"Carlisle definitely outcoached Spo" - Udonis Haslem reveals the real reasons why the Mavericks beat the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals
Connect with us

Basket Ball

“Carlisle definitely outcoached Spo” – Udonis Haslem reveals the real reasons why the Mavericks beat the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals



After acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat were heavily favored to win the 2011 NBA championship. But in one of the more stunning upsets in NBA Finals history, the Dallas Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki, defeated the Heat 4-2 to capture the first Larry O’Brien trophy in franchise history.

Looking back, former Heat forward Udonis Haslem talked about what went wrong for Miami in that series. Speaking via the Stephen A. Show, UD revealed the three reasons why the Mavericks were able to stun the Heat in the championship series.

“I think Rick Carlisle definitely outcoached Spo at that time, and Spo will tell you that. It’s very, very, very few times you’ll ever see Spo ever get outcoached. Spo will tell you that Rick Carlisle got the best of him in that series,” said Haslem.

Rick coached better than Spo in the series

The 2011 NBA Finals saw two of the top coaching minds compete. However, in the series, Carlisle proved to have more in his bag than Spo. While Miami relied on its Big 3, Rick got valuable contributions from his role players, which was vital to Dallas’ long-term success.

Defensively, he gave LeBron different looks and constantly double-teamed him to force him to give up the ball and force his teammates to make the shots. The Mavs also applied a zone defense, which UD admitted baffled the Heat. But more than the coaching and zone defense, it was probably James’ no-show that cost them the chip.

“And thirdly, I think that was the growth of LeBron James. I think that’s when LeBron James had to go in the post when LeBron James had to play some four and even some five for us to be the best version that we needed to be. He had never wanted to go in the post, he wanted to play the four and the five. He wanted no part of that physicality down there,” continued Udonis.

LeBron says he wasn’t there in the Finals

After averaging 26.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game during the regular season, Bron was limited to just 17.8 ppg in the Finals. This included Game 4, where King James scored only eight points on 3-11 shooting. He played better in Games 5 and 6, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Mavs from completing the monumental upset. Later, LBJ admitted they lost because he ‘wasn’t there’ for his team.

“My first year in Miami, I was down there and I was like, I was literally like, I wanted to prove everybody wrong. And I, like, literally lost myself in the moment. I lost myself. And I got all the way to the championship that year and lost. And the reason, I knew….afterward, I was like, ‘We lost because I wasn’t even there,'” James said.

After that debacle, Haslem said Spo challenged LeBron, and he spent the summer working with Hakeem Olajuwon. When he reported to training camp, UD said James brought new moves they hadn’t seen from him before.

Right there and then, Udonis knew they were going to return to the Finals and redeem themselves. Miami ended up winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, with LeBron winning Finals MVP honors both times.