For a point in time, Jerry Stackhouse was one of the most electric scorers in the NBA. Stackhouse's unique finishing ability helped him score nearly 30 points a game during the 2000-01 season with the Detroit Pistons, and while Stackhouse wasn't always the scoring threat he was during that season, he managed to put together a solid 18-season career spent with several different teams.
Stackhouse believes the Mavericks got the short end of the stick in the 2006 NBA Finals
While Stackhouse accomplished many different things throughout his prolonged NBA career, he was ultimately never able to win a championship. Stackhouse's only Finals appearance came in the 2006 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks, and Stackhouse still has some qualms with how the series played out.
Nowadays, NBA playoff series are formatted in a 2-2-1-1-1 style, but up until the 2014 playoffs, the NBA formatted them in a 2-3-2 style to reduce cross-country travel. When asked about the 2006 Finals, Stackhouse said that while the Miami Heat deserve credit for winning the series, he believes the NBA's format of the Finals cost Dallas the series, which was an interesting take on the series as a whole.
"You can't take anything away from them because they won. I think a lot of it, to me, I put it on the format, which has since changed. You work hard for home-court advantage, you shouldn't come back home possibly down in that 2-3-2 format…You shouldn't feel that type of pressure after you had the type of regular season that we had, and then after going up 2-0." - Jerry Stackhouse, All The Smoke
Stackhouse's gripe with the NBA's old playoff format is fair
Stackhouse isn't happy with how the NBA's old playoff format was set up, and it's not an absurd thing to be upset about to his credit. The Mavericks went up 2-0 in the 2006 Finals at home before going to Miami for three straight games, all of which the Heat won. By then, the Heat had all the momentum, and they were able to close out Dallas on their home court in Game 6.
While Stackhouse has a reason to be upset about this format, it's not the sole cause of the Mavericks' loss. Stackhouse himself got suspended for Game 5 of the series, and he noted that the Mavs strayed away from their game plan, which ultimately allowed the Heat to take control of the series.
Had the series format been different, maybe the series result would have been different as well. But what's done is done. The good news is that the format has since changed to the 2-2-1-1-1 to prevent something like this from happening again, but that probably doesn't mean much to Stackhouse, who obviously would have liked to have seen that format be implemented in his lone Finals appearance.
While it may not have been the sole reason he didn't capitalize on his only Finals appearance, the NBA's old playoff format may have played a small role in the outcome of the series.