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2011 NBA Playoffs

  1. In Dirk Nowitzki’s moment

    Jun 13, 2011, 3:41 AM EDT

    Screen shot 2011-06-13 at 2.34.22 AM

    Dirk Nowitzki will never hear the end of the question. In the ensuing days, weeks, months, and even years, he’ll be posed the same inquiry over and over, so many times that his answer will grow repetitive but never robotic. The very thought will always invoke the same emotion he felt on this night, this…

  2. NBA Finals: Dallas tops Miami in Game 5 with an outlier, but what of it?

    Jun 10, 2011, 3:38 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five

    The Dallas Mavericks took a 3-2 series lead on Thursday night with a 112-103 win, but their tremendous offense — the propulsive force that allowed them to pull within a single victory of taking the NBA title — was immediately tagged as an outlier, and saddled with all of the negative stigma that statistical improbabilities…

  3. NBA Finals: Mavs win Game 4, but all eyes are on LeBron

    Jun 8, 2011, 3:18 AM EDT

    6fb1a92ff27f46f6ccc7bd6593ff092f-getty-bkn-nba-final-heat-mavericks

    The Miami Heat lost Game 4, 83-86, in part because of LeBron James. That’s okay. Players are allowed to have off nights. They’re allowed to struggle. They’re allowed to be passive once in awhile, and frankly, it’s human nature to ease off the gas from time to time. But in doing so, they strengthen the…

  4. NBA Finals: Dallas tops Miami in Game 2 with an incredible fourth quarter comeback

    Jun 3, 2011, 2:53 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two

    From where we sit now, it’s so easy to look back at the dissipation of Miami’s 15-point fourth-quarter lead and point incredulously at what went wrong. The answers for what ails the Heat are always so obvious; their flaws are so glaring and fixable that armchair coaches across the country typically resolve them before Mark…

  5. NBA Finals: Miami balances star power with rebounding grit in Game 1 win

    Jun 1, 2011, 2:26 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game One

    All that it’s taken for the Miami Heat to win games in this year’s playoffs is the ability to maintain reasonable margins. They go on runs, they shut down their opponents’ offensive options, and they stretch their legs with displays of supreme athleticism, but the body of the single-game narrative — the initial 43 or…

  6. NBA Playoffs: Witnessing the ascension

    May 12, 2011, 3:22 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

    This was the dream. For all the criticism, the spontaneous hatred from people he never met in cities he’d never lived, for the questions and the scrutiny, this was what he had hoped for. When LeBron James decided to abandon the franchise that drafted him and pursue a team that didn’t think Wally Sczcerbiak/Ben Wallace/Mo…

  7. NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies go to work, Spurs go home

    Apr 30, 2011, 12:57 AM EDT

    San Antionio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six

    The deed is done. Even the slightest doubts of the Grizzlies’ prowess in their first round series have been put to rest, as have the revered San Antonio Spurs. Memphis completed their seemingly improbable upset by dominating in the most probable ways; the Grizz scrambled, posted up, defended, rebounded, and scrapped their way to a…

  8. NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies win the day, but is their success sustainable?

    Apr 17, 2011, 6:34 PM EDT

    Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Darrell Arthur

    The Memphis Grizzlies did it. They made big play after big play down the stretch on Sunday afternoon, and secured a 1-0 series lead against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, not to mention scored their first playoff win in franchise history. The victory was a tremendous achievement on several levels, and yet even the Grizzlies’…

  9. Chris Bosh sees Boston as tougher test than Chicago

    Apr 14, 2011, 4:43 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat

    Chris Bosh is not alone on this. As we started talking to people around the league in preparation for playoff previews, there are a lot of doubters about the Bulls. Oh, they’re good and everyone knows it. But a lot of people think the Bulls have some things to learn about playoff basketball. Things the…

  10. How they can win it all: The Dallas Mavericks

    Apr 14, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Washington Wizards

    Of all of this year’s contending teams, the Dallas Mavericks are perhaps the most improbable champions. Their trials begin in the first round, as the Mavs are rewarded for winning the West’s No. 3 seed with a tough matchup against the Portland Trailblazers. Should they take care of business against Portland, Dallas would likely have…

  11. How they can win it all: The Miami Heat

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat

    Forget the narrative. Forget the plot that turned LeBron James into a villain for changing zip codes, forget the half-baked media criticism without warrant, and forget the lazy reactions to Miami’s relative struggles at various points in the season. This Heat team is positively fantastic, and though they don’t come to the playoffs without flaws,…

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