Most of the 2011 NBA Playoffs haven’t made much sense, so this is par for the course.
Dallas, with only 1 star & a bunch of aging veterans, has managed to steal 3 wins so far despite arguably being outplayed in every game in the series. Dirk fades away from contact, shoots on 1 leg, & shot-puts the ball off his fist, sometimes from 25′ away & it still goes in. Even if it doesn’t, he still usually gets the whistle in Mav land (last night Dirk shot 10 free throws while LeBron, a much more physical star, only shot 2).
J.J. Berea, who is only a 31% 3-pt. shooter this season & 1-10 from deep in the series heading into Game 5, nailed 4 of 5 treys last night. Jason Kidd seems to be turning back the clock seemingly every week, improving his defensive quickness & shooting touch at age 38.
The last time we had the “Battle of American Airlines” barns (talk about confusing – both teams have basically the same arena name), Dallas put together an epic choke job, blowing a lead in Game 3 & its 2-0 series lead to lose in 6 games. This time, Miami has the chance to “wet the bed” as Kobe once put it.
And that is fantastic!
Who really wants the Heat to win outside of Miami?? Even there, I’m not sure too many folks are crazy about the Heat. Even Charles Barkley said so, & he’s normally right. He even picked the Mavs to come out of the West before the playoffs started!
The Heat put together this “super team” that basically banks on Wade, James & Bosh scoring 80+ pts. a night, & incredibly it’s working. Thanks to poor execution by the Bulls & clutch Miami shooting, the Heat dismantled Chicago in 5 & could’ve swept the Mavs if Miami had its act together. That epic Game 2 meltdown (blowing a 15-pt. lead at home with about 6 minutes left!) & then the Game 4 “Did LeBron quit again?” mess seemed to follow the Heat right into Game 5. Miami spotted Dallas a 9-pt. 2nd half lead but turned it on late with a 9-0 run to take the lead, yet couldn’t get a quality shot at the end. How in the world does Miami with the best slasher in the game (Wade), the best finisher at the basket (LeBron) & an All-Star frontcourt player (Bosh) not hammer it inside once it got in the bonus?? And that ignores all the free dunks they got from Haslem thanks to blown defensive rotations by Dallas!
With all the Heat stars’ whining, making of excuses, & questions about blown leads & quitting, this seems a lot like the questions LBJ was faced with in Cleveland doesn’t it?? While I actually don’t think LBJ quit in Game 4 vs. Dallas, I’m not surprised plenty of people think otherwise.
In the end, these Finals will likely end very much like last year, where the Lakers rode their home court advantage, star play & matchup factors to take the series in 7 after trailing 3-2. I’m hope I’m wrong, so Dirk, Kidd, Terry, Peja, etc. & Cuban can finally get the title they’ve chased for so long.
Prediction: Heat in 7
In the interest of full disclosure, my original prediction was the Heat in 6, & thankfully that is now an impossibility. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to get that on here in time, check back for more updates in the future!