Miami Wins Game 1; Wade & LeBron Are The Difference

There’s a difference between LeBron and D-Wade and everybody else. Last night, they showed it, taking over in the final five minutes the way very few players (and even fewer teammates) can. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Heat will take it, going up 1-0 over Dallas with a 92-84 win. Late in the game, all we wanted to see were some baskets. The first half was ugly, but the fourth quarter was one hideous fadeaway after one missed free throw after one off-ball foul after one annoying commentator comment. It didn’t really feel like Game 1 of the Finals. It didn’t feel like the biggest game of LeBron and Dirk‘s lives. But then D-Wade (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) came out of his week-long slumber, first hitting a J, then blocking Shawn Marion‘s “shot” (16 points, 10 rebounds) before dropping a pull-up trey. Then a few possessions later, LeBron (24 points, nine rebounds, five assists) caught Dallas peeking and threw down a three-point haymaker on the Mavs’ heads. After that, Wade nearly went coast-to-coast and fed Chris Bosh (19 points, nine rebounds) for a dunk. Up 10 with a minute left, Wade drove and lofted a shovel lob that LeBron punched down for punctuation. Game time … The crew from “Men of a Certain Age” was in the house last night, filming Mike Bibby, Juwan Howard and Jason Kidd. After Howard got a rebound (and a standing O from the crowd) and made a free throw, Van Gundy started drawing parallels between the Fab Five and these Miami Heat. He called Howard “the voice of reason.” Yeah, we’re sure the Big Three listen to Howard and his tales of peach baskets and hi-top fades … In the opening minutes, there were cross matches galore. Joel Anthony on Dirk. Marion on D-Wade. Even DeShawn Stevenson was matching up with LeBron. Dallas’ starting lineup, ironically one of their worst lineups in the playoffs, once again fell behind early. Before Kidd‘s back-to-back threes at the four-minute mark, they had just five points. Still, for much of the first half, the Heat were playing in the mud, so frantic that it ended up hurting them. Against Dallas’ zone to start the second quarter, they didn’t look anything like the team that steamrolled through the East. They were too anxious. But their defense was ridiculous, holding the best offensive team in the playoffs to just 44 first-half points. With Dirk struggling, the Mavs were just as bad. Outside of Jason Terry (12 points) playing with tattoo money, the team couldn’t hit a damn shot. But just before the half, Dirk (27 points) did his German Jesus thing, hitting two buckets in a row before setting up a Marion dunk and Dallas pulled back ahead. The score would’ve been even lower had it not been for a combined 12 three-pointers … Did they really plug in a commercial in between the starting lineup introductions? If they were trying to build up the drama, it wasn’t working. It just made us mad. Kudos though to whomever set up Cee Lo‘s “F#$% You” to help ring in Dallas … The Mavs started the second half on a 7-0 run and controlled the third quarter until a James trey put Miami up one late in the frame. Then, he made a crazy fallaway three at the buzzer to put the Heat up four going into the fourth, even more unbelievable because he seemed to be going for it. A falling-out-of-bounds, heavily-contested trey was what he wanted? Unreal … Where was Terry in the second half? Where was Tyson Chandler (four rebounds)? J.J. Barea (1-for-8 shooting)? Peja (zero points)? Dallas doesn’t have a chance if it’s gonna be Dirk creating/finishing and no one else. Dirk also said that he tore a tendon in his finger last night and will have to wear a splint the rest of the series. Hopefully it wasn’t his ring finger … We had dozens of people hit us up last night complaining about the refs. Listen, it’s just getting annoying now. If you think it’s that bad, and are convinced the NBA won’t allow certain people to lose, then why watch? You had fans wildin’ out on both sides, absolutely convinced the NBA was screwing them over. There were a few questionable calls both ways last night … Mark Jackson was in rare form last night, so we couldn’t not give a shout out to this video.Dwight Howard said he doesn’t want to be like Shaq. Yeah okay. But at least he did give his first real indication yesterday that he wants to be in Orlando longterm. Do you believe him? … The NBA Board of Governors have unanimously approved the sale of the Detroit Pistons to Tom Gore. Now after days of flip-flopping with John Kuester, they can officially move on without him … The Jazz still haven’t decided whether they will pick up C.J. Miles’ option for $3.7 million. If they don’t, expect some contending teams to make a run at the six-year vet because of his size and shooting ability … And as long as the move is approved by some suits, former NBA player Damon Stoudamire will move from the NBA sideline to the college game, joining the University of Memphis coaching staff … We’re out like Michael McDonald.

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