Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
The stage is set for the Mavericks to win their first championship if they can defeat the Heat in game 6. The Heat is 5-point favorites with an over/under point total set at 187.
For the first time in this NBA Finals series, we were treated to some free-flowing offense as the Mavericks scorched the Heat by 112-103 in game 5. While Dirk Nowitzki shook off his illness to score a game-high 29 points, it was truly an all-round team effort on offense as the Mavericks shot 56.5 percent from the field, including 68.4 percent from the three-point line (13 of 19). In such a crucial game, it was the Mavericks guards who stepped up, as Jason Kidd and JJ Barea combined for 30 points and 11 assists, while Jason Terry provided the spark off the bench with 21 points including a clutch long range three to seal the victory.
For the Heat, they will have to regroup quickly and win the last two games, but they can certainly take some positives out of the loss as LeBron James responded to his game 4 debacle with a triple-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Dwayne Wade was unable to continue his impressive scoring run after he left the game following a nasty collision, but he did return to finish the game with 23 points and eight assists in only 34 minutes. Chris Bosh was solid without being spectacular, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds and the Heat had a spark of their own in the form of Mario Chalmers who finished with 15 points and saw more time than Mike Bibby who couldn’t handle JJ Barea’s speed.
Obviously, this is a “do or die” situation for the Heat who is under a world of pressure to win game 6 and keep their season alive. Miami will need to make immediate adjustments to their gameplan because they allowed the Mavs to dictate the tempo and open up the floor for their shooters who were practically dormant until game 5. With everything on the line, it is time for the Big Three to have their best game of the season because anything less won’t be enough. Yes, you expect the Heat’s support players to improve at home, but Dirk has been consistently great while his supporting cast are coming off their best game. Before game 1, I predicted this series to go to seven games and my opinion hasn’t wavered, but I think giving the Mavs a 5.5 start is a little too much for the way this series has gone. I think this game goes down to the wire for the fourth time in this series. I’m taking the Mavericks plus the five here.
Dallas Mavericks +5 Miami Heat