Everybody’s Talking About What Everybody Isn’t Talking About But Should Be Talking About

Posted: June 3, 2011 by Keith Stone in basketball, NBA, NBA Finals
Rory had some thoughts about last night’s epic comeback by the Mavericks. As always, check out his musings about the New Jersey Nets, Russian politics, and Bruce Springsteen at Slippery When Nets.Miami-Dallas Game 2 was a game for the ages.  I showed up late for the game, arriving at a bar on MacDougal Street roughly halfway through the third quarter.  The game was close until I ordered a beer – which coincided with an incredible Miami scoring streak.  I figured this drink would be my last, as it didn’t seem worthwhile to stick around as the game was becoming a blowout.

Then, this happened:

And the rest is history.  You all know the story by now: the Mavs went on a run and incredibly won the game.  And the other story you all know now: that play above DID NOT MEAN ANYTHING.  At least, that’s what the general sports media wants to tell you.  I have read more articles based on the premise “Everyone is going to say Wade’s taunting changed the game, but that’s not what happened!” than I have articles that actually said “Wade’s taunting changed the game.”

There are many excuses people use to downplay Wade’s taunt, but the typical argument usually goes, “Were the Mavs not trying their hardest to win before the taunt?”  Well, have you ever been taunted before?  It drives you crazy, and kicks up some weird primal hormones in your brain.  You become less rational and more controlled by your base instincts.  The rational Mavs were probably thinking, “Tonight’s not our night.  It is a best of 7 series after all, so even if we blow this we are going home and can still turn it around.”  They were stuck on 73 points for about four minutes of gametime in the fourth quarter.  Then the Wade taunt erased all common sense, and the Mavs played like raging bulls.

If taunting did not matter, we would be taunting all the time.  Taunting is a fun activity – who doesn’t love putting others down to hide your insecurity?  On this site alone, both Keith and I wrote taunting articles towards each other regarding the Knicks and the Nets.  But, taunt the wrong person, and you will pay.  And that’s what happened last night.

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