Monday, June 12, 2006
Stackhouse and the Dallas Mavericks Dominate in Game 2 of the NBA Finals
Shaq scores 5 points as the Miami Heat succumb to another dominating performance by the Dallas Mavericks. The final score was 99-85, and that was closer than it could have ended. At one point Dallas led by as many as 26 points. Dallas took control around the second quarter and you just felt that Miami didn't have an answer for what the Mavericks were doing both offensively and defensively. Again, both teams played good defense but it was Dallas whose offense kept attacking the basket while Miami's sputtered and collapsed.
It appears that the Dallas strategy on defense is to keep pressure on Shaq and force Miami into shooting from outside. For the most part that strategy is working and it doesn't look like Miami coach Pat Riley can come up with a game plan to stop it. One would think that all Miami has to do is have Shaq kick the ball out to the open man and he knocks down the shot, but in many cases the Dallas defenders aren't even allowing the ball to get to Shaq. And that just frustrates the big man even more. It doesn't help that his free throw shooting has reached historically horrible levels. Josh Howard is doing a superb job of staying with Dwayne Wade and limiting his playmaking abilities.
As for the Mavericks, the player of the game was Jerry Stackhouse off the bench. Though he scored only 19 points, the timeliness at which his points came made them dagger-like in their effect. Here's what was said about Stackhouse as well as how he felt about his hot hand:
Jerry Stackhouse scored 19 points for Dallas, including a stunning 10 in the final 79 seconds of the first half that sent the Heat headed to the locker room with their heads hanging. He drilled three 3-pointers, including one in Wade's face that became a four-point play. Here's what Stackhouse had to say about
"After I shot the first one, there was no hesitation once I caught it the second time," Stackhouse said. "I was probably three feet behind the 3-point line on the second one. When you're feeling good, you let it ride."
I guess the Mavs will "let it ride" all the way to Miami for game 3. Wonder who'll be the Mavericks player to shine in this game? Don't look now but former Warrior player Eric Dampier is making a name for himself in these here finals.