The Dallas Mavericks are down 2-1 in the NBA Finals and have lost the home court advantage they gained with their incredible Game 2 comeback. Outside of Dirk Nowitzki, no one on Dallas is playing well. Dirk’s great enough to make up for that, but it’s still made things extra hard for a team with a slim margin for error. None of that, however, will prevent their shooting guards from piping up about the Heat.
Foul or not, Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade do a better job of selling calls than most.
“They’re great actors and they sell it,” Stevenson said Monday afternoon. “That’s what they’re supposed to do.” [...]
“We’ve got to take hard fouls,” Stevenson said, “but if you touch them they’re so dramatic you might get a flagrant 2.”
Give it up for DeShawn Stevenson, who was able to navigate a dicey question with equal amounts of commentary and zings. Calling the Heat actors is perfect, since they’re extremely good at selling fouls. But that’s how the game is played these days and Stevenson knows that, so he can’t do much but say that the Mavericks need to be careful when they’re fouling, lest they get called for something more than a normal personal foul.
Even better than that, though, is the Mavericks’ plan for when the Heat don’t get the call they’re trying to sell, then proceed to complain about not getting the call. From Eye On Basketball:
But on the flip side, Stevenson said the Mavericks are getting points while the Heat are on the floor “being dramatic.” In Game 3, the Mavericks repeatedly pushed the pace when the Heat were complaining to officials. Chris Bosh’s eye injury that left him on the floor for an entire possession was obviously legit — he appeared in front of reporters after the game with severe swelling — but that injury aside, the Heat have repeatedly taken time chirping at the officials, leaving open opportunities. Stevenson said part of the game plan for the Mavericks is to punish the Heat in those times, because they’re not playing defense.
“That’s what we have to do. When they get to the bucket and then do that, Dwyane Wade (and LeBron) aren’t playing, they are not getting back on defense, we’ve got to take opportunity of that. We have a couple times where we get to the set and go through the set to try and get the ball to Dirk. “
Nice strat. Vintage rec league maneuver, taking advantage of man-down situations because some guy is complaining on the other side of the court. Not only is it one of the easiest ways to get a fast break, it’s almost insulting to score while someone is whining. The Mavs should definitely take advantage of this when they can, since you’ll never feel dumber than when you’re barking at the ref while your team is getting scored on. Not sure how often it will happen, but even once is enough to make you feel like an idiot.
Of course, if the Heat act their way in to every foul call, the running-while-whining technique is totally negated. So Dallas should just get out of the way any time Miami drives to the basket. That way they don’t give the Heat free points or flagrant fouls. It’s a perfect plan.