James a Victim of High Expectations

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With each question to coach Rick Carlisle during his post-game news conference, reporters dug deeper into the Mavericks' roster, ultimately asking about two players whom few expected to participate in the NBA Finals: a grubby role guy who goes by the "Janitor" (Brian Cardinal) and a raw center (Ian Mahinmi) who creates more problems for play-by-play men than for post defenders.

"Terrific," Carlislie said of each.

Seventeen combined minutes, two made shots, 2-for-5 from the line, one rebound and six fouls in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Yes, terrific.

Just as Juwan Howard's six-minute, three-basket Heat stint was terrific for a timeworn veteran.

After the Dallas coach left, and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra arrived, the subject turned to someone whose play has been characterized as anything but terrific for the past two weeks.


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