Miami completes its (relatively) meaningless regular-season revenge by a final of 106-85 over Dallas. The good guys, meanwhile, slips in the West. One could think of both games vs. the Heat this year as an illustration of the Reverse Midas Effect -- everything touched turns to mud. Quoteboard:
There are reasons aplenty to toss this one, the Dallas Mavericks' return to South Beach, in the circular file. Double digit butt-kicking on the glass? Check. Jet Terry only making one field goal in ten tries? Check. No Followill and Harper and we have to endure ESPN's faux jocularity instead? Check-a-rooni. Miami completes their meaningless regular-season revenge by a final of 106-85. The good guys, meanwhile, slip in the standings in the West. One could think of both games versus the Heat as an illustration of the Reverse Midas Effect -- everything touched turns to mud.
What Went Wrong ...
"Well, we had trouble getting the ball in the basket. That hurt us. Second-chance points hurt us and then they hit a flurry of transition points at some inopportune times for us." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"I think first half everything came a little too easy for us. Offensively, we had some good looks, had everything going. Just defensively we weren’t sharp enough. Can’t give up 60 percent shooting in the first half ... Really, you’ve got to give them credit. They stepped up their pressure on both ends of the floor. They really picked up the pressure and they got into us, and we didn’t really have any good looks anymore. They really stepped up their pressure defensively, so you’ve got to give them credit." -Dirk Nowitzki
"It's tough facing the Heat. When they're rolling, they're rolling." -Vince Carter
The Miami Heat have found balance -- oh goodie ...
"This was a great boxscore to look at. Nobody scored over 20, but we had a lot of different contributions. ... It was much more to our style. Against this team, it never feels like they're out of it because of their ability to shoot the ball but we stayed the course." -Coach Erik Spoelstra
"It was a total team win, and everyone did something positive." -Dwayne Wade
"We just worked our habits. The best thing about tonight, we didn't take another step backwards like we did the last two games. And it was good to see." - LeBron James
... oh the innuendo ...
"I just think they had us going both ways all night. LeBron and D-Wade were still getting theirs and all the other guys got theirs, so then you’re in trouble." -Dirk Nowitzki
About Jason Terry and his 1-10 effort ...
"They had their best defender on him and they were trapping him on the pick and roll. I needed to do a better job of getting him good shots. That's on me." -Coach Rick Carlisle
"When you go 1-for-10, those aren't the kind of looks you want." -Jason Terry
Bright Spot Number One -- the Return of Delonte West ...
"He's got a hand that's going to be sore for the next four or five months, based on what they're telling me. A lot of it is going to be getting him into it and trying to eliminate some of that apprehension. And he's going to have stingers ... Everything considered, Delonte played great. I have never seen a guy come back from being out five and a half weeks and hit his first three shots. It was phenomenal." -Coack Rick Carlisle
"It felt good. My wind wasn't bad. I stayed in condition while I was out. But the right-hand pass, it was tough. It's something I'm going to have to get used to." -Delonte West
Bright Spot Number Two -- Lamar Odom not sucking ...
"My legs are finally getting underneath me, where I feel like I can come out of a move and make a shot. It’s a big difference. Sports are all about confidence." -Lamar Odom
"Lamar was great tonight. We need that and we couldn’t help him. We couldn’t get anybody to go with him and Dirk tonight." - Jason Kidd
On Brendan Haywood's progress -- he's penciled in to start tonight in Orlando ...
"If I play, I have to wear the offensive lineman knee brace. If I get out there, I got to wear the knee brace like I'm going to block for Peyton Manning." -Brendan Haywood
We love the guy, but do we really want to hear this out of him right now?
"No question, [the Heat] need a veteran shooter, a guy who can score besides LeBron and D-Wade and they know they can count on. I'm a guy that's been in this league 13 years, 15 points a night, easy. Off the bench or the starting lineup, it doesn't matter. So I think I'd be an asset to them ... My main goal was to come back and retire a Maverick. After no extension this past offseason, I figure it may be time for me to move on. But you never know ... I would love to stay in a Maverick uniform, don't get me wrong. But we'll see what happens ... They said they want me back. But you can say all you want, you got to show me. Like Jerry Maguire said, 'Show me the money.'" -Jason Terry
In other news, did you hear Coach Nelson is (finally!) getting inducted into the Hall of Fame?
"Yeah, isn't that awesome? I'm happy for him. He's one of the best innovators this game has seen. His mismatches and counter moves ... and I owe him a lot, too. When I first got in the league, he always threw me out there even though there were some players probably a little better than me on the team. But he showed me confidence and let me do my thing out there and play a free game and not limit me. He let me shoot threes and play to my strengths. Not a lot of coaches would have done that with a 7-footer." -Dirk Nowitzki
The Last Word ...
"You know, everybody is playing for a playoff spot right now. So, we’ve gotta figure out a way to get one on the road before we go back home." -Jason Kidd
"We'll bounce back. That's all I got." -Jason Terry