Heat-Mavericks 2011 NBA Finals Schedule

The 2011 NBA Finals will feature the Miami Heat vs the Dallas Mavericks.

In the Western Conference Finals, the Mavs eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.

And tonight, the Heat eliminated the Chicago Bulls, also in five games.

Here’s the 2011 NBA Finals schedule:

Game 1 – Tue May 31 Dallas at Miami 9:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN
Game 2 – Thu June 2 Dallas at Miami 9:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN
Game 3 – Sun June 5 Miami at Dallas 8:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN http://www.insidehoops.com
Game 4 – Tue June 7 Miami at Dallas 9:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN
Game 5 * Thu June 9 Miami at Dallas 9:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN
Game 6 * Sun June 12 Dallas at Miami 8:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN
Game 7 * Tue June 14 Dallas at Miami 9:00PM ABC/R/3D/TSN

Mavericks eliminate Thunder in five games and head back to NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 Wednesday night to reach the NBA Finals. Dallas will play the winner of the Miami Heat vs Chicago Bulls series, which the Heat lead 3 games to 1.

The AP reports:

dirk nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki stood on the court wearing a baseball hat celebrating the Dallas Mavericks’ return to the NBA finals. As his team received a silver trophy for winning the Western Conference, he looked as if he’d just been named the player of the week in November.

Nowitzki’s indifferent attitude during the pandemonium around him shows just how locked in he is right now.

“We’ve got one of those trophies already,” Nowitzki said. “This is nice for a day, but we set our goals in October to win it all. We haven’t done it yet.”

The superstar who has dominated this postseason added yet another highlight Wednesday night, hitting a straightaway 3-pointer with 1:14 left that put the Mavericks ahead for good on their way to a 100-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that ended the Western Conference finals in five games.

After clawing back from down 15 with 5:06 left in Game 4, the Mavericks were down by six with 4:37 left when they rallied again, outscoring the Thunder 14-4 the rest of the way. The biggest on-court celebration in franchise history followed, with the greatest player in franchise history hardly soaking it in.

More from the AP:

Dallas is 12-3 this postseason, and has won 10 of its last 11. Nowitzki has been at his best throughout, especially this series. He scored nine of his 26 points in the fourth quarter; for the series, he averaged 32.2 points, 11.8 in the fourth quarters…

shawn marion

Marion got Dallas within 94-92 off a pass from Kidd, then Nowitzki stole a pass from Westbrook. Nowitzki actually missed his first 3-point try on that possession and Westbrook got the rebound, but Terry stole it, got the ball to Marion and he fed Nowitzki for the go-ahead 3.

Eric Maynor wound up taking Oklahoma City’s next shot and teammate Nick Collison got the rebound on the baseline. He flung the ball back toward the paint, Marion caught it and took off for a breakaway dunk. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw for a 98-94 lead.

Westbrook made a pair of foul shots with 39 seconds left to get the Thunder within a basket. Nowitzki missed a shot against tight defense with 18 seconds left, but Kidd got the rebound and passed back to Nowitzki. He was fouled and made a pair of free throws with 13.3 left. Durant and Harden missed 3-pointers, and that was it.

Reuters reports:

Guard Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 31 points for the Thunder, who were unable to prevent the Mavericks from conjuring a second successive come-from-behind win. NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant added 23 points for the visitors.

“They played a small lineup and really tried to jump the game up,” Nowitzki told reporters of the Thunder. “They drilled us on transition all night long and you’ve got to give them credit. They left it all out there today.

“We just had to get some stops down the stretch. We finally got away with a little zone (defense), a little man-to-man, and got some stops. That was big.”

After the Mavericks were presented on court with the Western Conference trophy, team owner Mark Cuban said: “All I can tell everybody is: ‘We ain’t done yet’.” …

With James Harden and Nick Collison sparking Oklahoma City’s bench, the visitors kept the third seeds under continual pressure to grab a 76-72 advantage going into the final period.

Westbrook landed a two-point jumper to put the Thunder ahead 85-77 for the biggest lead of the night with 9.14 remaining.

However, the Mavericks steadily clawed their way back, and had reduced the deficit to 92-90 with a little under four minutes on the clock following consecutive pairs of free throws from Nowitzki and veteran Marion.

Nowitzki then missed a three-point attempt but Dallas stole the rebound and this time the German made no mistake from beyond the arc to put his team ahead 95-94 with 1.14 left.

The Thunder have a bright future. Their best player are all young, and their chemistry should only improve with time. They had a terrific season.

Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

Stephen Curry undergoes right ankle surgery

stephen curry

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry underwent successful surgery on his right ankle earlier today, the team announced. The surgery, which was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist at the OrthoCarolina Clinic in Charlotte North Carolina, repaired instability that existed in the ankle due to recurrent ankle sprains.

Curry, who missed a total of eight (8) games last season due to multiple sprains of the right ankle, is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Curry, 23, appeared in 74 games during the 2010-11 season, averaging 18.6 points, 5.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.47 steals.

He led the NBA in free throw percentage (.934), ranked third in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.442) and became the first player in NBA history to shoot at least 45% from the floor (.480), 40% from three-point territory (.442) and 85% from the free throw line (.934) in his first two seasons in the league.

Barclays Center of Brooklyn names John Sparks GM

The Barclays Center of Brooklyn has named John Sparks as its General Manager, in which he will oversee the operations of the world-class sports and entertainment venue set to open September 28, 2012.

One of the nation’s most experienced major facility managers, Sparks will be responsible for food and beverage, security, event coordination/services, and parking.

Sparks will also be involved in several aspects of the development of the Barclays Center, including the completion of the standard operating procedures.

Sparks joins the Barclays Center after nine years with Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which included his serving as Vice President/General Manager of San Antonio’s AT&T Center since November 2004. Sparks had been charged with overseeing AT&T Center construction and establishing day-to-day operational procedures for the building.

Prior to joining Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Sparks was director of operations for Philips Arena during which he helped to open the Atlanta sports and entertainment venue.

“John has significant experience in launching major new sports and entertainment facilities,” said Brett Yormark, president and CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the sales and marketing arm of the Barclays Center. “He brings to us a wealth of best practices and will be instrumental in guiding our operational transition to Brooklyn.”

A native of Los Angeles, Sparks served in the Navy from 1977-97, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer.

Jalen Rose pleads guilty to drunken driving

The AP reports:

Former Michigan and NBA player Jalen Rose has pleaded guilty to drunken driving, admitting he got behind the wheel after drinking six martinis.

Rose entered his plea Wednesday in District Court in Oakland County’s Bloomfield Hills. He faces up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The 38-year-old Rose was arrested March 11 after his Cadillac Escalade crashed about 20 miles northwest of Detroit in West Bloomfield Township.

Bulls center Omer Asik out for remainder of playoffs

Bulls rookie center Omer Asik sustained a fractured left fibula in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Miami on May 22.  He was examined by Bulls Head Team Physician, Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.  The diagnosis was confirmed via MRI and CT scan before Game 4.  He attempted to play in Game 4, but had recurrent discomfort and a loss of function.  Asik’s injury will not require surgery.  He is out for the remainder of the playoffs with an expected recovery of six weeks.

Asik (7-0, 255) appeared in 15 playoff games for the Bulls, and posted 1.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 0.53 bpg in 9.9 mpg.  He also saw action in all 82 games during the regular season, where he averaged 2.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.68 bpg, 12.1 mpg and .553 from the field.

Former NBA player John `Hot Rod` Williams arrested

The AP reports:

Police in Louisiana have arrested former NBA player John “Hot Rod” Williams on a misdemeanor count related to gunshots fired during a party at his home.

Gonzales police tell The Advocate of Baton Rouge that Williams and his relatives told officers about eight shots were fired by an unknown person attending Saturday’s party put on for members of Williams’ family.

The 48-year-old Williams was booked Tuesday with “letting a disorderly place” and was given a court date.

Kim Kardashian engaged to Kris Humphries

US Magazine reports:

Sorry, fellas: Kim Kardashian is officially off the market!

The reality superstar and mogul is engaged to basketball beau Kris Humphries, her rep confirms to Us Weekly.

Kim Kardashian engaged to Kris Humphries

Kardashian, 30, and New Jersey Nets forward Humprhies, 26, began dating in December, and the duo quickly became serious.

Indeed, last month, a Kardashian insider told Us that the E! star planned to move to NYC in order to be closer to her man. “This is it for her,” the source said. “I foresee an engagement this summer.”

People magazine reports:

It was a dream come true for Kim Kardashian when she walked into her Beverly Hills home May 18. Her boyfriend of six months, New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries, was waiting in her bedroom on bended knee with four words written in red rose petals: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

“I didn’t expect this at all,” Kardashian, 30, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview (out Friday) of the romantic, surprise proposal. “I was in such shock. I never thought it would happen at home, and I never thought now.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: As someone who dates Kim Kardashian lookalikes on a regular basis, I know how Humphries is feeling right now. Good for him!

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

James, Bosh and Wade carry Heat over Bulls 101-93 in Game 4

The Miami Heat now lead the Chicago Bulls 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s what went down in Game 4 Monday in Miami:

The AP reports:

King James

LeBron James scored 35 points, Chris Bosh added 22 and Dwyane Wade perked up to block as many shots—two—as Chicago made in overtime, as the Heat topped the Bulls 101-93 in a scintillating Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the series…

Derrick Rose scored 23 points for the Bulls, who got 20 apiece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. Chicago has lost three straight games for the first time this season, and afterward, the league’s reigning MVP pointed the finger of blame at himself.

“It’s not over,” said Rose, who shot 8 of 27 and turned the ball over seven times…

Somehow, it wasn’t a problem. A sleep-deprived Mike Miller—whose wife delivered a baby last week—scored 12 points and made plenty of key defensive plays to help Miami outscore Chicago by a whopping 36 points with him on the floor. Udonis Haslem missed all five of his shots, and he was still a plus-25 in his 33 minutes off the bench…

James was 11 for 26 from the field and 13 for 13—his best playoff showing ever—from the foul line. Bosh was aggressive again, making 10 of his 11 free throws. Miami made its last 24 straight from the stripe, and the defense was again the biggest key of all…

Wade made just 5 of 16 shots from the field, lacking his usual lift at the rim. He made a pair of free throws with 1:50 left in the first half for his seventh and eighth points, and didn’t score again until overtime…

Chicago’s lead was 46-44 at halftime, after some wild emotional swings—a 19-4 run by the Bulls, followed by a 29-9 spurt for the Heat, then capped by an 18-7 rebuttal by the Bulls to close the second quarter.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

“This series is an absolute bloodbath,” coach Erik Spoelstra said when the three-hour marathon was over, “and that game tonight was a total grind. It is very challenging for either team to get into any kind of fluid offensive flow. It is about as competitive and physical as it could be.”

With Miller scoring 12 points on a night Wade was limited to 14 on 5-of-16 shooting, the Heat rode the 35 points of James and 22 more from forward Chris Bosh to a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, with the best-of-seven series continuing Thursday at the United Center.

“If you’re a fan of the game,” Wade said, “this is a great basketball game. This is will, and both teams showed that. We made the plays at the end to eventually pull away.”

The Heat closed out the game by converting their final 24 free throws.

“It was about enduring and stay with it mentally and physically,” Spoelstra said.

The Miami Herald reports:

The Heat won despite shooting 40.3 percent in regulation. Miami made five of eight shots in overtime. James led the Heat with 35 points on 11-of-26 shooting. He was also 11 of 11 at the free-throw line and had half the Heat’s 12 assists.

Bosh finished with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooing. He and James both had six rebounds. Wade had 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds.

The Heat made its final 24 free throws of the game and was 32 of 38 overall. Chicago was 17 of 22 from the free-throw line.

Defensively, Heat center Joel Anthony had five rebounds and four blocks. Mike Miller had 12 points off the bench for the Heat and Mario Chalmers had nine.

MVP Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 23 points but, closely defended by James, missed his chance to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer had 20 points each.So close for Chicago. As with any game that goes overtime, this easily could have gone the other way.

This is a great series for anyone who enjoys watching great defense. For a good time, watch the help defenders on every possession.

Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

NBA Players union files claim against owners

The 2010-11 NBA regular season was fantastic, and the ongoing playoffs have been even better. But off basketball courts and in the legal realm, the league owners and players union continue to disagree. An eventual lockout continues to appear likely.

Chris Sheridan of ESPN reports:

The union for NBA players filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board Tuesday, seeking an injunction that would prevent owners from imposing a lockout when the current collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.

The players’ union, less than a month after receiving the latest formal proposal from the owners, is accusing the owners of negotiating in bad faith.

The complaint, in part, alleges the NBA is “making harsh, inflexible, and grossly regressive ‘takeaway’ demands that the NBA knows are not acceptable to the Union.”

The complaint further alleges the NBA is engaging in “classic ‘take it or leave it’ and surface bargaining” with the intent of running out the clock on the CBA, “until the NBA locks out the represented employees in order to coerce them into accepting the NBA’s harsh and regressive demands.”

The NBA issued a statement in response to the complaint.

“There is no merit to the charge filed today by the Players Association with the National Labor Relations Board, as we have complied — and will continue to comply — with all of our obligations under the federal labor laws. It will not distract us from our efforts to negotiate in good faith a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association,” the league said in a statement.

I really hope this somehow gets resolved over the next month, though it isn’t looking likely.