Blog Entry

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Posted on: June 3, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 5:56 am
Posted by Royce Young


MIAMI -- The Heat are leading by 12 with 7:14 remaining in Game 2.

Dwyane Wade drops a 3 from the corner, right in front of the Mavericks bench. Score: 88-73, Heat. Timeout, Dallas. 

What happened next is a bit unclear. Some say the Heat celebrated inside the Mavs' sacred ground. Some say it was preening, a moment of showing up an opponent that they had down, and nearly beat. Dwyane Wade, though, has a different definition of celebrating.

"A celebration is confetti, champagne bottles. The was no celebration," he said. "It was a shot made going into a timeout. Every team does something. That's the game. If it pumped them up -- they won the game. Obviously it did something."

Yep, obviously. After that 3 from Wade, Dallas closed the game on a 22-5 run to snatch Game 2 right out from under Miami's feet. But was it really because of a little posing, because of a little dancing? I mean Wade held his hand high for what seemed like 15 minutes after the ball swished through the net. In fact, I think he just now finally put it down. But was that so disrespectful that it really made Dallas crank things up?

"He celebrated in front of our bench," Tyson Chandler said. "I think it angered a lot of us. We came out there and responded."

Said Jason Terry: "Right at that moment, it was a turning point in the game. Obviously we come out of that timeout and we don't score, then we're pretty much dead ... I specifically looked at Dirk and said, 'There's no way we're going out like this.'"

Now. It's clearly a very good story to point out ... that things turned at that moment. It's easy to say that Wade's "celebration," or whatever you want to call it, fired up the Mavs. But, really, that's an incredible slight to the Mavs. Because if that's really what it took to wake them up, then they've got some soul-searching to do. They came back from 15 down in the biggest game of the season not because Dwyane Wade held his hand up and LeBron tapped him in the chest. They came back because they're a damn good basketball team with an incredible will to win. Don't take that away from them and say it was all the Heat's fault. That's the perfect narrative, I realize, but it's not fair. To the Mavericks more than the Heat.

"I didn't even see it that much, to be honest," Dirk Nowitzki said. "Probably our other players saw it. I kind of had my head down."

See, Dirk didn't care. And if anyone really turned it on from that point forward, it was the Big German. In those final seven minutes Dirk scored nine points on 4-4 shooting, including the game-winning basket. For a guy that's pretty much killed himself to even be in this game at all, I don't think a little showmanship from Miami really meant that much to him. The fact he had just seven minutes to make up 15 points was weighing a lot heavier on his mind than any perceived taunt.

As The Score's Holly MacKenzie deftly pointed out on Twitter, if Wade's celebration was a major show-up move, then what do you call DeShawn Stevenson? He basically throws a party every time the ball goes through the net (and maybe for good reason, if you know what I mean). It's the NBA as we know it now. Players let out primal screams after a dunk, pound their chests after a block and maybe do a jig if they drop a big 3 in a big moment. And now it's the difference in winning and losing Game 2?

"It was no celebration at all," LeBron said. "I was excited about the fact he hit a big shot and we went up 15. The same thing we've done over the course of the season. There was no celebration at all. We knew we had seven minutes to close out the game."

LeBron also noted that celebrations have been quite the topic surrounding the Heat all season. It started with their preseason celebration after The Decision. Then, fast-forward to the prolonged hugging and celebrating after taking down the Celtics in five games. The Heat realize that every little thing they do is put under the microscope. It's examined. It's been that way all year. Remember LeBron bumping Erik Spoelstra and how moronic that discussion was? Same thing here. Wade made a huge 3 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals and you expect him to trot quietly to his side of the floor and maybe give a silent fist pump? I mean, really?

"Don't make nothing out of that celebration, like you guys did in the Boston series," Wade said. "It's just being excited about the moment. It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game for us."

What turned this game around was that Dirk did his Dirk-ish thing, the Dallas defense suffocated every Miami pick-and-roll and the Heat broke down in some big ways defensively. It started with LeBron duffing an easy layup and everything went downhill from there. That's when this game really changed. LeBron had a chance to make it 17 and he missed an easy basket. Dallas immediately responded with a 6-0 run and it was game on from that point.

It's life with the Heat. They lost, so therefore something must be attributed to it. It can't simply be that Dallas played winning basketball and finished while the Heat missed shots they've been hitting the past month. No, no, no. It must be something bigger. Something deeper. Something darker. The ego and arrogance of the Heat leaked out on that one shot by Dwyane Wade and sparked something inside the belly of the Mavericks. That's the good story. It fits this Heat season and this Heat story perfectly.

But really, it had absolutely nothing to do with why the Heat lost Game 2.


Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: June 4, 2011 9:37 am

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

, I agree with you completely, especially about Cuban as the owner. He would have turned things around for the Cubs. He's a no nonsense guy. One might ask "what does Cuban know about baseball?" He knows business, and I assure you he would find a way to build a contender one way or another.

Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:21 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

C'mon MAVS!! Let's do this!! Turn these goofballs into the lose lose lose losers that they've shown themselves to be!

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:13 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Unless you live in Miami, you have to love this!  How bad was the shot selection by the Heat down the stretch?  Only one play to the basket and even that was a questionable foul on Chandler.  And why didnt they go to Wade in the final 6 and 1/2 mins?  The guy was on fire while James and Bosh were obviously a bit off yet everyone BUT Wade was firing jumpers from at least 15 ft.  Great effort by the Mavs! And so much for the thought that Dirk's left finger might cost them the series!  It looked just fine as he rattled off 9 straight points!

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:03 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

I think this did spark the Mavs. Usually a comeback like that is the result of a dozen factors- this was one of them. All Lebron had to do was wait for Wade a bit further away from the bench but no- Lebron could not stand someone else getting the camera time. It was Lebron's actions that put this over the top. His actions disrespect others- opponents, refs sometimes even team mates. And lebron did move his antics into Dallas's personal space.

After all the celebrating, posing and disrespecting the game, this loss looks really good on them: an embarassment to the sport beat by a classy team.

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: June 3, 2011 1:55 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

I am not a fan of the Heat, nor do I hate them.  I would call myself a lukewarm NBA fan who does little more than follow the results and occasionally watch part of a game.  However, all season it seems that any time I see the Heat or highlights, I see plenty of the same antics.  They could slam dunk with 10 seconds left in a game where they are up by 20 and would celebrate with the same bravado as a so-called key basket.  It's sickening!

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:58 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Ahhhmmm, who cares?  The NBA rates barely above WWE wrestling as a real sport.

Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:56 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Maybe that act fired up the Mavs for a little bit, but it was also Miami for some ridiculous reason just reverting to the same problems they had earlier this year. Maybe too it was the Heat thinking they had Dallas down and out and relaxing for a bit, and never getting their mojo back. Whatever it was, I don't think you will see this kind of late game collapse from the Heat again. No doubt Riley had a few words for this crew (with Spoelstra standing by eagerly nodding his head), and they deserved it. And coaching too - who exactly decided to stop double teaming Nowitzki in the last 3-4 minutes, where he made all his big shots? A huge brain fart from players and coaches, and a talented Dallas team took full advantage.

For Dallas fans, remember that miraculous comebacks like this are few and far between, especially against a good defensive team. This will not affect the Heat as much as you hope it will, so Dallas better be ready for game 3 cuz the Heat will have something to prove.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:18 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

One would think that the world's highest paid babysitter, Spoelstra, would try and instill a bit of class and humility in this bunch...guess that's why he's just the babysitter and Riley is the actual coach.

Since: May 10, 2011
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:07 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Whatever it was that keyed the Mavs comeback...I hope we see more of it.  I'd like to see more Le Bron short-armed layups at the rim miss everything.  All of Texas and lots of elsewhere would like to see more Nowitzki game winners with time running out.  Anybody care to see more Dwade desperation shots and him laying on the floor looking for someone else to pick him up?

The Mavs played the best all around basketball I've seen all year; for the last 7 minutes of the game.  Doing it against the vaunted Heat defense made it impressive.  Doing it without silly antics made it admirable.    &

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:02 pm

Did the Heat's celebration key the Mavs comeback?

Act like a chump, lose like a chump.  Who da chump now?

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