Will get to the finals in a minute but first …
Canadian basketball fans should get to know the name Anthony Bennett. He’s yet another stud Canadian prospect making noise. I was a bit late on Bennett, but have been told all year he’s the next big thing after the current crop playing in the NCAA and the players who went to the McDonald’s All-American and Nike games.
Bennett is a 6-8, 230 pound power forward from Brampton (very similar size to Brampton’s Tristan Thompson who is expected to become the highest drafted Canadian ever later this month).
Like Thompson, Bennett plays for Findlay Prep in Nevada.
Graduating Findlay player Myck Kabongo won MVP at last year’s Pangos Camp, a very highly regarded prospects camp in the U.S., while Bennett was named co-MVP this time around thanks to some tremendous performances.
Currently ranked 46th by ESPN in the class of 2012, most believe it is just a matter of time before he cracks the top 20, or higher.
As for the finals, some quick thoughts:
Dirk continues to be spectacular. Very few teams go to a big man in the clutch these days and even historically. Karl Malone was the guy for Utah and I can’t think of too many more examples at the moment.
That’s traditionally the time for swingmen or point guards to shine, so it’s pretty amazing how Dirk seems to score the last 10-15 points for Dallas in big games. He’s an all-time great.
Said in my piece in Monday’s paper that LeBron might get all the attention, but Dwyane Wade is the guy you want in the playoffs. He’s a killer. Not just on offence, where he’s brilliant, unless he goes into three-point chucking mode, but also defensively, where he’s an absolute terror – unless he’s outsmarted by Jason Kidd.
Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem continue to play underrated roles for the soon-to-be-champion Heat. They don’t show up much on the statsheet, but they’re invaluable.
Mario Chalmers, a guy Miami didn’t really want the past two years, is really earning his keep. Chalmers is nailing big shots like he did while at Kansas.
Shawn Marion is doing a solid job on James but Dallas can’t afford another 4-12 effort out of Marion. Somebody besides Dirk and Jason Terry needs to light it up for the Mavericks on Tuesday if they are to make this a series again.
These finals have been a treat for basketball fans.
Strange night for Chris Bosh. Started pretty well. Was awful in the second and third quarters. A bit better in the fourth until stinking it up late … but hit the game-winner.
One final thought. Dwayne Casey is doing a great job. He’s basically the defensive coordinator for Dallas and the team is buying in to what he is selling. Rick Carlisle has been fantastic as well, but I’d be shocked if Casey doesn’t get a head coaching job for next season, either in Toronto or elsewhere.
It is not easy to hold the powerful Heat well south of 50% shooting. Casey has helped make it happen.