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Miami’s celebration only issue in mind of Mavericks

Jun 3, 2011, 8:10 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

It became the hot topic Thursday night after the Dallas Mavericks evened the NBA finals 1-1 with a 95-93 win in Game 2 — how Miami’s celebration midway through the fourth quarter sparked Dallas’ comeback. If it did. Players were asked about it and it became the hot discussion on twitter.

What you think of the celebration says more about how you feel about the Heat then it does about what actually happened.

What happened is this: With 7:20 left in the game LeBron James led another Heat break, but he passed to Mario Chalmers, who had defenders getting back collapse on him under the basket. So he kicked it out to Dwyane Wade in for a corner three, right over the arms of Jason Terry. The arena erupted. The Heat were up 15 and in control. That felt like a dagger, except we anyone who knows Dallas knew it was too early.

After the shot Wade stood there for a few seconds with his shooting arm extended, then kept it up as he walked past the Dallas bench (a timeout had been called). Then beyond the bench area LeBron James met Wade, said a few words, did a little head bob and fake punched him in the chest a few times, then moved on. That was it.

Frankly, by NBA standards, it was a four on a scale of 10. Watch the video by following this link. DeShawn Stevenson has had bigger celebrations over a made three this series. Forget someone like J.R. Smith.

But that’s not how Dallas saw it. Look at the quote from Tyson Chandler, via Royce Young at CBS Sports Eye on Basketball.

“He celebrated in front of our bench,” Tyson Chandler said. “I think it angered a lot of us. We came out there and responded.”

As you might imagine, Dwyane Wade felt differently.

“A celebration is confetti, champagne bottles. This was no celebration,” he said. “It was a shot made going into a timeout. Every team does something. That’s the game. If it pumped them up — they won the game. Obviously it did something.”

And that’s what is key here — the celebration itself was nothing. Jason Terry’s airplane takeoff has more taunting in it than what Wade did. It’s really about your perception.

If you hate the Heat and are looking for fuel for that fire, have at it. Dallas talk radio is going to eat this up.

What really matters is it fired up some Mavericks players. Although not Dirk Nowitzki, who didn’t see it. What should have fired them up is how they were getting abused at that point, but the celebration touched a nerve. What we should be talking about is how well they played down the stretch, how they changed the series. It’s an insult to the Mavs to talk about this as the spark to the comeback and not the fire they have shown against the Thunder, Lakers and Blazers.

It didn’t play a huge role in one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA finals history, that was more about double screens for Jason Terry that the Heat could not adjust to (a great play call), it was about the Heat trying to kill the clock then running isolation plays with time winding out, it was about shot selection for both teams. It was about the Heat’s defense slowing down as the Mavericks stepped up. It was about heart.

But the celebration, that was nothing, except when it became something in the minds of the Mavericks.

  1. jjstrokes - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    I feel like this was the most pointless sports articles ever written, seriously

    • jjstrokes - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:16 AM


      • nfl25 - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        this kurt dude seems like he is in love wit the heat. bottom line is who cares. did u really go out of ur way and write this to tell us the celebration wasnt a big deal? who said it was a big deal?

      • edweird0 - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        @nfl25 Ummm EVERY single reporter at the post game conference? You clearly didnt watch it….

    • dirtydavis - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      Really? I think this guy should be writing for ESPN.

    • 1742hawk - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      I agree. This is a stupid story….actually there is no story. It’s as relevant as the hot-dog vendor spilling mustard on Mark Cuban’s shirt……and that sparked the 4thQuarter comeback. By the way…..Miami scored 5 points in the last 5:20 of the game.

  2. hnirobert3 - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    So Stevenson, who does the “You can’t see me” move after he does anything was upset? And Jason Terry who flies around like a jet after he makes a big shot was upset also? Give me a break.

  3. diablito0402 - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Hahaha everyone celebrates but doing it in front of the other teams bench in the finals got the mavs pissed off. Dont cry miami fans youl get another chance to lechoke once again in game three.

    • edweird0 - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      O wow so clever… Lechoke, haven’t heard that one before. No one is complaining fool, get you’re facts straight.

      • kcroyal - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        “Get you’re facts straight…”


  4. jrmcool20 - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    i seen how it played out ,, i think the mavs used what wade did at the 7.20 mark of the 4th like some kind of motivation for them to rally back,, but i dont feel wade was throwing his arms up because wade thought the game was over especially with all that time left in the game , i think wade said it like it is that he was excited about the shot made on way to bench for a time out … however , with the mavs or any good team i say dont even give a bad vibe that its a game over rant some how ??? lol!!!! and now its to dallas for 3 in a row !!!!

  5. jman81 - Jun 3, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Jason Terrys air plane take off has more taunting? Wow ok your lame. Obviously you are a heat fan. I’m not a fan of either team I’m a Kings fan but I can tell who you want to win. I hate when reports come out one sided.

  6. dvic13 - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    The only celebration that should of upset(motivate) every team in the league, was that pre-season championship celebration the Heat held last summer. No team deserves 2 celebrations for the same season.

  7. polegojim - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Why would you need Dwayne Wade to motivate you in the NBA Finals?

    So…they could’ve played that well the whole game and just… didn’t???

    If the Mavs are that weak minded, maybe they don’t belong after all.

    • andyhr17 - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      It’s not that they weren’t motivated, it’s that it pissed them off. This lit a fire inside them and they played pissed, and that fueled the comeback.

      • hnirobert3 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:29 AM



        Give me a break. These are professional athletes. If LeBron and Wade run an offensive player in the last three minutes instead of playing Hero Ball they win.

    • 1742hawk - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      weak minded? You need to watch the game again. pay attention to a 22-5 run in the 4th and ask yourself who played weak.

    • 1742hawk - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      weak? who scored 5 points in the last 5:20 of the game?

  8. southbeachtalent - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Celebration?? I didn’t see this coming. So the Heat and only the Heat are not allowed to show emotion while the game is being played. Nevermind Jason Terry and Stevenson celebrating after every three.. The Heat lost cause their defense let up and their lack of offense with 4 mins left. This will be a wake up call for the Heat, the Mavs are not going down without a fight.

  9. lunasceiling - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Rooting for Dallas in this one, but I simply don’t see that “celebration” as anything to complain about, or even as anything out of the ordinary after hitting a big shot. Sure, the Mavs are going to seize on it – players and coaches will always grab whatever’s available for that little extra spark. That’s just part of a competitor’s psychology. Everyone else should shut it. The Heat don’t need to be worrying about motivating the Mavs; they need to be figuring out why they stopped executing their offense and why their defensive intensity plummeted.

    Fantastic series so far…

  10. passerby23 - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I thought the celebration was excessive in front of Dallas’ bench. Wade held that hand up for what seemed like forever. Then as Terry begins to chirp him, Lebron joins the celebration and pretends he hears nothing. I get showing emotion, but this was ridiculous. Most importantly, though, is the analysis from Charles, Kenny, and Greg Anthony after the game: Miami thought the game was over and acted like it. I still like the Heat in 6 but it’s annoying watching screams from Lebron or Bosh after every dunk.

  11. bigbillinocmd - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    I said the same thing after d wade hit that shot. Ball has taken a dramatic turn for the worse as far as celebrations after lay ups and dunks. It’s turned into the wwe. The decision is a prime example. Jordan came back from baseball and the front page of every newspaper in america said two words “I’m back!”. Could you imagine if lebron had that opportunity. It would have been a month long celebration. These kids need to really sit back and study where this game came from and who paved the way. It’s turned into a circus of shameless self promotion.

  12. cleoface - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    D Wade did nothing wrong. He raised his hands after nailing a three. Most all players would have done the same. He did however, have an offensive goal tending basket not called and later he blasted an official for a correct non call on a tough layup that he missed. How can they let that go and then T up Dallas when James burries and elbow in Dirk’s chest? That was very unfair.

    I’m not rooting for either team. I like Boston but Wade and James should not get special calls from the refs.

    The big issue here is Mr. Pippen may want to consider his statement earlier this week. I never saw MJ single handedly give away a crucial playoff game. Miami might want to consider sitting James the last 5 minutes of the game. I’m just saying……………..

  13. savocabol1 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Funny, I only hear about the media complaining about this “celebration.” Terry and others I heard interviewed didn’t mention this “celebration” after I watched post game interviews. Great story…..

  14. metalhead65 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I realize you think you must try and over praise the heat in every article you write because like it or not the majority of NBA fans want them and their arrogant attitude to lose. but must you make every article you guys write a pro heat one? imagine if the roles were reversed and the mavs had blown that lead,do you think you would be be giving any credit to the mavs for playing a great game for 3& a half quarters?no it would have been how the mighty heat overcame a big deficit to make an amazing comeback. and you know if that had been Dirk who showboated you would have been raking him over the coals for it. but no since it was the heat that blew it, let’s not give the mavs any credit and blame it on the heat for ‘letting” up. so with 7 min. to go and the mavs. starting to hit shots the almighty trio could not have called a time out and regrouped? that is what the mavs did on every break going into the 4th. come on we are not out of it yet and when they finally got it going the heat could not stop them. the mavs won the game the heat did not lose it deal with it. and yes they were celebrating whether they want to admit it or not,emotion is great just not in front of the other teams bench.

  15. joeksnuffy - Jun 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    I didn’t necessarily think Wade’s actions after hitting the three were over-the-top. But, I did feel a sense that they thought it was over – not just the game, but the entire series. It was a bit immature and unprofessional. Personally, I don’t like any of the showboating, whichever team it comes from (how Stevenson thinks he has the right to showboat is beyond me. The guy has been largely a liability on offense). But, you get the sense that the Heat think they are preordained, and it comes out in moments like that. That’s why I’m rooting for the Mavs – not for Cuban or Terry or Stevenson – but for Dirk and Kidd. These are 2 no nonsense guys, who have had great careers and always carry themselves in a very professional manner. After “The Decision” and the way the big 3 have patted themselves on the back all season, I would love to see the Heat go down in flames.

  16. 1742hawk - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    “What you think of the celebration says more about how you feel about the Heat then it does about what actually happened.” Is that so Kurt Helin? What’s the point of your writing? So why don’t you write about the Mav’s getting red hot and the Heat collapse? Write about a 22-5 run.

  17. philiplewis1 - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    If you’ve watched much of the playoffs at all, you know that the Heat’s “vaunted” defense is mostly due to anemic Eastern Conference offenses. The Mavericks have not played well in either of the first two games, i.e. poor shooting, ridiculous turnovers, poor rebounding, etc. yet they were in the 1st game down to the last few minutes and then won the 2nd game. Wonder what’s going to happen when they play well, aka Game 4 of the Laker series. The Heat neat to be very concerned. They cannot stay with the Maverick offense when it finally starts clicking. The Maverick defense only has to be average to control the weak Miami offense.

    • edweird0 - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      You’re clearly underestimating the Heat defense. The reason they’ve not played well IS because of that intense suffocating defense. Im not gunna sit here and make excuses, just know that they won’t have that mental lapse again.

      “Weak Miami offense”? Really? Wow, thats a joke.

  18. psousa1 - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM


  19. electstat - Jun 3, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I think the bigger issue is how Dallas still wins in Miami after all the turnovers. If I’m the Heat, I’m not feeling too good about my chances right now heading to Dallas.

  20. pl4tinum514 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    In the famous words of Doctor Martin Ssempa,


  21. thesaint23 - Jun 4, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    it’s plain and simple
    Jordan – 6 rings
    Kobe – 5 rings
    Lebum – 0 rings

    the bums celebrated to early thus they wrote a check that their sorry behinds could not cash!

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