Dirk began this game about as hot as he was. He made the first three shots in the game to give Dallas a lead. For a guy with a fever if was hard to tell that Dirk was sick. He didn’t play like it. Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra both noted that they hadn’t really noticed that Dirk was sick at all. They had no reason to. Dirk scored 21 points, while having yet another huge 4th quarter, on 6 of 19 shooting and 11 rebounds. 11 defensive rebounds that is. Dirk made big plays when his team needed him to including game winner which was the same shot as in game two, he just went to the right side.
The game was a good game, but as with the rest of this series so much of it was sloppy and mistake-ridden. The Mavs played good defense in the first quarter, holding Miami to 29% from the field, but they had so many turnovers that they were trailing at the end of the quarter. The Heat were up by 9, but couldn’t secure the basketball in the 4th quarter. You may not ever be able to count Dallas out of a ball game, but you can’t guarantee anything with the Heat either.
Dwayne Wade had his signature all over this game. He made plays every time Miami went up the floor. He had big rebounds, knocked down difficult shots, and blocked shots (including a huge rejection on Tyson Chandler.) The person who didn’t really seem to be involved much was Lebron James who scored just 8 points on 3 of 11 shooting. Lebron was productive of course, he had 9 rebounds and 7 assists. It just seemed like he facilitated himself out of the game. One line of reasoning is that he’s tired. With games just one day a part from each other and Lebron logging in 44 minutes to 46 minutes of play per night, he might just be tired. He looked slower than earlier in the series. When you consider that Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, and even Dwayne take 3rd quarter rests in games it’s pretty crazy how many minutes Lebron is playing. Is the lack of depth finally catching up to the Heat? Lebron played 45 minutes again last night. In the press conference ESPN’s Rachel Nichols asked him if he would go to shoot in the gym to get his rhythm back and Lebron said, “With the games so close together it’s more important to get rest, but if I need to fix anything, I’ll shoot, and work on it.”
Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry had good games. There was a play in the game where Jason Terry left Lebron just standing there and looking. This has to do with wether or not Lebron is tired or not. Those words before the game from Terry are not seeming so stupid after all. Brendan Haywood came into the game for three minutes and up seeing how Haywood looked, Chandler checked himself back into the game. Between Terry’s 17 points and Chandlers 13 points and 16 rebounds they made an impact on the game. Dallas is going to see more of this from them if they plan on winning this series.
Dwayne Wade had 32 points on 13 of 20 shooting in the losing effort. He was playing out of his mind and it still wasn’t enough. Which just goes to show that they need all of the big three to play well if they want to win games. Okay I lied, they need the Wade and Lebron part to work. Bosh has filled out the stat sheet in losses before. This, if I’m not mistaken is his 3rd game like this in the playoffs. Bosh scored 24 points on 9 of 19 shooting.
Apart from Wade’s 32 point losing effort, another thing that made this game bizarre is that Miami rebounded better and shot the ball better and still lost this game. Looking at the game closely Dallas was much more aggressive getting to the basket. This allowed them to draw more fouls and beat Miami at the free throw line. The free throw line is what lost Miami the game. They shot less free throws, 24 shots to Dallas’ 30, and made a lower percentage of them. Dallas shot 80% from the free throw line as opposed to the Heat’s 70% not taking into account the free throw Dwayne Wade missed that would have tied the game.
This series is continuing to stay tight but, Dallas needs to finally get a lead in this series while they still have a home game, in order to win the whole sha-bang.