A dozen win streak is something to be proud of in the NBA. But when it comes to the Mavericks its just a set-up for a potential failure. We’ve seen this before, the team with the best record in the NBA a few years back getting killed by an 8-seeded Golden State Warrior team, a playoff upset that will go down in history. That’s why its appaling to me that fellow NBA fans and Dallas natives are imagining a Lakers upset in the playoffs as well. Let’s get one thing straight: the Mavericks will never be “that team” unless they return the Finals and win it all with a killer instinct.
Okay so after all that, there IS still a way for the Mavs to get this banana-hungry monkey off their backs. The addition of Haywood, Butler and Stevenson was more of a benefit in terms of toughness than talent in my eyes. The Mavs were already a very talented team but they lacked that integral toughness when opposing teams decided to turn it on. We’ve seen early instances where Butler’s tenacity is shown and the bench loves it. But how long can 1 to 2 players alone keep it up? Will Butler and company eventuall fall into the notorious complacent Maverick behavior? Only time can tell. But if the Mavs can adapt to Butler’s “take no prisoners” attitude this just might be the year for the Mavs.
Paul Pierce played 51 minutes and finished 22 points, but the box score doesn’t tell you the stupid mental mistake he made. On a horrible attempt of a pass by Pierce, Joakim Noah heads off in a fast break. Pierce, who knows he has 5 fouls in an integral Game 6, undoubtedly fouls Noah on a dunk that was clearly going to happen. He should have layed off the foul and saved himself for a possible series-winning shot. It just shows you how far away Pierce is from being “the best player”. Plays like these are what high school coaches constantly implement in teenage minds: Don’t foul if he is clearly going to make the basket and don’t foul if your one foul away from being fouled out. Its times like these in which players like LeBron and Kobe raise their mental game far above and beyond anyone else.
I brought up the “best player in the league” note because this past summer Pierce was quoted as saying,
“I don’t think Kobe is the best player. I’m the best player. There’s a line that separates having confidence and being conceited. I don’t cross that line but I have a lot of confidence in myself.”
Well, he must have been off his “best” game when he took himself out of a pivotal Game 6. See the thing with Pierce is that he doesn’t know his own role. He thinks he is more than he really is, if he just relaxed and identified his role he would help Boston much more. He’s not close to being the best player in the league, he might not even be the best player on his team. With Allen’s 51 point effort last night, Pierce was nowhere to be found besides two key field-goals late in the game. Pierce is a complement player, he feeds off energy and streaky shooting. More importantly, he feeds off of Garnett’s passion and intensity. It seems as if Pierce is always trying to prove himself against the likes of Kobe and LeBron, otherwise why would he come out with such an absurd comment this summer?
I find it surprising that Doc Rivers goes to Pierce last night for game-winning shots when Allen, who is shooting unconsciously, clearly has the hot hand. Maybe Pierce shouldn’t get all the blame, its probably Rivers feeding him all this mumbo jumbo about how he really is the best
player in the league. Don’t get me wrong, Pierce has the capability to take over a game but he can’t do it all by himself. That’s the difference between him and a Lebron James, Lebron is so mentally talented that nothing can weigh him down – he can literally carry the team on his shoulders (as we saw him take a lackluster Cavs team to the Finals a few years back).
I just hope the Celtics can finish off a young Bulls team on their home floor tomorrow night, because if they fail the mental mistake that Pierce made will be that much bigger.
Let’s see here, Jeremy Maclin – comparable to Boldin, how? Come over all you Eagles fan, go ahead and dissect me if you want to. I was going to hop over here prior to the NFL draft and post my mock but I thought I would have a lot more to write about after the draft, considering all the significant mistakes NFL teams would make. I must say that Eagles are right up there in terms of a over-rated draft considering what they could have done.
I know most critics are saying that the Eagles had one of the best drafts, if not the best, in the whole league. But let’s take a look at what they got and what they got and should have gotten:
19th overall: WR Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, Missouri)
Can we say injury prone with this guy? Let’s see here, in 2006 he sustains a season-ending knee injury. In 2008, he suffers a game-ending ankle injury versus Illinois. He also hyper-extends his knee at the combine. If the Eagles didn’t have enough injury problems already they compound it with this guy. Maclin may be a great player in years to come but rookie receivers are notoriously known to suck it up their first year (I know what your saying, look at DeSean Jackon you fool!, but I’m just playing the statistics). Many scouts are saying that Maclin is a tough player for his size and a true competitor, but the NFL game is total different and the Eagles will only be hoping and praying that Maclin will become what the highest compliments say about him.
What they should have gotten:
WR Anquan Boldin (6-1, 217)
A guaranteed factor. A game-changer. A known fact that he will raise the level of McNabb’s playing skills through the roof. This guy has been begging to get out of Arizona. The Eagles could have packaged this pick along with something else miniscule to get Boldin. Arizona could have and most likely would have bit on any sort of deal because they were so hungry. Instead the Eagles are stuck with a unknown, injury-prone receiver in Maclin.
Imagine Boldin on one side and DeSean Jackson on the other. As a Cowboys fan I am already cringing and calling Jerry Jones to grab a veteran corner with the loss of Anthony Henry. Jackon stretches the field so well and Boldin is such a great receiver in the middle that the field would be wide open for Westbrook. The Eagles have been a time needing that one piece and everyone around the league knows that one piece is a wide-receiver. We saw what they had with Terrell Owens and if McNabb wasn’t beat-up in the Super Bowl a few years back they could have won it all. Boldin may not be a game-changer anymore but he can certainly attract defenses to him much more than any of the other Eagles receivers can.
Don’t get me wrong Maclin may be a good receiver in this league, but nothing of Boldin’s caliber. Think if the Eagles were able to grab Boldin in a draft-day trade. McNabb is nearing the end of his career and Westbrook is gaining more injuries each season, with the Boldin addition we would be talking about Superbowl aspirations for a team with veterans nearing their last straw. Many teams in the NFL would be fearing the Eagles and their deadly three-headed attack of Boldin, Westbrook and McNabb. This could finally vault McNabb into that Hall of Fame status if he could win the big game. HBO’s Hard Knocks would probably be following around the Eagles and their training camp due to all the hype – instead we will be sitting here wondering the “what-if’s?”
Then again, the off-season hasn’t finished yet so the Eagles could make a move. I might have to eat my words – good news for you Eagles fans.