Hello Again Sports Fans!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend, and that the Monday is going as well as it can for you.
Which, for the Heat, is probably not the case. Then again, when you have million dollar contracts and can spend the next few months golfing, that kind of eases the blow. Runs back and forth throughout the 1st half, where the Mavs had to be feeling excellent with the 2 point halftime lead, seeing as Dirk had just gone 1 for 12. Jason Terry, wow. That's a 6th man who was the difference in games 4, 5, and 6 - his 27 points led the Mavs, and he was the reason the Heat had to be sweating during the break.
The 3rd quarter started, and sure enough, Dirk drained his first jumper, and right there you had a sense of what was coming. Bosh hit a jumper at the 10:56 mark giving Miami the 56-55 lead, but from there, Dallas began to slowly pull away, with the 3rd quarter ending with a buzzer beater from the least likely guy on the court, Mahimni. The Mavs, up 81-72 with 12 minutes to play.
Miami was able to get within 4 at 81-77, but from then the Mavs, a veteran team, put on a clinic - hitting clutch jumpers to answer Heat scores, with smart ball movement to get open looks and drives to the basket, and the zone defense to force Miami into launching long jumpers. Those didn't go in, so Dallas was able to have their revenge for the 2006 Finals loss, and it must have felt especially good to be celebrating on the Heat's floor.
As soon as the final buzzer sounded, Dirk ran off the floor and into the locker room - apparently so overcome with emotion, he needed some solace to compose himself. And why not, a culmination of, as he said, a goal he had spent half his lifetime attaining. It was great to see Jason Kidd host the trophy, after 17 years and two failed finals attempts. And last, Mark Cuban, strangely silent throughout the playoffs, there running onto the court to leap into the hands of his players, to bear hug his coach, it was a crowning achievement for a new generation of NBA owner.
And for all those who spent the entire season cheering against the Heat, vindication. LeBron, 21 points in this one, the problems were deeper than just him, but on him the blame will fall. Oh well, he has more millions than most, and secure in the knowledge that even Jordan had a few swings before finally connecting.
And so, here on June 13th, we finally put basketball to bed for the summer. Which in the case of the NBA, might be literal, as the impending lockout is just over two weeks away. Yup, we could soon have two of the four major US sports in the same situation. Come on soccer! At least we have the NCAA, which has many problems, but at risk games is not one of them.
Tonight we see if hockey will be done for a while, and we hockey fans know the price of long term lockouts - you have finals games on Versus. Though actually these last few games are all on NBC, at 8:00 eastern, from Boston. The biggest question of the night - will Vancouver forget how to play defense because they are on the east coast? Hockey has been slowing crawling out of the hole it put itself into, and a thrilling game 6 and then 7 could help. Canucks fans are in the difficult position of hoping it ends, but also hoping it ends on their home ice. The Cup will be in the building tonight, and when it comes to winter sports hardware, the Cup is greater than all others.
On the diamond, the Dodgers were indeed able to even up the series, thanks in part to Loney's grand slam in the 10-8 win. Back home tonight for the Reds to come in. News today that the Dodgers owe Manny $8.3 million this month - on top of the regular payroll (got to love those guaranteed MLB contracts!). But that's by the end of the month, the first June payroll is due in two days. The longer this circus is going on, the worse it is for the team. The focus needs to be back in the front office and on the field.
The other baseball highlight of Sunday was the Twins Liriano trying for no-hitter number 2 (of the season), and was perfect through 7 - but the 5 runs the Twinkies got in the bottom of the 7th cooled him off, and he lost the perfect game and no-hitter with a lead off single in the 8th. Back in these parts, Jeter is 7 hits away from 3,000, and he has his average up to .259 - better, but once this milestone is past, the talk about his drop off will intensify.
With basketball in hibernation, it's time for the college football countdown to move into high gear - and normally we would be about 5 weeks from the start of NFL camps, but we are still waiting to hear if any progress has been made there. Now is the time of year that many senior high school football players start heading to campus, to start training under the upperclassmen, learning the playbook, getting that head start before college camps open in early August. We will start seeing reports on how these kids look, how they are feeling with the move to college, and how they might find their way onto the field come September. My equipment manager brother is getting slammed with pallets and pallets of new pads, uniforms, helmets. It's coming. The Eternal Season keeps moving along.
All right, hope the fact your Monday is soon half over helps - catch you tomorrow!
Where To Find Live Sports On TV:
NHL Games - Stanley Cup Finals:
MLB Games - Regular Season:
Soccer aka Football:
The love of sports is shared across the generations, and there are few things as fun as debating the merits of certain players, strategies, and team histories with other, opposing sports nuts. If you are an all around sports fan, feel free to join the ride, and please comment/vent whenever you feel you need to.