Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Shaq, there's a RING at the door
by Dan Le Batard Miami Herald This is why Shaquille O'Neal was brought here -- for this, for tonight, for the most important game in the history of the Miami Heat franchise. He was not brought here to have his worst playoff game ever and then afterward vanish, redundantly. He was not brought here to make all those jokes about being sexy in good times and then leave congested Dwyane Wade to speak for him in bad times. He was not brought here, in times of turbulence, to get himself and his franchise fined for his 330 pounds of pouting in silence when now, more than ever, his fragile team needs his voice to be loud and defiant, chest and chin and championships out there for all to see. It is one of the strangest sights in sports -- Shaq, shrinking -- but now would be a pretty good time for the angry giant to reappear, as the local earthlings question their superhero's remaining strength more than ever. Shaq, there's a ring at the door. You going to answer? He arrived here by parade, a first, and then promised another. It is a mere four victories away. The Dallas Mavericks are young, strong and impressive. But they do not have him. They may think they are good enough to be champions, more so than ever today, but there is only one person on that court when the ball goes up tonight who knows he is good enough, who has the substantive and empirical proof.
THE COACH
Off to the side, Pat Riley has championships, too, but that was a long time ago. Going on two decades now. So Riley will do what his lost Heat players will do tonight, what hope-leaking Heat fans will do, what just about everyone on this planet who ever comes into contact with Shaq always does. Tonight, Riley will look up to him. It is why Riley brought O'Neal here -- to simplify the game by tossing everything to Shaq. The ball, the franchise, the expectations, the millions of dollars, the hope, the championship. Here, Shaq. Catch. Double teams? That's the smart play by Dallas. Make Miami's perimeter players do something. Let Antoine Walker shoot all he wants. It gives Miami less margin for error, away from the rim with shaky hands in a game that matters to only one team tonight. Dwyane Wade can usually make opponents pay for that, but he hasn't done it yet in two games on this stage. Where has his jumper been? Where has he been? Expect 30-plus points of assistance from him tonight, maybe 40. Expect the best playoff game you've seen from him this season. But everything starts, as it always does on the Heat, with Shaq. The double-team is only something he has been beating all his life. You think he hasn't seen it before? The only thing that hasn't happened before is him scoring five points against it. There's only one guy in the league Wade has always wanted to dunk on without success. Shaq. Upon Shaq's arrival here, Wade tried to dunk on him in a practice. Once. Shaq put him on his back. And that was the end of that. Wade has never tried again. That would be the Shaq Miami needs tonight -- prideful, strong and knocking down all who covet what is behind him. Shaq, there's a ring at the door. Can you get it? Shaq cares deeply about his legacy. As of today, he isn't better than Tim Duncan, just more famous. Both have won three championships. Both have been Finals MVP three times. You can make the argument that Shaq, given his unprecedented size and strength, has underachieved. Shaq can separate himself from Duncan by winning with a different franchise. When Duncan was put in this position, by this same Dallas team, season on the line earlier in the playoffs, he responded with the best playoff game of his career.
NOT WHAT HE WAS
O'Neal isn't what he was. That's not criticism, just fact. He is no longer the guy who can give you 42 against Indiana in The Finals or 36 points and 20 rebounds against Ben Wallace. He keeps saying he'll do it when it matters most, but that's tough-guy bravado, today's Shaq borrowing credit from yesterday's. Alonzo Mourning promised an Angry Shaq Sunday for Dallas, and all the Mavericks got was Miami's seventh-leading scorer on the Heat's side of the boxscore. Fact is, Shaq's playoff numbers are almost exactly the same as his regular season numbers, which were lower than they have ever been. He doesn't have a switch he can turn on with vengeance, not anymore anyway. Yes, he pulled a game out of his past to eliminate seventh-seeded Chicago on the road with 30 and 15, but that used to be something he might average this time of year. Excellence is a habit. We are what we repeatedly do. It was Shaq who said that, dubbing himself The Big Aristotle. He can repeatedly do 30-15 less than ever before. And Dallas is not Chicago. Dallas is Chicago on steroids.
PLAYOFF ADJUSTMENTS
Paul Silas essentially said on ESPN that Riley is no good at making adjustments in the playoffs. Silas is an unemployed coach, yes, but he also is the guy who, as coach of the Charlotte Hornets, swept Miami the last time Riley was in the playoffs. Riley's usual adjustment is to ask his team to be meaner, to be tougher, to care more. That's not enough now. What he needs his team to be, more than anything, is better. Miami can't and won't win against this Dallas team shooting 41 percent, as it did Sunday. That number has to get closer to or above 50, which is where Shaq can still put it when he is controlling a game. Shaq, there's a ring at the door tonight. People are starting to wonder if you still live here, if anyone is home. You going to answer? Or you going to leave it to Dirk?
* * * * *
Ја само ова би го додал на текстот на Ден:
Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted One moment would you capture it or just let it slip? His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out He's chokin, how everybody's jokin now The clock's run out, time's up over, bloah! Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity

21 Comments:

Blogger Shepard said...

а ти текиња ја лани? :) хиииииии

6/13/2006 02:18:00 pm  
Blogger Karakash said...

tekinja, tekinja, sto mislis od kaj mi e:)

6/13/2006 02:28:00 pm  
Blogger Latifovich said...

E vo slednive 3 utakmici ke gi vidite majami vo vistinsko svetlo ne deka sum za niv ama za dalas ic ne sum :)

6/13/2006 05:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enko aj kazi mi koi se ostanatite cetvorica koi postignale 4 poeni vo 1 napad ????

6/13/2006 05:36:00 pm  
Blogger Shepard said...

кукоч и кени смит се гарант.

друг не ми текиња.

6/13/2006 06:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Чоте said...

Ова на крај, Еминем е?

6/13/2006 06:20:00 pm  
Blogger Shepard said...

шепард е. :)

6/13/2006 06:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Чоте said...

Брао брао. Не знаев дека ти му ги пишуваш текстовите на Еминем. :)

6/13/2006 07:16:00 pm  
Blogger Shepard said...

шала бе па и ти, види ги почетоците на блогот :)

6/13/2006 07:30:00 pm  
Blogger retry said...

Glen Rice i Reggie Miller se ostanatite dvajca :))

6/13/2006 08:17:00 pm  
Blogger Karakash said...

Анонимен друже, повели...

Пред Стекхаус и Хауард, 6-те играчи на кои им пошло од рака у НБА Финалето да имаат 4 поинт плеј се:

- Ендју Тони (1982), ѕверот од Филаделфија кој е подеднакво заслужен за титулата на Сиксерси 1983 исто колку и Др.Џеј и Мозес

- Анонимусот Скот Ведман од Бостон 1985 год., едно е сигурно, типот беше белец.

- Тончи Кукоч (1996)

- Херши Хоукинс (истото финале како Куки)

- Глен Рајс - 2000 година.

Значи Смит и Реџи отпаднаа. Запиша?:)

6/13/2006 09:10:00 pm  
Blogger Karakash said...

Значи шест, не четири.

6/13/2006 09:11:00 pm  
Blogger gigi said...

Еј ама патетичен и лузерски текст, овој шо си мисли бе, дека Шекил сам на рамења ќе ги однеси Мајами до победа? А искрено речено, не е фер ни спрема него, толкав притисок да му се врши а од друга страна да нема никаква поддршка од т.н. тим... па и тој е чоек, ебаго, не е машина :))

По мое мислење, без разлика дали Шек постигнал 5 или 50 поени во оваа серија, Мајами ќе ја изгубат и третата ако се друго си остане по старо... Далас се, пред се СЕРИОЗЕН тим (да, конечно тоа станаа во овој плеј-оф) а надежите на Le Batard дека Шекил е magic bullet кој ќе им го донесе трофејот на Мајами се, благо речено, смешни.. тоа се детински фантазии за Херојот кој доаѓа во последен момент и ја спасува ситуацијата... во реалниот свет тоа не функционира така, во шо се уверија и Лејкерси пред две години...

Впрочем,the moment of truth е на помалку од 4 часа...

6/13/2006 11:19:00 pm  
Blogger Shepard said...

МРСКИ КАРАКАШЕ!

ОРЛАНДО - ХЈУСТОН 1995 ГЕЈМ 1!

БРАЈАН ШО УТИЊА МИЉОН СЛОБОДНИ, А ОРЛАНДО ВОДАТ 4.

НЕКОЈ ДАЕ ТРОЈКА И СЛОБОДНО ЗА ПРОДУЖЕТАК.

ТОЈ НЕКОЈ БЕШЕ КЕНИ СМИТ!!!!

иначе ин ди ер тунајт за најава..?!?!? асгчнахнклхипо-9 епа нека губат..

мрско.

и првиве пет мрско ги најавуваат.

срање.

6/14/2006 03:18:00 am  
Anonymous ГанГ said...

WADE

6/14/2006 06:20:00 am  
Anonymous Џиги said...

Тазе впечатоци, само што заврши ова третово:
- Сепак Двејн Вејд е човекот кој треба да пресече, а не Шек, што ми е мило од едноставна причина што се совпаѓа со моето скромно мислење (кое се разликува од 99% НБА аналитичари кои викаа дека ИЛИ ШЕК ИЛИ ПРОПАСТ)
- Мило ми е што победи Мајами, ама треба да се биде фер и да се каже дека судиите имаа 2,3 ситни ама битни одлуки за Мајами.
- И за крај: 2-1 е секогаш боље од 3-0, така ќе трае бар уште малце.

6/14/2006 06:26:00 am  
Blogger retry said...

Shep, Nick Anderson utna 4 slobodni po red pred kraj i beshe 3 razlika za Orlando.

6/14/2006 08:31:00 am  
Blogger Karakash said...

Mrski Sheparde, Ritraj ti objasni malce...

Tie se facite so 3+1, drugi nema. Keni-jok.

6/14/2006 12:14:00 pm  
Blogger Shepard said...

е добро.

6/14/2006 06:48:00 pm  
Blogger Lakerfan8 said...

epaaa sea go gledate izborot na Lejkers da go zadrzat Kobi a ne Sekil...moze samo uste edna godina ke go gledame sek..posle toa penzija....a Kobi goes on wit da race...and the slams dunks in everybody's face.....

6/16/2006 01:51:00 am  
Blogger Latifovich said...

mu se smee i 4 prsten na shaq

6/19/2006 09:52:00 pm  

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