Quantcast 2011 NBA Finals: Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavericks

 

Miami Falls Short and Dallas Takes the Series 4-2 to Become the 2010/11 NBA Champions

 

A must win for the Heat. A preferred win for the Mavs. In a post-game interview, Jason Terry mentioned how the Mavs intended to take the next game in Miami in order to close out the series and that is exactly what they did. But it was not easy.

In an attempt to silence his critics, LeBron James opened the scoring for Miami with a great three-pointer to set the Heat on a run that would give them control for the early stages of the game. But, back came Dallas (as we knew they would) with good work in the paint by J.J Barea. I have been hugely impressed with this guy and Rick Carlisle’s decision to have him start the game as his speed and quickness are just what a team needs to begin a game in the right fashion. It kind of begs the question, “why hasn’t he been starting all year?”.

Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson were also responsible for the command that Dallas had on the game after the early Miami onslaught. These two, combined with Barea were knocking down three pointers like they were in a practice game and they needed to with Dirk Nowitzki shooting just 1-11 in the first half. When a player can rely on his team mates to help him out in situations such as this, it greatly takes the weight of his struggling shoulders.

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In typical Miami style the Heat bounced back with excellent shooting by Eddie House and great play in the paint by Mario Chalmers. This would form the makings of a 16-1 run that would once again give Miami the lead. But what was to follow was one of the keys in this game. Just as Dallas called a time-out, DeShawn Stevenson pushed Udonis Haslem on his way back to the bench. This caught the eye of Mario Chalmers who felt the need to rush in and was met with another shove from Stevenson who was then crowded by his team mates and dragged away. The whole thing was resolved with three technical fouls on the players involved, but in my opinion, Haslem did absolutely nothing wrong here. He was pushed, turned around to have a word with the player who pushed him and was issued with a technical foul. Chalmers should have stayed out of it but that doesn’t excuse the behaviour of DeShawn Stevenson. When he is not knocking down three-point shots (which is what he is paid to do) he is trash talking to the media or sarcastically clapping as Chalmers and Haslem receive a technical foul. In what world can the team who began the argument and initiated contact be punished less that the reacting team?! Unprofessional and uncalled for by Stevenson.

This stopped all the momentum that Miami had built up and Terry went to work again despite Nowitzki’s poor shooting to give the Mavericks the lead going in at the half. He would finish the game as the highest scorer with 27 points and was a big reason for their resilience throughout the series.

The third quarter was all Dallas as they outscored the Heat by 7 with great work inside by Tyson Chandler and a couple of dubious calls by the referee regarding Dwayne Wade and Brian Cardinal. The refs had already angered me by this point but the charge calls in the third angered me even more. They fell for Cardinal’s dramatics every time and the NBA Finals are too important for those theatrics to change the course of the game.

 

 

The fourth was really interesting as the Heat attempted to claw back the deficit with great work from Wade in the paint. He created points and drew fouls putting both Nowitzki and Chandler at the foul limit. Mario Chalmers would do the same with the ‘and 1’ but would miss his free-throw. The Heat shot just 20-33 from the line and really could have made this game a lot different if they had shot more consistently off the back of fouls.

My beef with the Heat offence here though, is this. Dallas have a few key players in foul trouble. They don’t come much more ‘key’ than Dirk Nowitzki and this has been achieved by great passing and movement inside the paint to draw fouls. So it would make sense to try and foul those players out by doing what has been working for you so far, which is attacking the basket and laying the ball in. The Heat did not see it this way and no sooner had they began a comeback through good work inside, they began launching wayward three-point shots, very few of which landed and subsequently, this allowed Dirk to stay in the game and play as well as he always does in the fourth quarter. If there was ever a time that I was screaming at my television screen, this was it. He knocked down shot after shot and refused to allow the Heat back into the game. Nowitzki would come away from the game with 21 points, 11 rebounds…oh, and the NBA Championship trophy! Congratulations to Dallas and to Miami for putting on a truly magnificent finals.

I would have liked to see this go to a game seven. Mainly because then I could write more basketball articles for you all out there but also because I have developed a soft spot for the Heat. It’s been loads of fun, but for now, all the best from the UK!

 

Final Score: (DAL) 105 – (MIA) 95

 

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By: Tom Greenhalgh
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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