Updated: June 12, 2006, 4:10 PM ET

How Heat, Mavs must attack

DALLAS -- If you're watching the NBA Finals on ABC, you get to hear Hall of Famer Hubie Brown's basketball analysis. Hubie coached in the NBA for 15 years, so you know you're in good hands there.

Finals Schedule

Best-of-Seven
Mavs lead Heat, 1-0

Game 2: Sunday, June 11
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks

Game 3: Tuesday, June 13
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat

Game 4: Thursday, June 15
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat

Game 5: Sunday, June 18*
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat

Game 6: Tuesday, June 20*
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks

Game 7: Thursday, June 22*
ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks

* If necessary

There's another coach on the TV broadcast team you don't get to hear … but you do get to see his work.

Bob Salmi, a former NBA assistant in Philly, New York, Dallas and Washington, is the coach in the TV production truck. He helps producers and directors isolate meaningful plays during the game that can be replayed to help explain what's going right and what's going wrong for each team.

Between games, Salmi dissects every play from every angle. By the time Salmi is done preparing for Sunday's Game 2, he'll have seen every play from Game 1 at least 15 times.

The Daily Dime asked Salmi what struck him after seeing the Game 1 tapes over and over again.

Daily Dime: After watching the tape of Game 1, what did you see in the Miami offense that might not have been evident the first time around? Start with Shaq.

Salmi: In Game 1, Shaq caught the ball in the post and got to the basket only two times.

You have to give Dallas credit for the way they defended Shaq. They double-teamed him off the dribble almost every time he caught the ball. They made him catch it further away than he wanted to. They closed off the lanes for him to get to the basket. They turned him away from the basket.

There was no space for him to go.

Daily Dime: How does Miami improve on that in Game 2?

Salmi: In the second half, they got a lob to Shaq and he got a dunk.

One of the things Pat Riley will do more of in Game 2 is move the ball from side-to-side. Because when guys front the post against Shaq, you put yourself in harm's way. Shaq is an immovable object. You can't get around him. It's hard to front him, but even harder to front him and get back around him as he moves across the lane.

So the ball will move side-to-side before going into Shaq to get him better angles to move to the basket.

Daily Dime: What about the Mavs on offense? How can they get Dirk more involved in scoring?

Salmi: Miami, specifically Udonis Haslem, did a great job of guarding Dirk Nowitzki. Every time he caught that basketball, Haslem was directly underneath his chin.

It changes your comfort level. It makes it that much harder to shoot the ball. Dirk got only four clean looks at the basket and he made two of them, so that's a good percentage.

Daily Dime: So how does Dirk create space so he can get the ball in a better position to score?

Salmi: Again, changing angles, changing how you get the basketball.

Dallas can do the same things that Miami will try to get the ball to Shaq. Move the ball side-to-side before it gets to Dirk & hit him on the move. Give Dirk an opportunity to get him the ball before the defender has an opportunity to set up underneath him.


Bob prepares dozens of clips for use on-air during the game and shared four of those scouting breakdowns with the Daily Dime.

Miami's misdirection (see Box 7, right): On the first clip, you can see the Heat start in one direction and turn back. This play is effective because it gets the ball to Wade when he's on the move and allows him to get to the basket with a full head of steam.

The second play shows how Miami must handle the double-teaming of Shaq. When Antoine Walker's man leaves him to double Shaq, Walker goes straight to the rim, receives a pass and scores.

Triple screen for JT (see Box 8, right): On the Mavs clip, you see two plays designed for Jason Terry.

First is a backwards pick-and-roll. You usually see a big player setting a pick for a smaller player, but on this play Terry sets a pick for Dirk Nowitzki and then slips the screen to get an open jumper.

On the next play shown, Dallas runs Terry off three screens, and Jason Williams is unable to keep pace.

Chris Ramsay is the NBA coordinating editor for ESPN.com.

Dimes Past: June 7 | 8 | 9 | 10


Question And Antoine
Antoine Walker
NBAE/Getty Images
On Saturday, Miami's Antoine Walker told reporters, "I'm not a supporting nothing." (See Marc Stein's report in Box 9, right.) You can say that again, 'Toine, 'cause you didn't support the cause on Thursday, missing 12 shots and turning the ball over six times.


Son Of A What? Pat Pays Avery Sum Respect
With the early stages of the Finals offering relatively little in the way of trash talk or whining about the refs -- normally the two biggest off-day conversation topics -- Pat Riley's comment on Avery Johnson on Friday generated a fair amount of buzz.

Pat Riley

Riley expressed his admiration for Dallas coach by saying "he's a sumbitch," but the comment had yet to reach Johnson when I asked him about it on Saturday.

The Mavs coach was taken aback by the remark until told it was intended as a compliment, and then returned the favor.

"We're in the Finals and there are a lot more things that I'm focused on," said Johnson. "Anything positive that a coach that's had that type of career has to say about you, you love it.

Avery Johnson

"But at the same time, it doesn't flatter you where it makes you lose focus on what we're playing for and where we are … But for quote, unquote young coaches, we would love to have the type of career that he's had in this league, so I really appreciate that."

Riley also backed off a bit from Friday's contention that Shaq didn't get the ball enough, saying O'Neal had 35 touches in Game 1 but it was up to the Heat to get him "quality touches" in spots where he could do more damage.

The Miami coach hinted that O'Neal himself needed to be more active as well, and not just lean on his teammates to hit him in the post.

"When he's alive, and running and moving and cutting across the lane, and getting 15 or 16 rebounds and just being active, then he gets 10 or 11 quality touches just on his own.

"That's what he has to do against a good defensive team."

-- John Hollinger in Dallas



Scouts Inc.: Jet Mach 2
An excerpt from the Scouts Inc. preview and prediction for Game 2:

Jason Terry may not get 32 again but look for Avery Johnson to call his number so he can attack the mismatch at the point. Jason Williams and Gary Payton were overwhelmed by Terry in Game 1 because of Terry's speed and shooting ability. If Terry can attack and get into the paint again, he will give the Heat fits.

Look for the Mavs to continue to run pick-and-rolls with Dirk Nowitzki, DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier. The Nowitzki pick-and-rolls tax the Heat defensive schemes and put them into a full rotation.

If the Mavs can do this it will open up driving lanes and attacks of the rim.

Also look for Dallas to reverse the ball and run more than one pick-and-roll in a possession, especially with Shaq's man setting the pick. It forces Shaq away from the basket and puts him in compromising situations having to play pick-and-roll defense.

See the Scouts Inc. breakdown and prediction for Game 2 Insider




What It All Means

Antoine Walker of Miami and Keith Van Horn and Adrian Griffin of Dallas explain how they feel about competing in the NBA Finals.

"It's been a fairy-tale"



Too Easy
Jason Terry
NBAE/Getty Images
Miami hopes it sees this Jason Terry -- the one who blew a wide-open layup in the fourth quarter of Game 1 -- instead of the hot shot who torched the Heat for 32 points.


How Heat Can Get Hot

ABC's "video coach" Bob Salmi explains how Shaq and Dwyane Wade must attack Dallas.

D-Wade drives



Mavs Apply Circular Logic

ABC's "video coach" Bob Salmi demonstrates how Jason Terry broke loose in Game 1.

Jet Rolls



Still The 'Toine
If you're thinking that all this chatter about Shaquille O'Neal wanting and/or needing the ball more will make Antoine Walker more gun-shy in Sunday's Game 2, you are advised to think again.

'Toine revealed Saturday that he has no plans to scale back from the 19 shots he hoisted in Miami's Game 1 defeat.

"I probably can't dunk no more," Walker says. "But outside of that, any shot is comfortable."

And ...

"They kind of are leaving me too open," Walker contends.

There's a reason for that, of course. The Mavs are aggressively mixing their coverages and sending multiple defenders at O'Neal because they prefer to see if Miami's perimeter shooters -- such as Walker, Jason Williams and Gary Payton -- can consistently convert when Shaq finds them out of double-teams.

Walker was one of the first Heaters to say after their 90-80 defeat in Game 1 that O'Neal should have more than 11 field-goal attempts in a game ... but 'Toine also strongly shot down the notion that he took too many shots Thursday night.

"Game 1, I thought I got great shots," he said. "The opportunities were there to have a big night."

Indeed. Walker started with promise in his return to Dallas, most memorably when he tossed in a 25-footer in the closing seconds of the first quarter to put Miami up eight.

It's also worth noting that the Heat, in Walker's brief spells of rest in Game 1, were outscored by eight points.

Yet 'Toine wound up shooting 7-for-19 from the floor and finished with six turnovers, spoiling his 17-point evening. Walker's inability to knock down an open 3-pointer, with 4:22 to play and Miami down by just 82-79, triggered the Heat's crunch-time fade.

It'll surely take more than a rough Game 1, though, to discourage Walker from trying to punish his old team. On the eve of Game 2, 'Toine fired back at a questioner who addressed him as a member of Shaq's supporting cast.

"I'm not a supporting cast [member]," Walker said. "I'm an Antoine Walker. 'Supporting cast' kind of downgrades players. I'm not a supporting nothing."

-- Marc Stein in Dallas



Less PT For GP?
Gary Payton

Is Gary Payton a liability for the Heat? One of John Hollinger's five recommendations to the coaches is less Glove for Miami:

One thing that Pat Riley is probably trying to get his head around today is the fact that he's no longer playing the Pistons.

Against this Dallas team, 80 points simply isn't going to cut the mustard, so having a player like Payton play 18 minutes and take home a bagel is a major liability.

That's especially true considering his opposite number.

Jason Terry can score in bunches, as he showed amply in Game 1, but defense has never been his calling card.

Jason Williams can take advantage of that, and to an extent he did on Thursday, scoring 12 points. But Terry gets a free ride when Payton is on the floor.

Full John Hollinger column

 

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