Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks and Heat vie for a chance to be one game away from the title as they square off in game five. The Mavericks are 2-point favorites over the Heat with an over/under point total of 186.
After Dallas stormed back once again to take game four in predictably close fashion, this NBA Finals is on pace to become one of the greatest in recent memory. It is hard to believe game five will do anything to change its course in history.
With Dirk Nowitzki sick as a dog and LeBron’s face on a milk carton, Dwayne Wade asserted himself as the dominant star in game four with 32 points, 6 boards, and 2 jaw-dropping blocks. But it was the Mavs defense that was the story of the game as it befuddled and bamboozled the Miami offense in the fourth quarter. Fourteen points were all that offense could muster, all thanks to some zone defense and horribly sloppy play by the Heat. As has been documented ad nauseum, King James had one measly shot attempt in the final frame and a career playoff-low of eight points.
Of course, Dirk came through in the end after Wade missed the game-tying free throw with under 30 seconds left. Nowitzki brushed aside conventional wisdom by making his move with plenty of time left on the shot clock. The result was an easy layup and a three-point lead that eventually sent the Heat players back to their hotel shaking their heads. Though the Mavericks’ star finished off the game, Tyson Chandler shined the brightest for Rick Carlisle’s team. His nine offensive rebounds masked an iffy offense; on the other end, he was the anchor most responsible for sinking Miami’s offense.
Tonight all eyes will be on LeBron as he looks to bounce back from a lethargic performance. Dallas fans will be anxious to see how Dirk will be able to perform. Each side will be lucky to get a ‘W’ with repeat performances from its star. No matter what, it should be a thrilling game given the talent and effort on display. Miami with the points the stronger play to me if you want to take a side here. LeBron will pick up his play even if it does not translate to 30 points. More importantly, the Mavs continue to have few answers for Wade. But I prefer the under, as these teams have flashed some great defense. The shooting will pick up from game four; however, I do not expect the game to end up in the mid-nineties given the way the series has gone. I’m taking the under 186 here