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Old 06-20-2006, 07:45 AM   #1317
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mile High City
Posts: 15,089

M. Salah

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

If the Mavs did less whining and more concentrating, maybe they wouldn't be facing elimination in the NBA Finals.

Start with the most glaring: Josh Howard insists he didn't call that timeout in between Dwayne Wade's free throws at the end of OT.

Stop whining! Don't you think that if the refs could possibly have waved off Howard's hand signal, they would have?

("Forced to call it, simple as that," ref Joey Crawford told Marc Stein.)

Back up from there: Coach Avery Johnson spent his postgame press conference complaining that Wade wasn't fouled by Dirk on that final play. "What do you think?" he kept repeating.

Stop whining! Maybe Johnson should have been worrying less about that particular call and more about stopping Wade generally. Dwyane scorched Dallas for 43, including 15 of the Heat's final 19 points.

(Wade's 23 free throws prior to that call should also have been an indication that he was drawing fouls and was going to get that call if it was close.)

Even owner Mark Cuban got into it: Heading into Sunday night, the weekend's biggest whine from the Mavs was over Jerry Stackhouse's suspension, so Cuban wore a Mavericks "42" jersey, presumably in solidarity.

Stop whining! It might have shown solidarity with Stack, but it didn't show much faith in the rest of the players, who managed to scrap together their most spirited effort of the Finals -- without the aid of any intentional fouling.

Now, compare all that griping to the way the Heat handled themselves after those first two losses in Dallas:

Shaq wouldn't talk to the media after his awful Game 2, but at least he wasn't making excuses; Pat Riley kept saying the Heat simply have to play better.

There might be two games left (both in Dallas, no less), but psychologically this series is over, based on the Mavs' defeatist, "we wuz robbed" whining.

Dallas' game plan for the rest of the Finals should be simple:

Get over it.
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