Friday, June 16, 2006

Miami Mauls Mavericks


There isn't much to breakdown in this game.  Miami whipped Dallas.  Game over.  But there is a breakdown of what really happened.

IF YOU ARE A MIAMI should be proud to be tied 2-2 with all of the momentum heading into a pivotal Game 5 at home.  And that game isn't until Sunday, so the Mavs get two off days to sit and think about it.  Counting the last 6:34 of Tuesday's game, Miami has outscored Dallas 120-81.  Yeah, a 39 point differential.  Pat Riley has made the proper adjustments and the Miami stars are playing like stars.  You know they cannot stop D-Wade and that he's on a Finals MVP pace.  Shaq's confidence is back and just fouling him isn't working anymore.  The defensive intensity has been turned up and the zone has worked wonderfully.  Keep doing what you are doing...and you can go to Dallas with a 3-2 lead.

IF YOU ARE A DALLAS can say, well, this is just par for the course.  We won two at home....they won two at home.  And while you are still kicking yourself for not being up 3-0, you know in your heart that you had these guys.  And you still can.  Erase Game 4 and fight for your life in Game 5.  Getting pounded sucks, but winning Game 5 means you are up 3-2 with the last two games at your crib.  As far as adjustments - yes some need to be made.  But in looking at the film, you know that you just messed up your chance.  Wade came out smoking, the Heat came out sizzling and your team couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.  It wasn't like Dallas was taking bad shots....they were just missing them.  Give them those same shots on Sunday....and they can go down.  You also know that despite these two games in have done well in pressurized games on the road in these playoffs.  You clinched a series in Memphis.  You won a Game 7 in San Antonio.  And you won the Western Conference title in Phoenix.  Win this game in Miami on Sunday...and you have two shots at the title at home.

IF YOU ARE ME.....these Finals have been compelling as a whole, but the games as individually wrapped have been duds.  Aside from Game 3's comeback....there hasn't been great drama in this series.  Just storylines of Wade's "injuries", Shaq's free throws and Dallas' defense coming and going.  Games 2 and 4 have been major blowouts.  Dallas set an NBA Finals record for points in a quarter with 7.  This comes one week after Miami had just 12 in the final frame. 

We've also seen this before.  Last year's Finals were horrible in the first four games to.  In that Spurs-Pistons series, the margin of victory in the first four games were 15, 21, 17 and 31.  Yeah, the Pistons won Game 4 by 31 pts.  Then Game 5 was a masterpiece...with the road Spurs winning in overtime.  So, Dallas fans need not fret.  Maybe the extra day off will let the team forget all about their shortcomings and they can focus on winning that pivotal game.  Or maybe Miami's train is got too much steam. 


lrpatton said...


One tiny bit of info that may be very insignificant...

The Mave sMbenga will be coming back for game 5 after a 6 games suspension for going up in the stands and defending Avery's wife from some heckler in the Suns series.

Look for another person to torment Shaq on Sunday. We may see a new version of the Slap-a-Shaq and possibly disrupt the momentum the Heat have built.

I still say Mavs in 6

sportzassassin said...

Like I said in my entry, it will be interesting to see how the Mavs approach these two days off.  Have the wheels fallen off....or have they just not been focused??  

And, like I said, last year the Pistons just killed the Spurs 102-71 in Game 3 to tie up that series...and the Spurs ended up the winner in the next game.  They man up and get one big win on Sunday and they get to go back to Texas with two shots at ending the Finals.  

All that's been happening is...
-Wade's going off
-the Mavs shots are just not going in.  They are getting good looks
-the Mavs are losing the rebounding battle
-for some reason [it usually happens on the road], the Mavs bench hasn't been as good as they were in Dallas

I still have the Mavs in 6....even if the series goes to a Game