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NBA finals: Miami will execute at the end of Game 6 or the season ends

Jun 11, 2011, 7:38 PM EDT


One stat sums up why we are one more Mavericks win away from seeing David Stern hand the Larry O’Brien trophy over to Mark Cuban:

In the final six minutes of Games 2 through 5, Dallas has outscored Miami 60-26.

These have been incredibly close games, but with everything on the line Dallas and its veteran lineup have executed better. The Mavericks have gotten the shots they wanted and hit the shots they’ve gotten. Dallas — with a ferocious Tyson Chandler in the paint — has reduced Miami to a jump-shooting team.

Thing is, late in games, Chicago reduced Miami to a jump shooting team, too. Remember the Game 5 comeback against the Bulls by the Heat? What shots do you remember? LeBron James and Dwyane Wade draining 3-pointer after 3-pointer.

But that is not their forte, they are two of the best penetrators the game has seen and when both are settling for jumpers they can be beat. Not always, just ask the Bulls, but the odds improve because when they get inside they are nearly unstoppable.

It is possible that Game 6 in Miami on Sunday night will see one team break out for a comfortable win, but based on the last five games it’s hard to expect. And even if a team — especially Miami — does get hot and pull out to a double-digit lead, you know the other team will come roaring back at some point.

Dallas has come back because it is hitting its shots late — you expect that from Dirk Nowitzki, but in Game 5 Jason Terry and J.J. Barea and seemingly anyone else in a Mavericks uniform could not seem to miss. Terry has LeBron in his face and drains the dagger three. They run a beautiful staggered screen set that Miami has yet to figure out how to defend. They mix in a little zone, just enough to keep the Heat off balance. You know, when the pressure is on, Dallas is going to make plays at the end of the game.

Can Miami? That ends up being the only question that matters coming into Game 6. Will LeBron come off the high-pick and bull his way to the basket rather than see the double team and become passive, looking for the pass but not imposing his will on the game? Will Wade take over at the end of the game and make it his own? Will one of them work to get open off the ball rather than stand around in the corner like a jump shooter. Or, if they do settle for jumpers, will the shots fall like they did against Boston and Chicago?

Dallas wants no part of a Game 7. They could well win it, but Game 7s are unpredictable — the Lakers’ Ron Artest was the best player on the court in last year’s Game 7. Anything can happen. Dallas needs to close it out now to make sure they win the title.

Which means they need to close out the final six minutes like they have the last four games. If they continue to play like that, well, it will be fun to see the look on Stern’s face when he has to hand Cuban the most cherished prize in the NBA.

  1. nfl25 - Jun 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    i will never understand why i c lebron and wade keep shooting 3’s and long 2’s during the last few minutes of the game. yeah it worked against the bulls and a little bit with boston. but now they arent hitting those shots. i hope they keep it up and the mavs end it on sunday. maybe after they get knocked out the “big 3” can do another modeling show for the miami fans.

    • rbrown4495 - Jun 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      I’m a Heat fan as well so want to say the Dallas defense will not let them in the middle, forcing Miami to beat them with threes knowing their Miami’s 3 pt shooting has not been consistently good. Come on Bibby, do your job

  2. thesaint23 - Jun 11, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    after the series maybe stern can get jesse jackson and al sharpton to hold some type of summit in which they get lebum, d. west, gloria, lebum’s girlfriend and lewis together so that the whole group can find a just and fair resolution on their personal issues. Maybe the poor devils can also discuss why is it that “the queen” can not perfom under pressure and chokes in the clutch. (lol, lol)

    and just maybe lebum can tell the world why he can’t quard jason terry and why “the custodian” is having a better finals series then “the queen”?

    if dallas wins, it would be nice to see stern have to hand cuban the championship trophy.

    God Bless George W. Bush

  3. kyleortonsarm - Jun 11, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    And he would hand it to Cuban why? It isn’t like he does anything but bitch. He doesn’t develop players or formulate strategies. He just keeps putting on more and more weight while sitting around with a stupid expression on his face.

    • lothartheterrible - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      From 1990-1999, the Mavericks compiled a record of 239-549 for a winning percentage of .303 and zero playoff appearances (this includes an 11-71 season followed by a 13-69 campaign). Since Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000, the Mavericks have a record of 620-282 (.687), have made the playoffs each of those seasons and been to the finals twice. While they have yet to win it all (our fingers are crossed for tomorrow), it cannot be denied that Mark Cuban, like him or not, took a sad sack perennial also-ran and returned them to relevance by injecting capital and energy into the franchise. We know that it’s hip to hate everything about Dallas simply because everyone hates the Cowboys, but one cannot deny Mark Cuban’s importance to this team.

  4. pete611 - Jun 11, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Wow klyeortonsarm, that is an awful lot hate.
    I will agree Cuban as weird face now and then, but he has always been a great owner that is will to do whatever it take to put together a winning teem.

    And I would have to disagree with weight issue, he is probably in better shape then any owner other then MJ.

  5. thetooloftools - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Ghetto Punks Must Go Down !

  6. thetooloftools - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Ghetto Punks Must Go Down !

    • purdueman - Jun 12, 2011 at 12:30 AM

      Uh, you said that already!

      • randysavage4ever - Jun 12, 2011 at 1:35 AM

        ghetto prisoners rise rise rise

  7. purdueman - Jun 12, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    While the Heat are trying to execute, you can bet your bottom dollar that knowing Queen James is tied up for the night, Rashard Lewis is going to have himself one paa-tieee with Le Bum’s finance again! I bet that he celebrates by “wheelbarrowing” her tomorrow night!!!

  8. diablito0402 - Jun 12, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Hahahaha funny, what else can go bad for lebrick, problems out side the basketball court, on the court what a mess, and hes ladies cant stay in check.

  9. goforthanddie - Jun 12, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Stern will enjoy handing Cuban the trophy. He knows Cuban’s good for the game.

  10. gs7101 - Jun 12, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Not so fast — Commissioner Stern will not be presenting the Larry O’Brien trophy to Mark Cuban after tonight’s game. The Heat will come out and play their best game in the series. By now, the Heat players should be smart enough to know who the Mavericks are; find a way to stop J.J. Barea and the rest of Dallas’ role players. They don’t have anyone who can matchup and stop Nowitzki.

    I know the Heat’s many critics are hoping the Mavericks will win tonight’s game, but that’s just wishful thinking. Like Dennis Green said after his team’s 2006 playoffs loss against the Bears, “Now if you want to crown them, then crown their ass! But they are who we thought they were, and we let ‘em off the hook! LOL, Heat wins by six points!!

  11. redbear18 - Jun 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Haha, I want Dallas to close out tonight to hear what Cuban will say after holding everything in for the playoffs. Mount Vesuvius, anyone?

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