Greetings from Dallas for Game 4 of the NBA Finals! It's another blistering 100+ degree day here in Dallas but the fans are still out in full force and hopeful for another dominanting performance from Dirk in what feels like a must-win game for the Mavs. I'l be chatting right until game time so send in your questions and observations now and let's get this thing rolling!
Is tonight a must-win game for dallas?
I would say so, Ian. We all know the stat by now about the winner of G3 in a tied series winning the Finals all 11 times it's happened prior since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format. However, that really is just a meaningless stat in many ways and has no actual bearing on this specific series. Tonight, however, is very much a 'make or break' situation. I don't think this Mavs team could recover from a 3-1 deficit. But a tied series entering Game 5 at home? That's a totally different story.
Is Dallas really hotter than Miami? Do you think that weather has any bearing on the outcome of the game?
Took me a minute to figure out if we were talking about a literal meaning of the word 'hot' there, Justin. But, yes, it's significantly hotter than Miami here in Dallas. It's currently 101 degrees and the reported temperature of the concrete outside the arena is 137 degrees. I'm not kidding. It's disgusting to be outside for more than five minutes. And maybe even dangerous. That said, I don't think the outside weather will play any real role inside the arena. I would think most of the players are drinking more water and electrolytes than usual to prevent any dehydration but that's probably the extent of the weather's impact.
Haywood status for game 4
Haywood still remains a game-time decision with his strained right hip flexor. He underwent an MRI yesterday that revealed the swelling had gone down somewhat but it wasn't enough of an improvement to make a decision at that point. The Mavs certainly could use him. In his absence on Sunday, his replacement Ian Mahinmi hd just one rebound and five fouls in eight minutes. I'll keep you posted when I hear an update on his status.
I am a die hard Heat fan....been one since I was a kid in the early 90s. Anyways regardless who takes over this series, the winner will be American Airlines.
Amen, Mike. I tweeted that as soon as we knew the matchup for the Finals. In this capitalist world, American Airlines and the insane amount of times we've heard their name, is the clear winner. Can't get better advertising than they have over the past week.
Why are Terry and Stevenson now resorting to cheap shots towards Wade and the Heat on playing defense?
Do Jason Terry and Stevenson really think it's a good idea to call out these guys? Do they think it may cause them to take their focus off the task at hand? Bad idea, right?
So many comments on this. I guess we'll have to see how tha strategy plays out. Stevenson is obviously no stranger to calling out LeBron. Remember that whole Jay-Z/Soulja Boy comparison LeBron made last time? I think the Mavs are starting to feel a little desperate and are just trying whatever they can to gain a mental edge over the Heat. Bosh, however, called it motivation and fuel entering Game 4. Have to think he's probably right.
Why are the mavericks trash-talking? Why is Rick Carlisle allowing it?And how is that going to affect tonight's game?
I can't say as to why Carlisle would allow it but I'm guessing he didn't know about the comments until after the fact. Doesn't seem like a great idea. Would imagine he's spoken to Terry and Stevenson about it and we won't see that after tonight's game or at tomorrow's practice session.
Hi D'arcy,How much different would this series be if Caron Butler were playing?Roddy Beaubois?
Butler would be a huge addition for the Mavs, especially on offense. Dirk could use some help in late-game situations and I think CB would help fill that void. I talked to Butler a little bit yesterday and I definitely get the impression if there was ANY way he could play, he would. He's pretty frustrated cheering on the sidelines. I think his presence could have been the difference in Game 3.
Looks like I'll have some time to chat tonight.
Shouldn't you be getting ready for the CFL season?
Pedsonally I think history will judge Bron on what he does ON the court rather than off. What do you think? Also are there any celebs at these games in Dallas?
If LeBron can win some titles, and play a major role in doing so, I would think we'll remember him for his play on the court first and foremost. If he is unable to win multiple rings, I think people will think of him for 'The Decision' and related actions. Winning is the ultimate eraser in sports. Plain and simple.
Does it "say" anything that dirk is not trash-talking, while his teammates are? (Dirk, in a way, trash-talked about JET)
I think Dirk's focus is solely on basketball. He knows he's played his best in this series. I would think guys like Terry are not feeling the same way and are looking at any an every way to take an edge. Dirk has the confidence to let his basketball playing speak for itself.
Honestly if the Heat need Jason Terry to "trash talk" them in order to play at their highest intensity level in the NBA finals, then they have some serious problems. Never understood why so much is made out of a little talk.
I think it's just human nature, Thomas. I know when someone publicly calls me out, I want to prove them wrong and use it as fuel. I think most people do that. Why would we expect Bosh, LeBron, etc. to be any different?
... And everyone loves a good soundbite on 'SportsCenter'. Hash tag fact.
What had LeBron done off the court that's so bad?
That whole 'Decision' thing rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, Davis. He went from being a national hero to a villain essentially overnight.
did the lakers take a dive, so the heat could get a championship?
I love a good conspiracy theory, Geno but I can't imagine any scenario where Kobe would 'take a dive' to help someone else's legacy. The Mavs swept the Lakers because they were playing better ball. We shouldn't take away from that accomplishment.
Will the mavs win 2nite???
If the bench can step up and anyone besides Dirk can make a basket in the 4th quarter than yes. Otherwise, stick a fork in 'em.
D'Arcy, why is eeeeverybody(fans and analysts) getting so caught up in the whole 'gm 3 winner wins the series when its goes into it tied at 1-1'? I understand the history but then again, what were Miami's odds of winning gm 3 then? They hadnt won in Dallas since 2006. Give Dallas some slack is all im saying. If they win today, its a 3 game series and a toss up...
You're absolutely right, Juan. It is just a stat and has no actual relevelance to this series at hand. To me, tonight is a must-win for Dallas. If they can even it up, it's anyone's series to win. I think the Mavs and Heat recognize that too and know that old 'we play the game for a reason' line of thinking.
Tom Brady's beiber haircut or Dirk's golden locks?
Dirk's golden locks. All the way. Brady and Bieber should take some notes.
Do you think if LBJ tries to press for the MVP, Miami will lose this series?
I honestly believe LeBron when he says he is more concerned with the team win than padding his own statistics. I think he knows people will remember the Heat winning it all over his specific production.
Why does everyone say bout how much they dislike lebrOn and his decision but then they pay $ to go watch him and while they boo they are taking so many pictures of him!!!!!
Classic love-to-hate situation, Houston. Same reason the Yankees frequently sell out on the road and Kristin Cavallari was brought onto 'Th Hills'.
Why doesn't Wade get more credit. His leadership speaks for itself. All I hear is talk of lebron.
LeBron has been the focus of the media for the past few years and that only increased when he came to Miami. Wade's reputation didn't really change when he decided to stay in Miami. LeBron has a lot more on the line in terms of legacy and the media attention reflects that. Wade certainly has gotten his fair share on the spolight though during this series and he's quietly reminding people of his role on this team.
With all the talk of Wade being the series MVP, does it sound like people getting the asterix ready for LBJ winning a ring? The old "he didn't win Wade did..."
Thanks for joining us in South Africa! I think to many people, Wade getting the MVP would somehow take away from LeBron's first title. It would reaffirm that he 'needed' Wade to win a title and really couldn't do it on his own. I think having gotten rid of the pressure of never winning a title could allow him to play better in the future and up to his capabilities so maybe it would even out in the future.
Any mark cuban sightings? He's been real quiet...
Eerily quiet, JTB. Cuban is currently in the middle of a self-imposed media silence. This bums me out to no end as I really enjoy his commentary and rants. Although his wallet is probably grateful. I saw him before Game 3, shooting around in a full practice uniform for about 45 minutes but have not seen him today. I'm sure he's here somewhere but just strangely low key.
Do I have the wrong chat room? I thought this was about Game 4, but the only question answered are about the sideshows.
That doesn't seem to be a question about Game 4 either, Tim... 90% of the questions I'm seeing are about LeBron. I'm just trying to please the crowd. Send in whatevr thoughts, questions, etc. you may have!
Why does Erik continually start Mike Bibby when Mario Chalmers is a more consistent 3 point shooter and high percentage shooter than Bibby ?
That's a question I know I've wondered myself, Tyler. Chalmers has played more minutes and has contributed significatly more in terms of production throughout the Finals and the playoffs. At this point, Bibby is really just the starter as a technicality. Chalmers plays the quality minutes. I think Spoelstra is just going with the old 'if it ain't broke' mantra and liking Chalmers off the bench.
Who do u think will win game 4 ? If heat does win this series who do u think the finals MVP would be ?
Right now, if the Heat won, Wade is the obvious choice for MVP. However, the Heat still have two games to win and anything is possible. If LeBron leads them to those wins, he could certainly win it.
Is Brendon Haywood playing in tonights game?
Still no update on Haywood, Eric. He's listed as a gametime decision. Will let you know as soon as I hear something.
If lebron wins the championship do u think he should bring the ring home to his real fans in akron.
Based on what I know, the fans in Akron have stayed pretty loyal to LBJ. Would think he would do something in town. And hope the haters don't find out about it...
Love basketball and love the Heat... My question is this: Besides winning the Ring, are there any other perks for the team that wins it all? You know.. More money or anything? All NBA players are so desperate to win it all and that is there only focus.. I understand it from a competitiveness stand point.. Just didn't know if there is more benefits or not..
Good question, Chad. I think for most of these guys winning a title is enough as it's something all of these guys have presumably dreamt of their whole lives. However, the winning team does get a $12 million bonus which is split amongst all of the players. For guys like LeBron or Dirk, this probably doesn't mean a whole lot. But for some of the role players who make in the six-digits, have to think they would be pretty happy about that payday.
After the Heat win tonight, is game 5 going to be cancelled, since no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit?
Bold. You're the reason people don't like Heat fans, Mark. Although I'm sure you're a lovely individual.
I wish the players in general would quit flopping. These are big strong athletes and it seems like when they get hit just a bit they go flying off the other opponent.
Players will do anything to get an edge in a closely-contested game. It's annoying but I don't blame them for trying.
I'm a die hard Miami fan, and I wonder why everyone just denies the fact that they are way better than the Mavericks! The Mavericks have been playin catch up every game and luckily it fell their way in game 2. Who do you think is the better team??
A diehard Heat fan in Dallas? You're a brave soul, Brandon. I think the Mavs ability to exploit the Heat in the 4th quarter of G2 proved that the Mavs deserved to be here. They didn't sweep the Lakers for no reason afterall..
Do u think Jet be the starting lineup tonight?
Nice to have you chatting from Hong Kong, Jim! Terry will not be starting tonight but Barea will in place of Stevenson.
I'm hearing Haywood IS active for tonight's game. Not sure how many minutes to expect from him but he will be in uniform and ready to go.
Have you gotten a sense of what it's like in the Mav's lockeroom? Heat lockeroom?
I've gotten to spend a decent amount of time other the last week with both teams, Eli. Either the guys on the Heat are incredible actors or they genuinely enjoy being in each other's company. There is a real comraderie with all of them. They are a fun bunch. The Mavs seem to be a little more serious but definitely are a team in every sense. Have to wonder if both teams are so close because they've been winning or if they've been winning becase they're so close.
If LeBron wins a championship this year how do you think Cleveland will feel?
Cleveland? Your thoughts, please.
What do you think of the Mavs changing their lineup? Does it show desperation? Are they at the point that they are just willing to try anything to win?
Is that a bad thing, Brandon? I would think a team should try and switch thingsup until they figure out what works. I'd be more concerned if they didn't make any adjustments at this point.
Do you see Corey Brewer playing a role tonight?
Loving all of the international chatters tonight! Unfortunately I don't see Brewer playing a role... or even a minute tonight. He's yet to play in this series and hasn't played since Game 1 of the Thuder series on May 17th...
Ima cavs fans but if they aren't over it by now and more excited about the upcoming nba draft and the early season success of the Indians than they got a lot of growing up to do
Thanks for the insight, Bryan!
I got another one.... The stats don't lie about Jason Terry in the 4th quarter. They are 0-2 against Miami when he doesn't score. But when he does they win.... Do you think they will try and get him going in the 4th?
Great observation, Jace. I think they've certainly been trying to get the Jet going in the 4th. His shots just haven't been falling. I'm sure he'll keep shooting, the Mavs just have to hope they drop.
Does dirk finger still ache?
He's still playing with a splint on his finger but I think it continues to improve and is becoming less and less of an issue with every passing day. He's sure playing okay in spite of it.
Is there any chance Caron Butler gets activated?
I know Butler wants to return to action and is beyond frutrated not playing but I don't think it's possible, Mikel. The typical recovery time for his injury is six months and he's just over five. If there was any way he could play, he would. It just doesn't seem likely at this point.
So stevenson trash-talked and then doesn't get the start... Your take
Was wondering the same thing, BMG. Have to consider if the two things are related. I'm sure we'll never hear if that was the real reason though. Might be a combination of that and wanting to tweak the lineup to see if the Mavs can come out aggressivly and get an early lead.
I spent all cavs season with my dad and I watching lebron play. It was a gift to have him here. Cleveland fans will hate me for saying this but we gave him nothing close to a second superstar. The truth is he is the best player on the heat regardless of the stay sheet. Passing, Defense, Team Play. Cleveland and myself may still feel bitter but in the end if we all were in a job and not accomplishing our goals, we would move on, try something new. Lebron didn't "give up on the city of Cleveland" he gave us many seasons and I feel if he wins a ring it was well worth it, because he spent so many years with Cleveland holding him from it.
Great take, Jon. Thanks for sending it in.
I'm a Magic fan but find myself rooting for the Heat. I can't understand why this is the case when all season long I rooted against them. Any thoughts?
I'm guessing it's not because of Florida pride, Charlie. Maybe you're just sick of hearing about the Heat and hope them winning a title will somehow quiet the talk next season and over the offseason?
Is it me or is Bosh like lamar odom east... when he shows up they win but will he show up..that's the question
If that's the case, can we expect a bad reality show in Bosh's future?
How big of a factor is Brandon Haywood if he plays tonight?
Haywood has been activated and is expected to play but I'm not sure how healthy he actually is. Hard to know for sure what kind of role he will play without that knowledge. If he's close to 100%, he could be a major difference maker backing Chandler. We'll know soon enough.
How come James is a villian now because of the show he had for making a decision where to go. If it was so horrible, then why did so many people watch it then??????
Same reason people buy US Weekly to read about Lindsay Lohan's latest arrest. Sheer quantity of interest doesn't mean people agree.
Who do you think will win tonite?
Let's end with this one, shall we? I think the Heat win tonight, 93-89. But don't make any bets based on my opinion.
That does it for me, gang. Thanks to everyone for following along. I'll be blogging live during the game and will be back chatting after. Hope to see you in either of those forums. Enjoy the game!