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NBA Finals: Mavericks, Heat should mean fun fourth quarters

May 27, 2011, 12:29 AM EDT

LeBron James Miami Heat AP

The Miami Heat put on an incredible show, an amazing comeback. Ice-cold Dwyane Wade coming alive in the fourth quarter, eventually knocking down a ridiculous four-point play. Then LeBron James with a brilliant fourth quarter, including the pull-up 3-pointer to tie it and the block at the end to secure the 83-80 clincher in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

We haven’t seen a comeback like that since … well, a few nights ago when the Dallas Mavericks did the same thing to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Which sets up an interesting NBA finals starting next Tuesday in Miami — the two teams that have come together with the best execution, the two teams that have been putting together brilliant fourth quarters, will clash.

Dirk Nowitzki on the turnaround fadeaway, followed by LeBron taking a hard step to create space then draining the jumper. Jason Terry draining a late three. Wade draining a late three.

This folks, is going to be fun.

The Heat put their closing skills on display Wednesday night. Chicago had a 12-point lead with 3:14 left in the game.

But then Wade hit a little 8-footer. Rose turned over the ball and Wade got the layup and the and-1 (but he missed the free throw). Wade, who had been cold all game, suddenly had to be respected again. Then LeBron hit a three and it was a five-point game. Chicago took a timeout but the air had come out of the building.

Rose made an insane spinning shot in the lane, a highlight-reel shot that reminds you in the clutch he has to hit a lot of those because the Bulls have no other options, no other guys who can create their own shot.

The Heat have options. They didn’t even tap into all of theirs.

First, it was Wade with the game-changer of a four-point play when Rose fouled Wade on a 3-pointer. Another Heat stop, a pull-up LeBron three to tie it. And at that point you just knew. Like you knew in all the Heat comebacks this postseason.

The Heat scored on eight straight possessions down the stretch, a big change from the 38 points they scored on 45 possessions in the first half (stats by John Schuhmann of They have that something when the game is on the line.

The Mavs will see your LeBron and Wade with a Dirk. Remember what he did to the Thunder in Game 4? He dropped12 points in the last five minutes of the game, knocking in a shot at the rim, two midrange jumpers, a three and getting to the line in that stretch. When the Thunder overplayed him in overtime, he hit Jason Kidd with a pass that led to the three that put the Mavericks up for good.

Dallas is dangerous because you have to defend Kidd, and Terry, and Dirk. And if you do all that, J.J. Barea will drive on you or Shawn Marion will drop 26 on you. Lots of weapons.

Both the Heat and the Mavs benefited last round from teams that are still figuring out how to execute in the clutch, how to deal with the pressure.

That will not be the case in the finals. We’ve got two teams that know exactly how to play in the fourth and are in the finals because of it.

That is going to make this a lot of fun.

  1. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    2nd comment down. Suck it.

    Heat in 6 over Mavs.

    Click thumbs down, please.

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM

      Here’s a few comments from the initial thread:

      1historian – May 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM
      Prediction – Rose will break Lebron’s heart and Lebron will be sorry he went to Miami.
      BUT not sorry he left Cleveland.

      • david8726 - May 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM

        No one cares about your little internet argument with someone.

      • 1historian - May 27, 2011 at 6:56 AM


    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM

      1historian – May 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      The Heat are 0-3 against the Bulls this year, the Bulls are much younger than the Celtics. Bulls in 6.

      • 1historian - May 27, 2011 at 6:57 AM

        whoops part 2

    • demon1026 - May 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

      all i have to say is lets go heat we going to win to the end no matter what u will see

  2. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    mondzy805 – May 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Best Coach left on the playoffs. Thibs is a defensive genius and will lead the Bulls to the NBA Finals.

    • edweird0 - May 27, 2011 at 12:39 AM

      lololol i feel you. You tell em cause they sure as hell ain’t gunna show their faces now.

  3. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:38 AM


    Heat in 6.

    If you want to make money, heed my advice. Oh wait, you’re not old enough to gamble? Sowwy.

    • david8726 - May 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM

      I’m a Heat fan, so I hope you’re right.

      You’re still an internet tough guy, though.

      Chill out bro. You’ll be a lot happier.

      • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 1:23 AM

        Chilling out is not the Miami way, dude. The 80’s Canes paved the way. Miami is supposed to be loud…

  4. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    If only I didn’t live on EST (for david8726, that means Eastern Standard Time) and didn’t need to be at work in 6 hours, I’d go back and requote allllllllllllllllllllllllllll the Heat haters.

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:43 AM

      By the way, I do want to congratulate Gar Forman for sharing Pat Riley’s Executive of the Year Award and “Thibs” for winning the Coach of the Year, even though Spoelstra had the harder job. I still maintain that while LBJ is the better player, Rose was more valuable to his team. After what I’ve seen these playoffs, the Bulls are an 8 seed w/o Derrick.

      Congrats on the hardware!

    • david8726 - May 27, 2011 at 1:20 AM

      You sure are a sensitive one, aren’t you?

  5. thekingdave - May 27, 2011 at 12:42 AM


    Manic depressive anyone? Calm down buddy, things will be okay…

    • edweird0 - May 27, 2011 at 12:43 AM

      I think your mistaking his happiness and enthusiasm for something else…

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:47 AM

      Nope, just waiting for this to happen. I’m going to have a LeBatard-style rant on this board once they win the championship. You should know dude, I’ve been on here for a while getting beat up by everyone else for loving my Heat. Put it on your calendar… 6/12.

      • southbeachtalent - May 27, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        Did you hear the scarface soundboard bit? Hilarious!!

        Rejoice Heat fans we are the Eastern Conference Champs!!!!!!!!!!
        And we get to enjoy the long weekend!! No rest for Dirk and co. Couldn’t have turned out better.

        Did philtration hang himself??

  6. pat2452 - May 27, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Again, Derrick Rose misses another crucial free throw late in the game. How do you miss crucial free throws time and time again?!? 1st the NCAA Championship, then Game 4, and now Game 5. Had to be the 3 biggest games of his life and all were blown by fundamentals. You know MSU coach Tom Izzo missed a free throw what 40 years ago and now he makes 100 in a row everyday. It’s called practice. Basic fundamentals. Maybe Rose needs to see a psychologist. This is getting ridiculous…

  7. thekingdave - May 27, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    Wow, the team with three of the best players in the NBA is going to the Finals. You guys shocked the world!!!!

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:52 AM

      Actually, WE DID. Read all the bloggers and NBA “experts.” Douche.

      • david8726 - May 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM

        Most of the experts picked the Heat to beat chicago so…..

    • miami4allday - May 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      Yeah we Did because I bet you just like everyone else WERE SAYING THEY COULD NOT DO SO

  8. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 12:51 AM

    I’ll see y’all tomorrow. Chew on this. LeBatard + Scarface soundboard on Miami’s season.


  9. thekingdave - May 27, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Yeah, because all those preseason projections and simulations having the Heat win 66 and challenge the Bulls record of 72 were irrelevant…right. Anything less than a Finals appearance with that roster would have been a colossal failure.

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 1:00 AM

      There’s a world of difference between predictions (F’n Bruce Bowen predicted them as a 4th seed in the presason) and self-made expectations. Nobody had them over Boston in the East. Period.

  10. thekingdave - May 27, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Nobody? Are you blind? They had home court advantage. Boston’s aging by the day. Rondo played with one arm after game three. Cherry picking a few analysts going against the grain doesn’t change the fact the Heat were OVERWHELMING preseason favorites to reach the Finals. PERIOD. Also I’m finding much joy keeping you up knowing you have work in 6 hours.

  11. peppers55 - May 27, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Nothing like the refs controlling the outcome of a game.

  12. hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM

    Last comment of the night, I swear Heat haters:

    The Heat are now 8-15 in games decided by 5 points or less…

    • 1historian - May 27, 2011 at 7:07 AM

      A meaningless stat. The only one that matters NOW is that they are performing now down the stretch.
      Last night in Chicago the Bulls led by 12 with 3:14 to go. The Heat won going away – that’s clutch.
      As much as I don’t want to admit it – that is CLUTCH.

  13. coltsfanindc - May 27, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    i share hnirob’s excitement….
    the Heat need a PG. they’re not ready yet. lebron and wade both need the ball too much to co-exist. They dont have a true big man. etc, etc. so yeh, the preseason expectations were high, but True sports fans knew it would be hard and it was. MANY had the the C’s coming out the East. remember our “poor record” vs elite teams? the fact of the matter is, those who hate the Heat will say, “u should made it. you guys have 3 great players” and will NEVER give them credit. So Heat fans, lets be happy for a sec, but i want 4 more wins to be truly satisfied.

    PS, how does American Airlines get 2 arenas in the same league?

    • hnirobert3 - May 27, 2011 at 6:25 AM

      Considering the uncertainty of the CBA, if the new deal allows for the MLE, this will be the worst that this Heat team will be. It’s an ehhh roster once you get passed the Big 3, UD, Miller and Anthony. They’ll be able to go out and get more mid level guys. Here’s to hoping that the other owners don’t kamikaze this, though.

  14. bittersonicsfan - May 27, 2011 at 5:19 AM


    Taking names like Sugotz! Make room on the float for hnirobert3!

  15. 1historian - May 27, 2011 at 7:02 AM

    Both of the finalists executed down the stretch which is what it takes to get to the finals.

    Heat fans – 1) Congratulations 2) This is your time to be loud and obnoxious so knock yourselves out.

    Go Mavs – in 6.

    Don’t forget that the finals are 2-3-2

  16. Milton Galfas - May 27, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    YOu would have to be a fool to have thought that the child teams would beat the grownup teams to advance to the finals. Basketball is a team sport that requires IQ. The run fast play of a Rose and Westbrook are great for ESPN highlights but awful for the NBA post season. It has always been that way and will always be that way. And the same is true for defense. Miami is the better defensive team and therefore will win the NBA title unless Stern can get his refs to win won like he has done for the LA Lakers the last 2 years. Remember that Miami is a bigger market then Dallas and means more money next year for the NBA so you would think that the NBA wants them to win.

    The only problem is that Lebron, Wade, and Bosh broke the plantation mentality stranglehold that the Owners had over theplayers and it would suit Stern and the owners to brake those three runaway slaves for daring to be the master of their own destiny. And on top of that they did not go to play in one of the money markets.

    • dallasdoobman - May 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      miami is a bigger market than Dallas… give me my blunt back your cut off

  17. coltsfanindc - May 27, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    loving Milton’s comment.

  18. philiplewis1 - May 27, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Miami’s defense is not as good as people think due to the anemic offenses in the Eastern Conference. All you have to do is watch the confusion in the Bulls/Heat series by both offenses, the lack of crisp passing, and the clunkers thrown at the rim to know that both these teams have trouble scoring points. The lack of Miami offense and the fact that no one can guard Nowitski (without fouling out) will give the series to Dallas. Plus don’t underestimate the value of Rick Carlisle. The consistency of the Maverick play in the closing minutes of virtually every game in the playoffs is no accident. It’s the coaching staff that is primarily responsible. The Carlisle vs Scott Brooks matchup was no contest. Just look at the ridiculous final 16 seconds for the Bulls last night. How can you not have a better effort than that. Carlisle will be the difference vs Miami.

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