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Mavericks now one win from the title after offensive explosion in Game 5

Jun 10, 2011, 2:12 AM EDT

jason-terry-game-5

Dirk Nowitzki knew that the importance of his Mavericks winning their last home game of the season could not be understated. Game 5 of the Finals, with the series all even at two games apiece and the next two back in Miami, was for all intents and purposes a must-win for Dallas.

Nowitzki put it into the simplest of terms after Thursday morning’s shootaround.

“You don’t want to give them two chances to close it out at home, so this is our Game 7,” he said.

The Mavericks played like it. Putting together their finest offensive performance of the Finals, Dallas blistered Miami for a 112-103 win the team knew it so desperately needed.

The numbers for Dallas in this game were absolutely staggering, considering how the first four games of this series had gone offensively against the intelligence and speed of the Miami defense. The Mavs shot over 65 percent from the field in the first half, on their way to an outstanding 56.5 percent for the game. As good as that overall number is, the three-point shooting was even better, and was the area where Dallas was able to do most of its damage.

As a team, the Mavs hit 13 of their 19 attempts from beyond the three-point arc, good for a ridiculous 68.4 percent. This comes after Dallas made a combined 27 threes in the first four games of the series, and averaged just 34 percent shooting from downtown on 79 total attempts.

The scary thing for the Heat is, there wasn’t necessarily any big adjustment on the Mavericks’ part that Miami can try to counter moving forward. As Jason Terry pointed out afterward, Dallas just hit the open looks that they failed to convert earlier in the series.

“We are getting the same looks we knew we would get,” he said.  “After Games 1 and 2, you watch it on film, you see it and then you realize where you’re going to have the opportunities.  I said to myself, I said to my teammates, we’re not going to continue to miss those open shots that we’re getting.”

Nowitzki said effectively the same thing, when asked if the difference in his team’s offense in this one was simply his team’s ability to knock down shots.

“I thought in the first four games we looked at the film, we stepped into some good shots,” he said. “We just, for some reason we weren’t knocking them down like we did in the first three series.  I mean, if we would have struggled shooting the ball like that in the first three series, I don’t know if we would have gotten here.

“Our ability to make shots on the weak side is a big part of what we do.  Tonight we talked about it.  Keep stepping into those shots when they’re there … I thought we hit big, timely shots tonight. “

None were bigger or more timely than Terry’s dagger three with 33.8 seconds left, a backbreaker of a bucket that put Dallas up seven and sealed the win, placing the Mavericks  just one win away from an NBA title.

If the Mavericks are to get that last victory, Game 6 would appear to be their best opportunity to do so. Home court advantage in the Finals is strong, and Dallas needs to only look back a single season to see the team that played the middle three games of the series at home leave with a 3-2 lead, before proceeding to lose the next two on the road. Just as Nowitzki described Game 5 as being his team’s Game 7, he and others did the same when talking about the importance of Game 6, likely for this very reason.

Yes, Dallas is facing its second consecutive Game 7, figuratively speaking. All the team has to do now is come up with one more game of stellar shooting to ensure that they don’t have to play in a literal one, on the road, with a championship hanging in the balance.

  1. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    Denial is not a river in Africa; it is a river that runs right through the heart of Miami, past the Arena and then takes a DUMP at South Beach! Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!

    Calling Miami PD! Calling Miami PD!! There’s a big old broken down bandwagon blocking the interstate just south of the Miami Arena! Bwahahahahahahaha!!

    • savocabol1 - Jun 10, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      Hahahaha I love this post.

  2. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:23 AM

    This just in! The Heats “Big 3″ have just been spotted in South Beach holding another big celebration over “the decision”! Film on the morning news at 6!!!!

  3. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 10, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Maybe the question should be asked: Is Dallas just a better TEAM than Miami?

    • passerby23 - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      I’m salivating over the possibility of a Dallas championship – Dirk and Kidd deserve one more than anyone – but I still have the Heat in 7. I do agree though, Dallas seems to have a more complete team than Miami.

  4. diablito0402 - Jun 10, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Hahahaha good stuff purdueman hahaha, miami PD has also put out a national search for lechoke, someone kiddnapped him in the 4th quarter once again. Me personally i just think he CHECKED out.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 10, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      he was taking a leak bro

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      This from Twitter this morning… Never ask Le Bum for change for a dollar, because he’ll never give you a 4th quarter!!!

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      This just in… the largest milk company in Miami has agreed to put Le Choke’s picture on all of their milk cartons immediately with a “no questions asked” toll free telephone number for tips about his whereabouts!

  5. southbeachtalent - Jun 10, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Not much to say, but I will say this. We will win in it, no doubt in my mind. Purdueman how the Bulls doing??

    By the way nothing being said about Terry and his Jet move across the court??? If that were LeBron it be front news page! MVP’s last night Dirk and officials. Especially the officials they played great!!! Can’t wait for Sunday, Mavs will get their hearts broken.

    Again, Purdueman respect your Eastern Conference Champs.

    • philtration - Jun 10, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      The Bulls are doing great.
      As a matter of fact they should be real hungry to win a title next season since they did not get to celebrate one this year like Miami did.
      Several times actually.

    • pdbro - Jun 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      Why would there be something said about Terry doing his stupid jet celebration? It’s his shtick.

    • davidly - Jun 10, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      A couple of factors go into the “premature celebration outrage” and one of them certainly is irrational animosity towards the Heat. Another is the sports urinalist mentality that rules dialog such as one finds here. The latest and most unique factor, however, is that nearly all the players have Twats.

      Don’t be fooled, though. Outside of Dallas and Miami (and forums like these), nobody really cares.

      • almzor - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        One questions why you’d come to one of the few places that does care to make an ass of yourself proclaiming how little everyone else cares. Trolling is an art that you still need to refine. I’ll give you an A for effort though.

      • davidly - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        @almzor
        I get it. So you’re saying that a successful troll would have garnered 20+ refined replies such as yours instead of the primordial thumbs down?

      • fouldwimmerlaik - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Finally, someone who admits that all of The Heat players have Twats!

    • lunasceiling - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      There is little in this world more ironic (or hilarious) than a butthurt Heat fan whining “refball.” Thanks for the lulz.

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      southbeach… I’ve checked and double checked on You Tube and I can’t find any videos of the Bulls celebrating their upcoming next seven consecutive championships prior to the start of the season, but I certainly can find one of the Heat’s three stooges doing so!

      I’ll be the first to admit two things:

      1) The Bulls shocked Chicago and went WAY farther this year than ANY Bulls fan would have ever dreamed. Heat fans on the other hand started to celebrate a championship this year the day that the shameless “The Decision” was aired; and

      2) Every Bull fan knew and knows that the Bulls were a lot like a race car running on three real tires and a donut spare, the donut spare being journeyman Keith Bogans starting because the Bulls have no legit #2 guard.

      Only on NBA championship has been won since 1976 by a team that has only one star, that being the Pistons back in the ’80’s. Why should the Bulls losing to the Heat this year be such a surprise?

  6. diablito0402 - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Mavs all the props in the world and im a fan of neither team, but talking about the refs southbeach, didnt wade have like 17 freethows in 27 minutes, just saying. Im not bashing on lechoke no more i ran out of things to say on how he wasnt made to lead or close games, haha not really, where was lechoke last night did he play down the stretch, ohh i think he was making an appointment to get that tatoo on his back removes”the choosen one”

  7. lucky5934 - Jun 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I am not going to celebrate yet, but it doesn’t look good for the Heat. Yes I know they are at home, but the Mavs are in their heads now. Only team to beat them at home in the playoffs. Only team to notch consecutive wins against them in the playoffs. Now Wade has a bruised hip, and Lebron fades away in the 4th quarter. In fact, he has put so much pressure on himself now that I am not sure if he can relax for the last two games. Sure the Heat could have won the series by now and been in a parade by the end of the week (Which also goes for the Mavs). Yes they can pull a 2010 Lakers and win the final 2 games at home to win the series 4-3. But I just don’t see it. The Heat are not learning from their mistakes. They continue to blow late game leads by settling for jumpshots instead of driving the lane and earning the foul.

  8. heathavoc - Jun 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Dallas played a good game
    the refs called a good game, ignoring the “flopping” . But dont count Miami out Dallas played their best offensive game and Miami played their worst defensive game and it was a close game
    If Dallas is so great and Miami is horrible why was it such a close game. Either Dallas beat a great team, or they won a close game against a team that should be no challenge for them

  9. purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    southbeach…

    I’ve checked and double checked on You Tube and I can’t find any videos of the Bulls celebrating their upcoming next seven consecutive championships prior to the start of the season, but I certainly can find one of the Heat’s three stooges doing so!

    I’ll be the first to admit two things:

    1) The Bulls shocked Chicago and went WAY farther this year than ANY Bulls fan would have ever dreamed. Heat fans on the other hand started to celebrate a championship this year the day that the shameless “The Decision” was aired; and

    2) Every Bull fan knew and knows that the Bulls were a lot like a race car running on three real tires and a donut spare, the donut spare being journeyman Keith Bogans starting because the Bulls have no legit #2 guard.

    Only on NBA championship has been won since 1976 by a team that has only one star, that being the Pistons back in the ’80’s. Why should the Bulls losing to the Heat this year be such a surprise?

    • purdueman - Jun 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

      sorry gang… I have no idea why this got double posted. must have been the kind of forum fart that Le Bum lets loose in the 4th quarter of big games!

  10. mella21 - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Im rooting for the Mavs, but you guys are nuts with this ‘le choke’ and ‘le bum’ stuff.

    BTW-if the Mavs lose game 6 (which is not out of the realm of possibility since the Heat ARE good…. all the games have been very close), then all the momentum gets turned on its head and it’s the Mavs who are now on their heels for a game 7 in a hostile environment. How do u kill the Heat and their fans for celebrating too early…then do the EXACT same thing? lol

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Jun 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      mella:

      I agree with you about the “momentum” thing. Remember after the first game of the Eastern Conference finals, when the Bulls creamed the Heat and everyone was certain that the Bulls were going to win that series. Boy, the “momentum” changed quickly in that series. The same holds true here. If Miami wins game six, all of the sudden it is going to be “The Heat are going to win.”

      I don’t like the Heat. I don’t like their arrogance, their business model (which I believe is very bad for the NBA in the long run), and I think a basketball team should be a “team”, not three super-egos surrounded by NBA rejects. I want the Heat to lose so badly, I can taste it. But, I am still very worried that they can win this series easily.

      Please, Mavs, please, end it in 6.

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