Sunday evening will be put up or shut up time for the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, as the Dallas Mavericks now face the opportunity to defeat the team many assumed would be cutting down the nets at the end of the season.
For Dallas they have been driven by catalyst Dirk Nowitzki all series long, and look for much of the same on Sunday night. Nowitzski has been averaging 27 points and 9.4 rebounds per game during the finals, and has amped it up a notch in the fourth quarter of the series scoring 44 points, which is more than Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have combined over the first five games. Dirk has also been a remarkable 43-of-44 at the free throw line thus far.
The 32-year old German simply looks like a man on a mission, as he tries to bring a first title to Dallas, and avenging a loss to the Heat in his only other trip to the NBA Finals, back in 2006. With Nowitzki and 38-year old Jason Kidd, the timing is now for the Mavericks and they must win the the title this year as their window is likely closing with the current group. Couple that with the fact Miami is still learning to play together and their star trio of Wade, James, and Chris Bosh are still in their primes, it will be a tall task for many NBA teams to get past the Heat in the upcoming years.
As for Miami, they will be hoping the home crowd combined their star power will help them grind out a Game 6 victory. If the series extends to a seventh game, you certainly have to like the odds of the Heat winning their second ever NBA title. The Heat will have gained momentum and have the home town fans behind them, making it a tough task for Dallas.
In game six look for Dirk to continue doing what he has done all series long, as the Mavericks will look to get the ball in the hands of their star player as much as possible. For Miami, they will need to get more out of James than they have thus far, and Wade must step up and be the leader of the team, much like he did in the Boston series.
Game 6 coverage begins in Miami at 7:00 CST.