Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks were able to show up last night during game 4 and even the series. The big story line was the game itself and the fact that Dirk was playing with a 102 degree fever. After the way the Heat played in game 3, there was speculation that if the Mavs couldn’t get off the ropes, the heat could deliver a kill shot and have a chance to end the series in Dallas. But that was not in cards for this series, as the Mavericks showed a back bone and found a way to pull out a victory.
Watching the game there were a few observations and thoughts I had about the game itself and what was happening throughout the course of the game.
Lebron James and his comical flops and dives:
Lebron James has pretty much disappeared in the 4th quarter this series, but he has made his presence known elsewhere so far. He has proved that he should be an Oscar winning actor or an Olympic diver because he has made an art of diving and flopping when somone just waves at him. Can’t fault the guy for doing it repeatedly when the refs will allow him to do it and give him what could be considered very cheap fouls.
The refs and their footprint on this series:
I am not going to say that the refs are leaning one way or the other on this series. But there is a common fact that all superstars will get the sometimes questionable calls. Dirk has gotten his fair share of the calls, but it seems like Wade and Lebron seems to catch a few more lucky breaks when it comes to those close to even questionable calls. Overall the refs have been good in the series, but as referenced above, they need to crack down on flopping.
Mavs and their lack of rebounding:
One area the Mavericks have been getting killed this series is on the boards, Miami always has at least 3 guys in the paint to try for a rebound, while the mavs have 4 players half way down the court. This is one thing that could make a big impact on the remaining game, and if I am Rick Carlisle, then I am getting into every one’s face at shoot around and screaming that they need to attack the boards like a homeless man would attack a buffet line. Rebounding could affect the remaining games of the series and the Mavs need to make an effort to be better.
Jump Shots are killing Dallas:
Every game of this series there has been one thing that has been maddening to every Mavs fan, the fact that everyone will just take any jump shot that is available. When the team is hot and is making them with ease, it is great and everybody loves it. But in games that mean so much, and when it is coming down to have to make buckets then the team needs to force the issue and drive to the basket. But 9 times out of 10 everyone on the floor will take a jump shot first. Until late in the game, then it is almost like they realize that you can go to the basket, but that usually doesn’t happen until the final 6 minutes of the game. If the Mavs could do that for the whole game, they wouldn’t have to make a hard push in crunch time to try and win the game.
Overall this has been a great series, but point blank the Heat have out played the Mavericks in all four games. The Mavericks have just had a combined 10-12 minutes through two games that have helped them win the two game. If the Mavs have any hope of winning this series, they need to correct that and do it in Game 5. Because realistically, if they don’t find a way to win in game 5, they probably won’t win the championship. I don’t see anyway this team could go into Miami and win two games. You are far better off to have to win only one on their floor, and you have already proven you can win on the road.