MIAMI — Dwyane Wade’s night began with a hug for his mom. It ended with an embrace from LeBron James.
Nearby, Chris Bosh held up three fingers.
No explanation necessary. The Miami Heat are three wins from the reason why the Big Three came together in the first place.
James scored 24 points for his first win in five NBA Finals games, Wade scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 92-84 in Game 1 of the title series on Tuesday night — holding the Western Conference champions to their lowest point total of the playoffs after a dominant defensive showing down the stretch.
“Feels good because it’s the first game and we played well as a team,” James said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. … That’s one in the books. We’re excited about this game. Tomorrow we prepare for Game 2, and I see ways we can get better.”
Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points — tearing a tendon in the middle finger on his left, non-shooting, hand during the game and revealing afterward that he’ll likely wear a splint throughout the remainder of the series — and grabbed eight rebounds for Dallas, which got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Shawn Marion and 12 points from Jason Terry, most of those coming in an early flurry. It was Dallas’ fifth straight loss to Miami in Finals games, dating to the Heat rally for the 2006 crown.
Dallas held the Heat to 39 percent shooting, Miami’s second-worst showing of the playoffs.
Problem was, the Mavericks shot 37 percent — by far, their worst night of the postseason offensively…
– from the Associated Press (June 1, 2011)
Dear NBA Fans, Liberals (quite a bit of overlap between the two — see page 4) and German-Americans,
Of course, I’m rooting for the Mavericks this series, given that Miami defeated my beloved Bulls. But an interesting sub-plot has developed in this Finals (at least in my mind) given the fact that the Mavs best player happens to be European — specifically of ethnic German descent. I’ve always had warm feelings toward the German people, despite what one of my heroes of the Revolution said about them*, I think on a whole German-Americans have contributed much to this country** and I’ve been blessed to have a great friend who is a first generation son of German immigrants. His parents suffered terribly during WWII, as did many ordinary Germans, and I’m glad his father made it over here to contribute as much as he did to America (the dad was a successful engineer at a famous elevator company). Now we find ourselves earnestly discussing German culture and history, although we both believe that (1) the Nazis were no worse than the Soviets in terms of their evil policies and terrible human death toll*** and (2) sometimes it’s O.K. to make fun of the Nazis, as humor can be one way (out of many) to deal with the horror. To that end, every time I call him up, I’m sure to ask him where he comes from and when he left Earth 🙂
O.K., where were we — I seem to have got distracted a bit talking about Germans and German-Americans. Ah yes, Dirk Nowitzki and white NBA players — am I excited about Dirk because I’m fond of Germans or because I’m fond of white guys who normally don’t play at such a high level in the NBA? This raises the separate but related subject of race and politics — should there be a white identitymovement in American politics? Do click on that link and read Sailer’s excellent review of Jared Taylor’s new book. Ultimately, from a political standpoint, I like Steve’s idea of “citizenism” better than “white identity”; while racial differences have obvious public policy implications it is hard for me and I think for most conservatives who take Western values of ordered liberty and their Christian faith seriously to get behind balkanizing racial politics (why liberals do it is another question).
Of course, that doesn’t mean that when it comes to culture or even sports, we don’t identity with members of our ‘closer’ extended family. Which is why I like to see Dirk and Peja and even J.J. Barea (he’s Puerto Rican, but he looks white — plus it is always exciting to root for a short guy) play well. Heck, I’d even nominate Jason Kidd as an honorary white guy — he’s paler than most Sicilians I know. Meanwhile, Miami has the thuggish Mike Miller and their own honorary white guy, Mike Bibby, so in the end I’m rooting for Dallas just because I hate Miami and love Dirk.
*Actually, if you read that awesome Franklin letter, you’ll find that he wasn’t opposed to all German immigration — he just wanted to restrict their numbers and make sure the Germans that were here were assimilating — just like all the sensible immigration restrictionists of today — I’m happy to have Ben in my corner!
**Indeed this source goes into the history of German immigration and settlement in the 18th Century in some detail and it is clear that once Pennsylvania passed laws to keep out the German riff-raff, most the Germans who remained were quite happy to hunker down and farm and pray. In fact, Paine’s famous Common Sense was printed in German for the immigrant community and German lay leaders in both the Reformed and Lutheran churches signed letters in support of the revolution
***Everyone should know more about the Holodomor. God bless the Ukraine.