NBA Finals version of Hot Hot Bullets coming right at you:
- I want to start with what has been the most annoying/absurd subplot of this year's Finals: shrinkage. I found Gregg Doyel's question to be poorly worded and unprofessional, but it has spawned some good responses. Ken Berger of CBS posits that LeBron James is receiving criticism when he should be receiving praise. While I take offense to the line about "LeBron apologists," the rest of the piece is spot on. On a similar note, JA Adande tells us that LeBron James just cannot win, even while he's winning. Finally, Israel Gutierrez attacks the maddening narrative surrounding LeBron James.
- One of my favorite surprises of these NBA finals has been the play of Mario Chalmers. As all Heat fans know, Chalmers can be extremely frustrating to watch. However, his unwavering confidence can also lead to runs that we're witnessing now. Israel Gutierrez takes a look at the Heat's "most hated player." Matt Moore has taken a liking to Chalmers, and his piece looks at the spark 'Rio has provided.
- Dwyane Wade has done the heavy lifting thus far in the Finals, but in previous series it had been LeBron James. Having a duo this good is a luxury. Andres Alverez takes a look at how often teams have been able to enjoy said luxury.
- Chris Bosh has been criticized and ridiculed all year. On Sunday night, he made the biggest shot of his career, a basline jumper that propelled the Heat to their 88-86 victory. Sebastian Pruiti shows us what happened on the game winner. Tom Haberstroh takes a look at the trust that that last play showed.
- The last two possessions for Dallas ended in a turnover and a missed jumper. Sebastian Pruiti illustrates the role Dwyane Wade played in the turnover and shows how the Heat disrupted that last shot that missed off the back iron.
- Leading up to the series, all the talk centered around how Miami had not faced an offense as potent as Dallas'. Couper Moorhead recaps Game 3 with a focus on the defensive side of the ball.
- Rob Mahoney delivers what is probably my favorite piece so far of the NBA Finals. In case you didn't know already, everything matters.
Finally, I'd like to address the nonsense spewing out of the mouths of Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson. I'm not a huge believer in "bulletin board material," but if it does exist, these two Mavericks sure are providing it. Jason Terry doesn't think LeBron James can cover him in the fourth quarter for seven games. Terry must not be too good at math, because this series isn't best of 13, and James has already shut him down multiple times. Terry is 0-5 against LeBron in fourth quarters in the Finals, so poking the bear may not be the best idea. Jason Terry has also made it a point to belittle Chris Bosh's game winning shot, which is cute. There was no "blown coverage" as Terry suggests. It was a brilliantly designed set that took advantage of the attention a James-Wade pick and roll demands. Him saying that "even Juwan Howard can hit that shot" is just petty and uncalled for. My favorite Terry sound bite was his insistance that Portland was the best defense the Mavs have faced in the postseason. The Heat were the fifth best defense in the regular season. Portland? The 14th. The Heat have had the third best defense in this postseason. Portland? The 15th. Go away, Jason Terry. DeShawn Stevenson's bit about the Heat being "actors" is pretty hilarious as well. The man with neck tattoos, a "three monacle" and a -17 +/- in the NBA Finals should probably just keep his mouth shut. Besides, we already know the Heat are "Hollywood as Hell."
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