Greetings from Miami for Game 6 of the NBA Finals! It's truly 'now or never' (and not just a fun phrase to say on Twitter) for LeBron and Co. Can't wait to see how the Heat respond in the must-win situation. We've got a TON of things to talk about so send in your questions, comments, hopes, dreams, etc. and let's get this chat started!
Is lebron gonna come out of his slump tonight?
A LeBron question? There's a surprise. While LBJ obviously did finish with a triple-double on Thursday, he had just two points in the 4th quarter and has left us with countless questions about his ability to close out a game. He claims to not be listening to the pressure but I don't buy it. And the more he keeps getting asked about it, the less confident I feel he can overcome this mental block. I have more faith in Wade finding a way to win this game tonight than I do LeBron. I would expect him to have a big first half but for his point contribution to decline in the 2nd.
Is d. Wade still injured
Despite a bruised left hip, Wade will be playing tonight and he claims that it will be a non-issue. He participated in practice yesterday and by all accounts seems close to 100%. I don't think it should be too huge of a problem for him tonight.
Do you think this is the end of the road for Heat or there's a game 7??
I have a feeling this series doesn't end tonight, B. I think the Heat find a way to win this one and force a Game 7. I would imagine Spoelstra has made some adjustments on D to at least try and prevent the same amount of looks from behind the arc that Dallas had in Game 5 as they went 13-for-19. Limiting those opportunities would help prevent this game from getting out of hand and perhaps even give the Heat the early edge.
Is Haywood playing tonight?
Like he has been the last few games, Haywood is a game-time decision tonight as well. Still no official word on if he will play due to the nagging hip flexor injury. He was confident yesterday that he would play but didn't seem quite as sure in this morning's shootaround. I'll let you know as I soon as I hear either way.
Is carlisle going to out-coach spoelstra/riley again? Or will the heat make adjustments for the first time in this series?
Carlisle has completely out-coached Spoelstra throughout this series in my mind, FW. His decision to put Barea in the starting lineup for Stevenson has proven to be a great call and I'm impressed that he knew both players well enough to understand how they would respond to such a decision. His decisions on defense have made a huge impact on this series being 3-2 at this point. As for Spoelstra, I just really question how much control he has over his guys, especially late in the game. Would think he'll try and make some defensive adjustments going into this game but I don't know if he'll make enough adjustments to make a difference from the sidelines.
Is Dirk still sick
I think Dirk has almost completely recovered from his sinus infection/fever. I don't think he'll have any of the Game 4 symptoms impacting his game tonight. By all accounts, he has a clear bill of health. He does still have a slint on his left hand but that hasn't seemed to be a issue so far.
I heard a rumor that dirk got engaged after the conference finals... I love dirk and totally wish him the best in life but that is NOT the time to get engaged! Do you have any insider info?
I know that rumor was circulating around, Megan, but from everything I've heard, it's not true. Although, whatever Dirk has been doing lately, should probably be a model for every player in the future to do going into the Finals.
Is it fair to say that if u asked Lebron for $1.00 in change he would only give you back 75 cents because he never gives the Fourth Quarter?
I wish I had a dollar, or seventy five cents, for every time I heard that joke over the last 72 hours. Kudos to whoever started that one.
Do you think the entire thing about wade and lebron mocking dirks fever was blown out of proportion by the media? I mean no one made such a big deal when stevenson was talking trash but now everyone thinks james and wade are just so classless. I do think they're both a little stupid for doing that in front of a camera and doing that to themselves, but I just don't think its a big deal. Your thoughts?
Here's the thing about 'coughgate', Trent. I read somewhere yesterday that it comes down to LeBron and Wade thinking they're smarting than everyone else and thought no one would catch on to what they were doing. Of course, everyone with two eyes (and probably some blind people) saw exactly what they were doing. When they were figured out, Wade got VERY defensive yesterday at his press conference and essentially tried to blame the media for blowing out of prorportion. Which, as it turns out, was exactly what they thought would happen. Or so he said. I think these two need to spend less time trying to toy around with the media and more time figuring out how to win a basketball game. Making the Mavs' star player angry probably didn't help the latter.
Why does pretty much the whole country want Dallas to win this game?
It definitely seems like everyone I've encountered outside of South Florida is pulling for the Mavs, Emily. Can't imagine Jerry Jones is all too thrilled that 'America's Team' is the Dallas... Mavericks.
with a big game 6 and 7 will Lebron redeem himself?
That's a big 'if' (or 'with' in this case), Earnest. If LeBron has two huge games and leads the Heat to a title? Yup. I would say that would be more than enough for redemption. But, say LeBron has two big games but it's not enough to carry Miami, I think he'll still have his fair share of critics and doubters.
Why don't the start chalmers instead of bibby? Because he's a much better all around player than bibby.
That's been one of the top questions I've been getting throughout this series. Chalmers has been getting more minutes and been a much bigger conrtibutor to the Heat throughout the playoffs. It seems Bibby is really just the starter through name only as Chalmers plays in the crunch time and the quality minutes. Jason Terry even went as far as to call Chalmers the Heat's most impactful player outside of the Big Three in his press conference yesterday. The only reason I can think of for Coach Spo to leave Chalmers on the bench is that he's become the leader off the second unit and has done so well in that role. I think a lot of other coaches would have pulled the trigger on making that change by now.
Hi D'Arcy, LBJ here. I was just wondering your personal opinion on something. Should i actually come out and play the 4th quarter, or do the usual stand around and maybe get 1 bucket? Please be honest here.
That's tough one, Bronny. I like to show up at the end of events myself. But it's not for everyone.
Will the crowd be a factor tonight and if so how much?
That's a great question, VA. The Miami fans have been criticized harshly throughout the season (most notably by Barkley) and haven't been the loudest, rowdy, any adjective you would want in a crowd, etc. However, much like LeBron, I think they have something to prove tonight as well and may want to try and silence the doubters. The'll be into it but it's not exactly the same home court advanatge a team like the Celtics or the Bulls might have.
D'arcy, do you feel that with the zone defense Dallas has employed, you will marry me?
That's exactly how I pictured my proposal. Count me in dude.
Do you think Sottie Pippin is eating his words right about now?
In Scottie's defense, he did say at the END of LeBron's career we might call him the best ever. He is only 26 and has plenty of years left to prove that. It's not completely out of the question. This series just isn't doing much to support that claim.
Is wade going to save the day?
If anyone is for Miami, it's definitey Wade. No doubt about it. His experience, confidence and ability has proven invaluable for the Heat in thi series. He's the reason they have any chance at all.
Wade's words aside, will his health become an issue in this game?
I'm certainly not a doctor but I think he really is close to 100%. I could see him playing a little cautiously to start the game because he doesn't want to reinjure or further injure his hip. All and all though, he seemed okay at practice and I believe that's he ready to play. Certainly something to keep an eye on though in the first few minutes.
Where's mark Cuban
He's here somewhere. Just very quiet. Have to hope his self-imposed media ban wil be lifted if the Mavs win this thing. I've missed his opinions. And the subsequent Twitter comments about his opinions.
Do you think lebron's elbow could be re-injured, explaining his 4th quarter woes. The same mysyerious, unexplainable elbow that plagued him last year?
I think if there was any chance of that at all, we would have heard. People like to make excuses (and we've been hearing some VERY interesting ones lately... look on Google) about his lackluster play lately.
How is the air in miami, nervous or still confident?
To be honest, I don't really get the same read of the fan atmosphere around town as I would in some other towns. Many people seem generally apathetic. However, the players seemed focused and somewhat relaxed. The fans currently in the building (maybe 800) seem eager to be here and anxious for this thing to get underway. There was an ominious thunderstorm on my way to the arena and tried to read into the symbolism of that.
If the mavs come out on top tonight, effectively crushing the heat's title hopes, would it be reasonable to consider the fact that "this town just isn't big enough for wade and james"? Could their personalities and abilities be two dominant to co-exist?
A lot of people are saying that and hinting that the Heat's problems stem from an ego clash with their two stars. However, I've gotten to spend a decent amount of time around this team and genuinely think LeBron and Wade like being around each other and want to continue to be on the same team. It's just an adjustment for both of them. They haven't mastered it completely yet.
Can a spurs fan root for mark Cuban and the mavs to win?
I met a Spurs fan last week in the DFW area who was facing a similar dilemma. He was rooting for the Mavs because he felt like it was his duty as a Texan. It also depends on who you would rather watch endless interviews with - Cuban or LeBron. I think for a lot of people it's the old 'lesser of two evils' debate.
If lebrick goes out and plays bad, could we please remove the King James label?
Well, he did give himself that nickname so I guess you would have to ask him...
Do u think LeBRON knows his letting everyone down by choking in the moment to shine?
Trust me, he knows. LeBron knows EVERYTHING that is said about him.
Do you think fatigue will be a factor for Heat, especially LeBron? HEAT starters racking up alot of minutes.
There's been a lot of concern about LeBron's minutes in particular. He's averaging 44 MPG. This is obviously a lot but it's nothing he's not used to and he's in incredible shape. He also hasn't been the primary scorer throughout so that, to me, means he shoud be able to play a few more minutes than we typically may expect.
Who do u think will have a bigger celebration if mavs win dallas or cleveland
I would love to be a bar owner or frequenter in either city if the Mavs won this deal. Please invite me to your establishments if that happens.
Whose singing the National Anthem tonight?
That would be Mr. Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony. I watched his rehearsal about an hour ago. Fair warning, he takes some, um, liberties with this one.
What's Lebron state of mind right now? Because they can't push a game 7 without him
Canuck yeah! Just wanted to have an excuse to throw that phrase out there. I think LeBron feels the pressure and desperately wants to have a big game ad come through for this team when it counts. He seems focused and ready to go but I think underneath his tough exterior, he's pretty nervous.
Just noticed that about half of the crowd in the arena are Mavs fans at the moment. Some of them have some very good seats. You'll see them on the broadcast I'm sure.
Is Juwan getting minutes again? His mid-range gives them an added wrinkle.
I would expect him to play a few minutes tonight. Spoelstra was happy with his G5 contribution (6 points in just under six minutes). I could see giving some much-needed rest to the Heat's starters.
Dont you wish i was still alive at times like this
Y do u hate lebron so much? Hes the reason the heat are in the finals especially when wade struggled against the bulls. Will praise him as much as u down him when the heat win in 7?
I don't hate LeBron. I've been asked questions about him and how he is perceived. Just speaking the truth. I defended Pippen's claims and do think he has a chance at being one of the best ever. He's 26 and has a long career ahead. Unfortunately when you call yourself 'King' and join a team in a television special, you set yourself up for criticism when you're not playing your best. Comes with the territory.
If the Mavericks when the title will they get the credit they deserve or will everyone continue to claim the Heat choked and gave the series away?
I think it will be a mixture of both, David. The Mavs deserve all the credit in the world for the team-oriented style of play, incredible defense (including the use of the zone) and, of course, Dirk's overall performance. However, with a team with the star power like the Heat, it's hard for people to understand how they could be beat and almost need to make up excuses.
Will this be Dirks only chance for a ring?
Not neccesarily, Jon. But I think he has a pretty limited window and recognizes that. He knows that winning his title would cement his legacy and I think he's hungry for that.
Do you think david stern wants this series to end tonight ?
I don't think anyone who is associated with this series wants it to end tonight. The ratings are insane and the NBA is more popular than it's been in a long time. Another two days of hype would only further that.
Has Jason Kidd given any indication that he would retire if Dallas wins the title?
I've heard that Kidd has no intentions to retire, win or lose. I can't really understand that myself considering his age (38) but have to wonder if he was just saying that publicly to deflect some of the external pressure in winning a ring.
This just in: Haywood IS active for tonight's game.
can you comment on any of the LeBron rumors going around?
Rumors about injuries? Sure. Rumors like the ones ALL over the internet and that I've gotten about 200 questions on today? Unfortunately not. They are completely unfounded at this point and I can't repeat them as they have no basis. Although I do find them incredibly intriguing... If you don't know what I'm talking about, do yourself a favor and spend a little time on Google before this game starts.
What time is tip tonight kind sir?
Because, you called me 'kind' (first time for everything), I'll answer this. Despite the whole 'sir' thing... Starts at 8 PM EST on ABC!
If the Heat lose, will the season be considered a failure or a success (considering the fact that many didn't expect the to get out of either Boston or Chicago)?
I think it would depend on who you asked. Many people would say that it takes time for these type of players to adjust to their new roles and playing alongside each other and be impressed they made it this far. But the average fan would probably call this season a failure, largely because of the hype and talk we've heard all since July.
To the guy who proposed to d'arcy.. She won't cook for you. Just wanted to let you know what you would be getting yourself into
I think I'm happy to see you back with us, Tom. Although I still haven't seemed to find my way back to the kitchen.
What drives or motivates Lebron?? Legacy, rings, media???
All of the above, Jerry. Some players are able to tune out the external presure but I don't think LeBron has that ability. He reads everything about himself and is genuinely concerned with public perception. He wants to a ring to silence his critics. That may have moved up to his No. 1 reason at this points. But legacy plays into that as well.
What are the rumors on Barea free agency, where is heading? So far he has being a bargain for Dallas. Thanks.
From what I'm hearing, Dallas seems to know they won't be able to afford Barea next season considering how much his stock as a free agent has increased over the last few games. I know they value his presence though on the team and I'll sure they'll do what they can to keep him.
Do you think the mavericks will have success from the 3 point-line like they did last game?
Hard to think they can be equally successful from the arc tonight, Paul. It will be tough to go 13-for-19 (68.4%) for the 2nd-straight game. Have to think Spoelstra and the Heat will have made some adjustments to prevent the Mavs from getting so many opportunities as well.
Will jason terry be a big factor tonight?
The Mavs NEED Jason Terry to be a huge factor tonight if they want to win. His 21 points and six assists were a huge part of the reason Dallas took G5 and they need his shots to continue falling.
D'Arcy, coughgate is confusing me. Dirk played his heart out with a cold and it's expected of him, but it seems like ESPN always lets injury (Lebron's elbow last year in the playoffs) or a head cold (Lebron in this year's playoffs) be an excuse for poor performance, as if setting up the reason in advance that Lebron might play poorly. I use to really love to watch D Wade play ball, but this year he's just become so annoying. what's up??
I look at 'coughgate' as an example of the downside of LeBron and Wade's friendship. They both found that idea to be hilarious (obviously) and were able to encourage each other and do it together. Their actions were disrespectful and just not well thought out. I don't think either of them would have done that by themselves. It's the 7th-grade girl effect. It kind of reminds me of 'Mean Girls'.
You've never said who will win tonight so imma ask it. Who will win tonight?
Thought I would end with this question, Jmart to prevent the 'that's the dumbest prediction I've ever heard' remarks. I'm going Heat tonight. Final score: 95-88. Just my take.
Well, that wraps up this pregame chat. Thanks to everyone for joining me tonight. Great questions and observations as always. I'll be blogging during the game and chatting immediately after. Hope you'll me there as well. Enjoy the game!