Jason Terry with 17 and DeShawn Stevenson with 11 outscored the entire Heat bench 28-15 to spur the Mavericks past the Heat 86-83. There were 12 lead changes and 15 ties. Game 5 Thursday, 9 p.m. EST on ABC.
First off, I gotta give Whitlock mad props for this piece. The Heat are -21 vs. Dallas at the line this series after dominating the stripe against Philly, Boston and Chicago. Wade (32 points, 6 rebounds) was all over the place once again but LeBron was not.
I don’t want this to sound as if I’m bashing LeBron, but honestly, my first thought was Donovan McNabb.
In Philly, while in his prime, Donovan did all he could to prove to the world he was a pocket passer and all but stopped using his legs as a weapon. McNabb then began to hear the whispers he wasn’t running enough. We all know what transpired and Donovan was slammed by everyone. He couldn’t win.
LeBron can’t have a 2011 Jason Kidd line in a pivotal game that most will see as a Dallas back breaker had the Heat won. He said in the post game presser he would have cared less about his point total if Miami did in fact win, but of course when people look back on this box score, LeBron’s line will jump out and dance around their minds.
In 89 playoff games before last night, LeBron James never failed to score at least ten points. On the surface, that is such a NBA materialistic stat but when you consider the Heat scored just 14 points in the 4th quarter last night, one must wonder if something is up with the 26 year old wunderkind. Wade left it all out on the floor. There was nothing he didn’t do and Chris Bosh had a nice game as well (24 points, 6 rebounds) but for this team to win a title it’s going to take more than Dwyane Wade and Bosh doing what they normally are capable of.
As Chris Webber said last night, LeBron is a bit of a Magic Jordan hybrid. It must be difficult to have so much talent at your disposal but LeBron has to understand there is no defense existing that can shut him down enough to simply turn him into a triple single point guard.
This is not about points…again…but more about becoming more of an assertive threat to make the Mavericks defense extend that much farther to free LeBron’s teammates just a little bit more.
There will be erroneous Michael Jordan Flu game comparisons with Dirk’s performance and even he shot down the seemingly media forced notion by simply comparing his line to Mike’s post game. Dirk obviously didn’t shoot the ball well…missing 13 of his 19 shots…but scored 10 in the fourth…including the game winning layup after Wade missed the second of two free throws that would have tied the game at 84.
Nine of Tyson Chandler’s sixteen boards were offensive and his presence helped the Mavs close a series wide margin in paint scoring 40-38 (last night).
DeShawn Stevenson was asked to come off the bench and J. J. Barea was named starter. Dallas had to do something different and that tweak could be seen as the determining factor but the truth remains that LeBron James has to attack with Wade bad intention. If Miami does not win this series, Game 4 will become another Boston Game 5. Maybe he’s too chill. Maybe he’s thinking too much like again, McNabb, but one thing LeBron must understand is he does not want to go through another summer of media and fans questioning his fortitude.
This is not about a Dallas zone stifling a 6’8″ truck from getting into the lane. This is more about LeBron making up his mind and taking it to a defense that has never been mistaken for a defense (zone?).
Get it right…get it right…get it tight…
Wade and Bosh want this. Do you?
|E. Dampier||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|E. House||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Jones||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|Z. Ilgauskas||DNP — INACTIVE|
|J. Magloire||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Pittman||DNP — INACTIVE|
|C. Brewer||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|I. Mahinmi||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|R. Beaubois||DNP — INACTIVE|
|C. Butler||DNP — INACTIVE|
|D. Jones||DNP — INACTIVE|
Time of Game: 2:40