As always, I’m extremely excited for the NBA Finals. Last year, I used Star Wars quotes to spice it up. http://thedawggs.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_thedawggs_archive.html This year, I’m using another great trilogy: Indiana Jones. FYI – I don’t remember most of these quotes, but the Internet remembers everything.
1. “You can't do this to me, I'm an AMERICAN.” – this one goes out to Shaquille O’Neal, as he faces the prospect of getting SHUT DOWN by the Super Senegalese, DeSagana Diop. Diop [pronounced Jop rhyming with “mop”] has gone from NBA draft lottery bust to shutting down Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal in the same playoff year. It’s an unbelievable turn of events. Diop was drafted by the Cavs, and as a Cavs fan, we always knew he could play some defense. Apparently, he just needed the motivation of unemployment (he wasn’t even signed until the very end of last year’s free agency period by the Dallas Mavericks). The motivation of unemployment allowed him to focus on losing enough weight to get rid of his man-boobs as he is now prepared to take down the best center in America.
2. “You're not the man I knew ten years ago.” – this one goes out to Gary Payton. 10 years ago, he was in his prime and he and his buddy Shawn Kemp somehow took Michael Jordan and the Bulls to 6 games (though the Bulls were up 3-0 before letting 2 games slip away). Anyway, Gary Payton is a shell of his former self, and it makes me sad whenever I see him play, and I hope he just retires already, win or lose.
3. “Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.” – this one goes out to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Money has allowed him to possess everything in the world, except the Holy Grail itself, the NBA championship trophy. Something tells me this is his time.
4. “I can only say I'm sorry so many times.” – this one goes out to Jason Terry. The Mavericks were up 3-1 and then Jason Terry punched one of the San Antonio Spurs in the balls, helping to set off a chain reaction that almost resulted in their elimination… almost. He is sorry though. He even wrote me an apology for his first public apology where he claimed he didn’t actually make contact with Michael Finley’s groin.
Advantage: Heat (Terry may mistakenly punch another groin)
5. “I always knew some day you'd come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So, what are you doing here in Nepal?” – this one goes out to Mark Cuban and Antoine Walker. Antoine Walker spent one forgettable season on Dallas where he shot a pathetic 27% from 3-point land, in 82 games! (Granted, Walker is only a 33% career shooter from 3-point land, but he likes it out there.) Cuban shipped him out as fast as possible, to the Siberia of 21st-century basketball, the Atlanta Hawks.
6. “The Ark of the Covenant, the chest that the Hebrews used to carry around the Ten Commandments.” -to NBA Commissioner David Stern, who no longer has to carry around the Ark that carries the NBA Championship trophy.
7. “Stay behind me Short Round, step where I step and don't touch anything.” – to Dirk Nowitzki, as he tries to guide his team, and coach Avery Johnson who is the closest thing to Short Round in this series, past the Heat. You can’t stop Dirk, you can only hope to contain him. Granted, the Heat have Wade and Shaq to guide their team. In the end though, I feel like Dallas has more options. I don’t trust Jason Williams or Antoine Walker to come through too often (yes, I know they were hot in the last series). Dallas is just a lot deeper and seems to have an edge, as long as Dirk is leading the way. Dallas can use Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, and Devin Harris, who are all fast enough to keep up with Wade. I know that sounds ridiculous, but Dallas really has enough quicker guys to keep up with Wade. If you look back at Miami’s run, Chicago actually had some people who could keep up with Wade, and they were able to steal 2 games, and Chicago didn’t even have a Dirk, or any type of frontcourt. I’ve noticed a similar theory expressed on cnnsi, even though I already thought that Dallas has the horses to at least slow down Wade.
8. “But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.” - to the coaches. This is quite interesting. Avery Johnson was groomed to be the head coach by Don Nelson who, as most of us know, has absolutely no clue what he is doing. Yet somehow, in Avery’s FIRST FULL season, he has guided the Mavs to the NBA Finals. It’s unbelievable. It’s almost as if Avery wrote down every mistake that Nelson was making and is able to somehow correct it. Meanwhile, the Heat have Pat Riley as their coach, who became the coach yet again only because of a coup d’etat, as he eliminated Stan Van Gundy (the round, fat Van Gundy who has a porn-star moustache). Anyways, Pat Riley already has 4 championships to his credit, and is the proud trademark owner of 3-peat (funny thing is, he didn’t actually get the 3-peat, after he coined the term, but Jordan did not long after! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Riley). Ultimately, this series should be a close, exciting battle to the finish. But the roster on the Mavs side is just too daunting, with too much flexibility. In addition, I believe that Avery Johnson can do this, and Pat Riley will not be able to stop him.
Pick: Mavs in 6