The Miami Heat look like a team that doesn't know how to win. In a series that has set a NBA finals record for having three-consecutive games finish within three points, this team is going to have to figure out how to close-out games or they will be watching Dallas celebrate in Miami.
One player for Miami that knows what he's doing out there is Dwyane Wade. He is playing like an elite NBA player, his counterpart, LeBron James, is playing like he's scared to lose. Wade finished with 32 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and about three top-10 plays on Sportscenter. James finished the game going 3-11 with 8 points. He scored ZERO points in the fourth quarter and only attempted one shot despite playing all 12 minutes. Call him a facilitator all you want, he had seven assists on the night, but somebody else on this team has got to score and that is supposed to be something James is pretty good at doing. James via espn.com
"I've got to do a better job of being more assertive offensively. I'm confident in my ability. It's just about going out there and knocking them down."
It's hard to knock them down in the fourth quarter when you aren't taking any shots.
Chris Bosh easily had his best game of the series. He became an asset to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night and not a liablility. He finished the game with 24 points but made his presence felt from the beginning of the game as he scored the first six points of the game for the Heat.
At the end of the first quarter the score was tied 21-21, Miami was shooting 29% while Dallas was shooting 50% at that time. Eight of the first twelve points for Miami were on second chance buckets, and they had nine offensive rebounds in the first quarter. Something eventually clicked for Dallas defensively when they switched to zone because they hampered down in the fourth quarter. After a 13-1 run by Miami at the end of the 3rd quarter and into the 4th, Dallas went on a 21-9 run over the last 10:13 to seal their second come-from-behind victory in the finals against the Heat.
The Miami Heat committed six turnovers in the 4th quarter alone and shot just 5-15 in the final quarter to close out the game. When the "so-called" best player in the game in LeBron James doesn't score in the fourth quarter of the NBA finals while completely healthy, something is terribly wrong with the mental approach.
If Dwyane Wade was taking all of the shots it might be easier to watch. But in the final four minutes of every game the ball needs to be in the hands of Wade or James. Look at what your opponent is doing if you want a display of what to do, the millions of people watching that game knew that Dirk Nowitzki was going to get the ball, he got the ball and he still scored the sealing layup with 14 seconds left in the game.
Even with a 101-degree temperature on Tuesday night before the game, Dirk No'quit'zki found a way to help his team win by scoring 10 of his 21 points in the final quarter. Nowitzki seems like he "gets it" and that goes a long way in translating onto the court. via espn.com
"Just battle it out. This is the finals. You have to go out there and compete and try your best for your team. So that's what I did."
Even Tyson Chandler had something to say about what his MVP-type-performing teammate went through and how much he is battling through this particular sickness. Not to mention that he still has a splint on his finger for the torn tendon that occured earlier in these playoffs.
"The average person, you know, has sick days and battling 100-something (fever), it's just tough to get out of bed, this guy is playing against the best athletes in the world."
The only reason that the Miami Heat are in these games is the immense talent they put out on that floor. They have the talent, and Dallas has the team. The Heat act like they've never been there before, because they haven't except for Wade, Dallas acts like a veteran team that knows teams are going to make runs and it's limiting the damage when those things happen that is important.
This has turned out to be a fantastic series and has now become a best-of-three with the next game being on Thursday night in Dallas.