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Dirk needs help if Dallas is going to get a ring

Jun 6, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks go Getty Images

Going into this series Dallas’ bench was going to be a huge factor.

Well, they have been, just not in the way anybody was picturing.

While single game +/- stats (how a team scores with a player on the court) can be misleading, we have an unmistakable trend broken out by Jeff Fogel at HoopData.

Here’s the breakdown in plus-minuses so far from the Dallas perspective:
Game One: with Dirk -2, without Dirk -6
Game Two: with Dirk +13, without Dirk -11
Game Three: with Dirk +12, without Dirk -14

Because Nowitzki finishes every game unless he’s fouled out, we’ve developed a pattern where the Mavericks fall behind during his rest time…then spend the fourth quarter trying to climb back to equality. They successfully rallied to equality in Games Two and Three, with coin flip endings splitting out one apiece to each team.

If you’re scoring at home, that’s a +23 when he is on the court and a -31 when he sits.

That is -31 in 19:32. Dirk has been off the court less than 20 minutes total in three games.

Dallas’ bench ran into a couple of challenges this series. One is that Miami doesn’t really have a bench, so they don’t play them — in Game 3 one of the Heat “big three” was on the court for every minute of the game and at least two of them for 44 minutes of it. This isn’t a bench-on-bench situation, this is your bench playing against some of the game’s elite players.

Miami’s defense is also different. Dallas is a jump shooting team, they scored a lower percentage of their points in the paint than any team in the NBA. But the Heat are athletic at every position and on the perimeter they close out quickly on shooters. They rush you. They get in your head a little. And the result is Jason Terry shooting 38 percent for three games, J.J. Barea 21.8, Peja Stojakovic just 1-for-5.

Dallas has been close, the last two games have truly been coin flips. Their bench could put them over the top. But it better start soon. Time is running out.

  1. worldbfree4me - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Help, from where? It is, what it is! Dirk “The Great European Hope” against LeBron “The Villan who Left” James except that Heat have an X-factor in DWade! And may the best team win!!

    • edweird0 - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      Are you crazy? Wade is NOT the X-Factor. He’s been the best player this series hands down. If anything Bosh or Chalmers are the X-Factors

  2. hnirobert3 - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    But, Dallas has the 2nd highest payroll in the NBA? That’s why them making the Finals is such a feel good story…..

  3. bolson31 - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Sry to Dallas fans, Heat is on top of their game! This should be 3-0, but give them credit for putting on a show in game two…predict 3-2 in Dallas then Miami taking it in 6 ;)

  4. randysavage4ever - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    I dont know what the big deal is – it was a hard fought game and the end came down to 1 shot with the ball in your best players hands, he missed a TOUGH shot – ok live with it , now on to game 4…

    we would not be having any of these convos if Dirk hit the game tying or game winning bucket..

    Dirk needs help? DUH! Dirk has been carrying this team throughout the playoffs – this is nothing new…

  5. thestudiokida - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Dirk has had help throughout the playoffs but Dallas finally ran into a team that plays defense. The Heat have shut down every team in the playoffs and especially made Chicago look bad. 62 win team that suddenly looked like a one-man show… and that one man was shooting 30 something percent. Congratulations Miami Heat!

  6. robm78 - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    This Kurt guy is obviously a Dallas fan. He needs to stfu

  7. worldbfree4me - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    And didn’t the Ref’s help Dirk out enough? In spite of Dallas getting to the line 2 to 1 over the HEAT ands questionable calls at the end, the HEAT prevailed.

    • edweird0 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Yea you know its bad when the refs can’t even beat the heat.

  8. Amadeus - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Dirk’s barely the third best player on the floor. In certain situations, I’d take Bosh over him. Wade/James plus strong Heat defense too much for overmatched Mavs. Miami wins in 5 or 6 easily.

    • edweird0 - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Woah…. Where the HELL do you come off taking Bosh over Dirk? Are you CRAZY? I’m a die hard Miami Heat fan and I would NEVER. EVER. EVER. Take bosh over Dirk. EVER. No matter WHAT the situation.

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