Blog Entry

NBA Finals: The Mavs know they've had chances

Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 4:44 pm

Posted by Matt Moore

Dallas -- The Mavericks are in this thing. Yes, they are down 2-1 and lost the super-mega-pivotal Game 3. But in reality, you can point to missed opportunities in both games. The Heat have played suffocating, all-world defense, and still the Mavs have responded to every run the Heat have made, adjusted for the most part to everything the Heat have done.

In the first half of Game 3, the Mavericks had a deficit in offensive rebounds. They wound up controlling 30 percent of all available OREBs to Miami's 23 percent, a 12-9 advantage in a series where every possession is critical. They allowed super-dunks from LeBron James driving to the rack. They held him to the perimeter for much of the second half. The Heat rattled off runs. The Mavericks responded. The Mavericks are in this thing.

But what's costing them is turnovers. Missed opportunities are evening out the good things they're doing. On Monday after practice, the Mavericks talked about how it's not just the number of opportunities they're giving the Heat but the type. Both Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion talked about the need to make sure the Heat aren't getting those steals that lead to open-court dunks, a sign that the Mavericks have made it a priority.

"Sometimes our best turnovers, if we do make one," Kidd said, "(we need to) throw it in the stands so we can set our defense. Because if you don't, and they get their hands on the ball, they are laying the ball up at the other end."

Marion laughed about the need to make "good" turnovers.

"When you're turning the ball over to create baskets, there's no answer for that. You know, when you do turn the ball over, throw it into the stands or something."

Marion said that the changes the Mavs have to make are both in scheme and concentration, with both creating problems in the other area for a spiral effect.

"It all points to each other," the Mavs' wing said.

Head coach Rick Carlisle instead focused on how the Mavs are playing consistently in key situations but allowing too many runs. Instead of focusing on the dramatics of the fourth quarter, Carlisle said the first quarter was a problem.

"The runs that they made throughout the game at pivotal times are what hurt us. We got up 14-9, and then six of our next eight possessions were what we would consider to be subpar... The end of the first quarter was a period that really hurt us, because they scored seven points in under a minute. So we can't allow those things to happen."

The Mavs are doing some good things. They're correcting problems as they go. But up against a team as talented and loaded as the Heat, having turnover issues and short lapses create holes they can't dig out of. With Game 4 looming, it's Dallas' turn to figure out how to capitalize on the openings the Heat are providing them.


Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2011 4:04 pm

NBA Finals: The Mavs know they've had chances

My comments were before game 4..and the proved to be on point. He isn't as good as the greats before him. He hasn't had to earn it against someone that is his equal. He teamed up with his equal and now he doesn't know what to do when it matters most.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:48 am

NBA Finals: The Mavs know they've had chances

Worthy made the HOF because of Magic. 
That's total bs.  You don't know your history. Worthy was the #1 overall pick. He had all the tools to be one of the best finishers of his era. He put in the time to work on his game just like Magic did. Kareem had  a hall of fame career before Magic got drafted. 

Who is Lebron making better is not really a valid question.  But based on your logic he is making Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, and Haslem better be distributing the ball to them while they are on the court.  

I say your credibility is bubkes!  You failed my eye test.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:10 pm

NBA Finals: The Mavs know they've had chances

It just bothers me that the Heat don't seem to run a normal offense. They don't have a flow or leader on the offensive end. LeBron keeps getting all the Magic Johnson comparisons
but I just don't see it. Magic would drop a dime on Cooper that would wow me. He set Kareem up perfectly, Worthy made the HOF because of Magic. Who is Lebron making better? I don't see it from the Heat. They might win but it just doesn't pass the eye test with me. I don't think this team could beat any of the Lakers Champions, Pistons, Bulls, Spurs. I even think the team that the Heat had with Shaq would beat this bunch. Maybe this bunch is better than the Pistons but not the Bad Boy Pistons. They could beat the Billiups and Rip Hamilton Pistons.

Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:56 pm

NBA Finals: The Mavs know they've had chances

I know that people are focused on the Chris Bosh jumper and the Dirk Nowitzki miss at the end of game 3, but to me the critical moments for the Heat came slightly earlier when they put up 5 unanswered points on two offensive possessions to create the 7-point cushion that allowed them to withstand the final Mavericks push.

The first play featured some brilliant ball movement that put the ball in Udonis Haslem's hands for an unoppsed 14 footer.  The second was a nice toss back from LeBron James to Mario Chalmers for a wide open 3 pointer from a foot behind the arc.  Here were two critical baskets scored by members of the Heat's supporting cast, something the Mavericks simply could not match with their Nowitzki or bust offense.

I believe that the Mavericks may be forced to activate Caron Butler to get some emotional momentum in game four, which they obviously absoluetly positively have to win.  

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