Sunday, June 18, 2006

Miami Heat Win Game 5 of NBA Finals, Lead Series 3-2

Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson argues with official Joe Crawford about the timeout called near the end of overtime of the NBA Finals basketball Game 5 against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Sunday, June 18, 2006. Miami beat Dallas in overtime 101-100.

Star of the Game: Dwayne Wade
Goat of the Game: Josh Howard

Scoring 42 points in the Miami Heat's thrilling 101-100 over-time win, Dwayne Wade adds to his new superstar status. My man Gary "The Glove" Payton made another clutch shot. And Josh Howard of the mavericks called a timeout that was almost as devistating to his team as the Chris Webber timeout call was to Michigan's "fab five" NCAA Championship hopes years ago.

With 1.9 seconds left in overtime D'Wade had just made one free throw when Josh Howard called what was the last available timeout for the Dallas Mavericks. He and coach Avery Johnson tried desperately to take it back but there's no taking back timeouts in basketball. The result being that if Wade makes the second free throw then the Mavericks would have to go the length of the court with 1.9 seconds remaining, no timeouts, little chance. Wade made the second free throw to give the Heat a 101-100 lead and the Mavericks made a futile attempt at a shot from half court. End result, Josh Howard ruined a chance, mind you it would have still been a longshot had Josh not made the goof, but his mistake seemed to take the air out of the Mavericks sails. I've never seen such a dejected face as Howard's on camera after blowing the game. Almost like a golfer missing a winning putt from a foot away. What a coincidence, Phil Mickleson choked in losing the U.S. Open to Geoff Ogilvy today. I hear Phil had that same dejected look.

Here's what ESPN said about Mickleson's look:
Mickelson looked as if he needed to be treated for shock. He shook hands with playing partner Kenneth Ferrie and then made his way to the scorer's area to sign his card. NBC's cameras showed him sitting with Amy, his body language screaming, "What have I just done?"

Meanwhile, game six of the NBA Finals will be played in Dallas. And if these finals continue their theme of home team wins, odds favor the Mavericks winning the next two games at home and becoming NBA Champions for the first time in franchise history. But there's this one little obstacle of a superstar standing in their path and it ain't Geoff Ogilivy. This superstar obstacle makes you think that this time the oddsmakers may have it all wrong. And if Vegas knows what's best for them they won't go betting against Dwayne Wade.

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