with Dallas ahead 3-2, and Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki super-giddy about closing out the series and putting a ring on his finger – and an MVP trophy. I ask the tough questions to evaluate the rest of the series.

How much does God love the Mavericks?

A lot. For everything the Mavericks have had to do to counter the Heat, they’ve been able to do. To come from behind, down 15 in game 2, they do it. For the Heat to shoot 53 percent and score over 100 points in game 5, and the Mavs to have to counter that – they were able to. Someone is looking down on the Mavericks.

I mean, give me a break! Dallas shoots 56 percent, to the Heats’ 53. Plus, Dallas shoots 70 percent from three-point range. Give me a break! They did it! Granted, some were open shots, but a lot were contested… and they still make the shots.

If you said: “Heat shoot 53 percent from the field, and score over 100 points,” without mentioning what the Mavs would do, what would you say? Who would win? HEAT. Don’t try to argue with me that the Mavs would that game. Don’t try to counter me and say, “Mavs shoot 56 percent, they would win.” Don’t give me that! Heat win going away.

But that didn’t happen. God loves the Mavs.

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The Dilemma of Dealing Iguodala

It has been reported in recent days that the Philadelphia 76ers are actively shopping swingman Andre Iguodala; a plethora of different rumors have provided a variety of possible destinations for Iguodala, including: L.A (Clippers), Golden State and Minnesota.

For those who follow the league, rumors regarding a possible trade of Andre Iguodala are nothing new; due to the size of this contract—$13.5 million next season, $ 14.7 the following season and a player option for $15.9 in the final season—it is widely held that the Sixers are looking to move him in order to save some cash and help facilitate the growth of their young team; but obviously, they are looking for a little more than a salary dump, which, given the fragile nature of team chemistry, could prove to be a difficult task. Continue Reading

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LeBron Disapearing Down the Stretch? Think Again

Following a Miami victory in game 3 LeBron James was asked a question by a member of the media, Gregg Doyal,–I am sure you have all heard by now– that I feel encompasses the complex relationship that basketball fans, and some pundits, have with LBJ and really, great players in general. LeBron was asked

“LeBron, three games in a row for you, fourth quarter. Not much. That’s the moment superstars become superstars. Seems like you’re almost shrinking from it. What’s going on?”

Now, LeBron had a great retort, urging Doyal to look at the way James played defense in the fourth, rather than the stat sheet, and come back with a better question. However, retort aside, the question itself is a very telling sign of what is wrong with the relationship between fans—or reporters for that matter– and superstar players, with LeBron James being a prime example. Continue Reading

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Can Dallas find another scorer in the Draft?

After the Miami Heat took a 2-1 series lead on the Dallas Mavericks tonight, much of the discussion (as has been the case before) was about the Mavs’ lack of another primary scorer next to Dirk Nowitzki.

It’s a valid concern and could potentially result in losing to the Heat in the NBA Finals. However, let me remind you that Caron Butler is injured, and has been since January. Butler averaged somewhere around 15 points per game when he was healthy and has been a primary scorer for the Washington Wizards, his past team. After returning, Butler can become the second scorer.

But the Mavs should still be concerned because given an injury, they only have one scorer. Jason Terry and Shawn Marion are talented but they can’t hold their own as pure scorers. So the Mavs, with the 26th pick in June’s NBA Draft, should look to the pro prospects for another answer. Continue Reading

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Will the Matrix Finally Get the Credit he Deserves?

Image from Sporto.org

Over his 13 year NBA career Shawn Marion has been known for many things: his freakish athleticism, his bizarre two-handed jump shot, even his uncanny ability to guard almost any position; however, one thing that has plagued Marion throughout his career is the perception that he is perpetually undervalued and never considered an elite player in the NBA.Marion’s struggles with the lack of recognition he has received for his play in Phoenix was well documented in Jack McCallum’s book “:07 seconds or less” and his inability to accept Amare as the alpha dog was believed to be the reason he was dealt out of phoenix in 2008. Despite being a four time All-Star, Marion was never considered to be the superstar in Phoenix.  During his tenure there Marion found himself taking a backseat to players like Stephon Marbury, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Suffice to say, the Suns were never considered to be Shawn Marion’s team. Continue Reading

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Instant reaction to Finals’ Game 2

Michael Wilbon, Magic Johnson and Jon Berry represented three different schools of thought following the Dallas Mavericks incredible come from behind victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Thursday night.

While Wilbon and Johnson’s views on how the Heat’s collapse/Mavericks’ explosion will affect the rest of the series, Berry was much more blunt. By my interpretation, Berry thinks the series is now over. He could not stop repeating himself, saying the loss for the Heat would “seriously” affect them going forward. He said the last-seven-minutes Heat reminded him of the November-December Heat – a team that couldn’t finish games.

Before I get to Wilbon and Johnson’s more conservative, believable views, I have to dissect Berry’s opinion. 1) I think it’s funny how the ESPN analysts’ opinions of the series changes every day. Berry is not basically saying the Heat will choke the rest of the way because of this game, and the Mavs will win the series, when tomorrow (if they played tomorrow), and the Heat won on the road, Berry would say the Heat have control of this series. (Who wants to take my bet that he would say that?) 2) I think it’s funny Berry thinks the series is over. I know one person, besides me, who would disagree – Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

“It’s a long series,” Spoelstra said during the postgame press conference.

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