Pregame Chat: Game 5 of the NBA Finals with D'Arcy Maine
D'Arcy Maine (7:04 PM)
Greetings from Dallas for Game 5 of the NBA Finals! For those of you living in some sort cave, we have an incredible series on our hands with both teams looking for a crucial win tonight. I'll be chatting up until a few minutes before the game and will be doing a postgame chat as well. And, if you're not completely sick of me at this point, I'll be doing a live blog throughout the actual game. But I know there is a lot to talk about before tip off so let's get this chat going!
Jake Portland or [via mobile]
Do you think LBJ was gassed or is there more of a mental thing going on?
D'Arcy Maine (7:06 PM)
I'm leaning towards the mental block, Jake. He's a young guy (26) and in amazing shape. He's played these types of minutes before. The fatigue angle doesn't explain his first half performance from Tuesday. It's not like he was playing a great game and then hit a wall. He just never got it going. I think he deserves more credit as an athlete than chalking this up to being tired. Maybe mentally, but not psychically.
Dallas, Texas [via mobile]
Do you think Brendan Haywood will be back for the series at all?
D'Arcy Maine (7:07 PM)
Like he was on Tuesday night, Haywood is a game-time decision due to that nagging strained right hip flexor. He played just three minute in Game 4 and was only able to participate in some light shooting drills at yesterday's practice. I would think he'll be essentially a non-factor tonight, even if he does suit up because he's clearly not anywhere close to 100%. I'll let you know when I hear the official word on his status.
Galen alexandria,la [via mobile]
Charles Barkley always has something negative to say about the heat. I think he is just bitter because he sees what can happen when the heat play to their potential, they could really be in the contention for multiple championships. What do u think?
D'Arcy Maine (7:08 PM)
I think the greatest thing about Barkley, and what makes him so fun to watch, is that he calls things exactly like he sees 'em. You can love him or hate him for it but that's who he is.
c.taylor,sacramento,ca. [via mobile]
when will the sports world embrace lebron james?
D'Arcy Maine (7:10 PM)
I think LeBron was completely embraced until 'The Decision'. Taylor. But winning is the ultimate healer in sports. If he can elevate his game to the level we know he's capable of playing at and help the Heat to a title, I think he'll be back in many people's good graces.
steve (washington dc) [via mobile]
Do you ever get the sense that LeBron would rather be doing anything else besides play basketball? Baseball anyone?
D'Arcy Maine (7:11 PM)
That may be the closest to a Jordan comparison we'll see in this chat tonight...
klaus foley al [via mobile]
What is the latest health status on Dirk?
D'Arcy Maine (7:13 PM)
According to Dirk, his fever has gone subsided and he has his sinus infection under control. He's not in perfect shape but by all accounts, he's completely ready to play and he doesn't forsee any health issues tonight.
Tom: davenport, ia [via mobile]
Shouldnt you be in the kitchen cooking for your husband instead of trying to be a woman in a mans job?
D'Arcy Maine (7:14 PM)
Sorry Tom. I don't cook.
curt Kansas City [via mobile]
Everyone know that Miami has more talent.....do you think the players around the leauge hope Dallas wins as a sentimental favorite?
D'Arcy Maine (7:16 PM)
I can't really speak for the players around the league, Curt, as I'm not one of them. Obviously. But I think most players in the NBA have a ton of respect for Dirk in particular and hope he wins a title before his career ends. I think a lot of guys also weren't thrilled with the way the Heat came together and would like to see them fall on the grandest stage. It probably would just depend on what player you ask.
Levent, arlington tx [via mobile]
Everbody here in texas thinks Wade, LeBron and Bosh are geat fakers. Do you agree?
D'Arcy Maine (7:19 PM)
Well, I know DeShawn Stevenson agrees with you, Levent. I think both of those guys do tend to overact and dramatize at times. However, they are certainly not alone in doing so and I truthfully don't fault anyone for doing whatever they have to do to win in a series this tight. Just part of the game. For better or worse.
nathan james/chicago,il [via mobile]
Why do people like to question lebron james talent?have they not been watching the playoffs from start to the finals.he has dominated all teams that have came in the heat's way.what do you think
D'Arcy Maine (7:21 PM)
I don't think people are neccesarily doubting LeBron's talent or ability, Nathan. Anyone with two eyes can see what a rare talent he is. I think are questionning his ability to step up in the clutch, sheer will and if he has that 'killer instict' that so many of the greats have possessed in the final minutes of the game.
Jorge (Tampa, FL) [via mobile]
I've always wondered. As a conspiracy theorist, do you think Stern has any hand in making sure the Finals play all 7 games since this has been one of the most watched Finals in a long time?
D'Arcy Maine (7:23 PM)
I love a good conspiracy theory, Jorge. And, while I do think having a seven-game series would be GREAT for the league, I don't want to take away from the amazing basketball we've gotten to watch over the last week and a half. These are two teams who are hungry for a title and will do whatever it takes to get it. But I don't think Stern is complaining.
CraigH Chicago Il [via mobile]
What impact will Stevenson's statements have on LJ's performance tonight.
D'Arcy Maine (7:27 PM)
Well, his comments after Game 3 didn't seem to do all too much to motivate LeBron. And he's o stranger to Stevenson's criticism. After Tuesday's game, Stevenson said LeBron "checked out". I'm not sure how LeBron will take those comments athough he probably can't really argue with it. I would think the rest of the Heat would hope they would light some sort of fire under him.
Darian (Memphis,TN) [via mobile]
If Miami does not win the finals, do you think this would put a dent in Lebron's career from all the hype from 'The Decison' ?
D'Arcy Maine (7:29 PM)
Temporarily I think it would, Darian. But, if the Heat were able to win it next year and in seasons to come, people would ultimately forget that they didn't win instantly.
jtb, Buffalo, ny [via mobile]
Any updates on Cuban? This is really getting out of hand...
D'Arcy Maine (7:30 PM)
I'm with you, JTB. It just doesn't seem right to be watching the Mavs at this point in the season without some Cuban-isms.
Aaron/Los Angeles,CA [via mobile]
D'arcy, if Mavs start with Barea again, will Coach Spo counter with Chalmers as a starter to get defense off to a running start?
D'Arcy Maine (7:32 PM)
As fas as I know, Spoelstra is planning on sticking with Bibby as the starter and having Chalmers play off the bench, just as they've been doing. I believe Barea will be starting again tonight as that switch wih Stevenson was so effective on Tuesday.
Jonathan [via mobile]
Does Dirk retire if they win the Championship?
D'Arcy Maine (7:34 PM)
No chance, Jonathan. Dirk is playing at such an amazing level. Can't think why he would want to retire now, win or lose. He's got another couple seasons in him. I haven't heard him say anything that would make me think he's even considering that.
Nick: Miami, FL [via mobile]
With the potential of three more games to be played, what kind of numbers would LBJ have to put up in order to get MVP over Wade? (Assuming Heat wins in 7).
D'Arcy Maine (7:36 PM)
I think LeBron would have to be largely responsible for the Heat's two wins and Wade would have to be relatively quiet. That's the simple answer. But there's a lot of basketball left to be played and either of teams could emerge vitorious.
Elgin, IL [via mobile]
If Heat loses game 5, how good will Cleveland feel about James' departure?
D'Arcy Maine (7:39 PM)
I think they would feel even better if the Mavs won the series. With two of the first four picks in the Draft, I think Cavs fans have a lot to feel good about regardless of the one who got away.
Hans (Cochabamba, Bolivia) [via mobile]
I think Jason Kidd shouldn't play as a starter. He scored 0 point in game 4. He always try to shot more 3pts than 2pts. JK is not a good point guard anymore.
D'Arcy Maine (7:43 PM)
Thanks for joining us in Bolivia! Kidd didn't have any points in Game 4 and has been lacking in terms of offensive production throughout the series (6 PPG). However, Kidd is a veteran of this game and brings an experience to the floor in ways that the can't be measured by numbers. I think if you asked most of the Mavs, they would tell you how comfortable they feel on the floor with J-Kidd. He's averaging six assists in this series and his ability to dish out the ball should not be understated either.
Chuck, wv [via mobile]
Is there a james/wade rift?
D'Arcy Maine (7:45 PM)
Not that I've observed, Chuck. Believe their talk, those guys are very tight. I think LBJ is happy to know that he can have an off night and have someone else with the capability to lead the team to a W. Unless they're incredibly talented actors, they are as close as ever.
D2 [via mobile]
Why do we always judge greatness by having the 'killer instinct'?
D'Arcy Maine (7:46 PM)
Because that's what often wins close games. If one is lacking that, they more often than not, won't be able to hit the game-winner or do the scrappy things that win a game in the final minute.
D'Arcy Maine (7:47 PM)
Just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you writing in nice things about the 'kitchen' comment earlier. I appreciate it!
Jose Miami [via mobile]
If lebron would have stayed in Cleveland do you think he would be in the finals?
D'Arcy Maine (7:48 PM)
That all depends on who else would have joined him in Cleveland. If he had the same roster he had last season, I don't believe so.
Ken [via mobile]
Dirk is undoubtably the best player the mavs have, but who is second?
D'Arcy Maine (7:50 PM)
I think Shawn Marion is making a strong case for that during this series, averaging 15.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 2.5 APG. He's also been a huge part of the Mavs' defensive success.
jake san antonio [via mobile]
Hey just tuned in, are you gonna be entertaining or boring today?
D'Arcy Maine (7:50 PM)
I'm shooting for boring.
B.cade clemson s.c. [via mobile]
Jus because lebron scored 8 points everyone is dogging him but take his defense and presence away the heat would be in worse shape do u agree
D'Arcy Maine (7:52 PM)
I do think it's worth noting that LeBron had nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss as well as the eight points. He went with a pass-first mentality and that's not a bad thing. The Heat just needed him to be a leader, instead of jut deferring to Wade. No question the Heat would have been worse off without him.
Matt (Albany, New York) [via mobile]
Who do you think the real leader of the heat is? LBJ or D Wade
D'Arcy Maine (7:54 PM)
That's the question of the series to many people, Matt. I really think it's possible to have two leaders on a team and Wade and LeBron are pretty close to that. Wade may have a slight edge because it's been his team for the past several years but they both are looked up to, respected, etc.
cassidy fort worth texas [via mobile]
The time is now!!! The mavericks are going to take this series...but my question is.. Out of Dwayne Wade, Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki, who deserves the ring most?
D'Arcy Maine (7:56 PM)
The time IS now. Or at least that's what the free shirts at the arena are telling me anyway. The question of who deserves it more as a little tricky. Everyone is going to have a different take on it. As for me, Dirk and Wade are playing the best ball in this series. Hands down. So in that sense, they both do. But, as Wade already has a title, you have to give Dirk the edge there. But, that's not to say LBJ doesn't deserve one either. He's not having a great series but he's hand an incredible career so far. There's an argument for all of them.
Pat Riley (on my way to the stadium) [via mobile]
How much better is Carlisle than my boy?
D'Arcy Maine (7:59 PM)
So weird, Pat. I thought I saw you already here. I would say I must have mistaken you with someone else... but have a pretty distinct look going on. However, I think Spoelstra is much smarter than people think in terms of the basketball X's ad O's. He knows what he's talking about. His biggest problem is keeping his team, and an interesting collection of egos, in check. This becomes pretty clear in the 4th quarter. Sometimes I just wonder what control, if any, he has of his guys at that point. Carlisle doesn't seem to have that issue.
Lebron James [via mobile]
I'm going to run over Dallas today, just giving you a heads up.
D'Arcy Maine (7:59 PM)
We've been warned.
Lee Wilson north carolina [via mobile]
I've seen lebron has been the one giving the pregame motivational speeches.. If his game continues like it is.. Will there be lost faith amongst his teammates?
D'Arcy Maine (8:01 PM)
I think his teammates realize just how special a talent he is, regardless of how he plays. They've seen his ability throughout the season. They obviously are hoping he can regroup and play like they know he can but I think his leadership i valued all the same.
roland , Oklahoma City [via mobile]
How will LeBron respond to all the criticism from game 4?
Jeffrey Davis, Chesterfield, SC [via mobile]
Do you think Lebein is capable of surpassing Kobe's 81, or even Wilt's 100 points performances out of anger and disgust tonight?
D'Arcy Maine (8:04 PM)
Thought those two posts should go back to back there. Kobe is the kind of player that responds to criticism and when he knows he's being doubted, it triggers some sort of freakish athleticism and fire power. LeBron hasn't often responded that way. But, after listening to a full 48 hours of doubters, I'm sure he wants to silence them from the et-go with a strong performance. We'll just see if that fuels him or ultimately puts more pressure on him, resulting in another lackluster effort.
chuck, wv [via mobile]
Ok, your in the finals, who ya want on your team, kobe or lebron?
D'Arcy Maine (8:05 PM)
No question. Kobe. He's a proven winner in the Finals. LeBron has time to change that opinion though.
Dan (sioux falls, sd. [via mobile]
Will Barea be in the starting lineup for mavs again?
D'Arcy Maine (8:09 PM)
I believe Barea will be starting again tonight Dan. Carlisle's instict to have him start over Stevenson on Tuesday proved to be effective and I think they'll utilize the same plan today.
D.Bush( Natchitoches,La) [via mobile]
What times does the game start
D'Arcy Maine (8:13 PM)
9 PM EST! Only on ABC.
Sean Sayshun Lewisville, TX [via mobile]
I think you are wonderful with your commentary. Very engaging and ignore the misogynists from earlier but my question is where do the Mavs get a secondary scoring punch to match a potential one-two blow from LBJ and D-Wade? Marion got dinged up two days ago and JET is inconsistent. What do you think?
D'Arcy Maine (8:16 PM)
Thanks Sean. I appreciate that! Terry can be that guy and was for stretches on Tuesday. He just needs to be a little more consistent. Marion has been a huge part of the Mavs' success and I think should be okay tonight after injuring his calf in G4.
Rob (Plano) [via mobile]
So I am from Dallas and am on vacation. We are sitting in yankee stadium during rain delay - should I leave and watch the mavs game?
D'Arcy Maine (8:17 PM)
Yes. Without a doubt, Rob. Go to Stan's across the road and ask them to put the game on one of the TV's. Do itttttt.
Roger Henderson,NV [via mobile]
D'arcy do you think coach Spo gets fired if Miami does not win?
D'Arcy Maine (8:18 PM)
I don't think so, Roger. He does not have an easy task as a head coach, despite the talent he has to work with. Have to think the Heat front office recognizes that. He should have at least another year to get this group together if they can't do it now.
Red from dallas [via mobile]
Caron butler...play or sit?
D'Arcy Maine (8:21 PM)
Still sitting. I don't think we'll see him until the fall. As much as it frustrates him to sit on the bench. Carlisle was joking with the media before the game about his return but it's not happening.
Wichita,ks [via mobile]
Why isn't the heat playing Ilgauskas in the finals?????
D'Arcy Maine (8:23 PM)
One would think Spoelstra would at least consider playing Zydrunas Ilgauskas in this series, Kansas. He could at least help contain Chandler for a few quality minutes during the game. Haven't heard that Heat are thinking of making any rotation changes though so I would imagine he will continue to be delegated to bench duty through the rest of the Finals.
Hanna CA [via mobile]
It's good to see another woman who loves basketball.. Is the anything Spoelstra can/will do to bring the game to Lebron? Or will it be up to him to step up?
D'Arcy Maine (8:24 PM)
Right back at you, Hanna! Happy to have you in the chat. I think with a player like LeBron, Spoelstra knows he's going tomotivate himself and already has put enough pressure on hiself to step up his game. I think Spo just lets him do whatever he feels like he needs to do. I do wonder though what a more veteran head coach would do in this situation. It's a tough call as a coach.
Darian (Memphis,TN) [via mobile]
Do you think there will be trash talk between Stevenson and James though out the game?
D'Arcy Maine (8:26 PM)
Wouldn't be great if they were miked up for that, Darian? I'm sure there would be some highly entertaining comments between the two. Over/under on Soulja Boy references?
Bradenton, Fl [via mobile]
If Coach Spolstra hasn't figured it out yet, LaBron is physically spent @ the 41 minute mark. He needs a break mid 4th Qtr in order to finish like he is so capable of doing - do you think coach will rest him after the game 4 embarrassment?
D'Arcy Maine (8:28 PM)
I know a lot of people are pointing to the amount of minutes LeBron is playing and I'm sure that's a small factor in his lesser production. However, LeBron is 26 and in incredible shape. I just don't buy that as the main reason. It's not like he hasn't played those kind of minutes before. I'm holding to the mental block theory with LBJ and hope, for his sake, he can find a way to get over it before it's too late. As he said on Twitter today, it's now or never.
benj Los Angeles [via mobile]
why is it they have low scoring games?
D'Arcy Maine (8:28 PM)
Great defense from both sides, Benj.
Jim (Orlando, FL) [via mobile]
Dirk won G2 with split finger, He won G4 with temperature of 101 fever. Now he look healthy, do you think that the Mavs win tonight with maybe 10 points more?
D'Arcy Maine (8:29 PM)
When you put it that way... don't you think a healthy Dirk is a bad thing for the Mavericks? I kid, I kid. We'll see how he does in better shape than we've seen him.
Ruim philadelphia pa [via mobile]
Why does everyone want to try and label Lebron as the next Mike why can't he just be the first Lebron? Come on yall he's good and on the path to greatness let him be him.
D'Arcy Maine (8:31 PM)
AMEN. We're so quick to label people the 'next' Jordan, Brady, Madonna, etc. But that's not fair to the up and comers. LeBron is a great player and the sky is the limit.But we'll just have to wait and see how his career finishes before making a real judgment.
D'Arcy Maine (8:33 PM)
Okay, everyone. That does it for me from the pregame. I'll be live blogging during the game and doing a postgame chat. Hope to see you in either of those forums! But, regardless, hope you enjoy the game! I'm hoping for another last-minute nailbiter...