We talked and talked about Nowitzki needing to get help from his guys. Well, on a night when Nowitzki couldn’t get anything to drop, couldn’t get the calls and was battling a +100 fever, he got the help from Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry. For the Heat, it was Dwyane Wade, alone in the end. LeBron James pulled a disappearing act and eventually, despite his 32 points and a huge effort on both ends, it was the sick Dirk Nowitzki who scored the biggest shot of the night.
The Mavs ties the series back at 2-2 with the 86-83 win, another game that had the potentially deciding shot in the final seconds. Dwyane Wade made only 1 of 2 when he could of tied things up with 30 seconds to go. On the other end, Nowitzki took advantage of Haslem loosening his grip on him for a split second, gaining enough space to drive to the basket and finish, with his right hand if you’re wondering. The Finger is out. The Fever is in, and it didn’t stop him either.
There were times in the second half that I was wondering how the Mavs were going to score any points. Nowitzki was suffering on the bench with Barea next to him. Somehow, the Mavericks held on. Dwyane Wade was amazing, but Chris Bosh spent his ammo in the first three quarters (24 points). Miami didn’t build enough of a lead, Jason Terry hit shots early in the fourth and LeBron James, well…
Maybe it was the trash talk, maybe it was just an off night, one of several in the finals. It’s one thing taking a step back and letting Wade run the show, but LeBron’s complete fear of taking shots or driving inside, while Jason Kidd or plenty of other mismatches occurring, was the Heat’s demise. He did finish with 7 assists and 8 rebounds. But only 8 points, 3-11 from the field. The Heat can’t win like that. No way.
They almost did, but James didn’t deserve to get off that easily. In a frightened performance, even lazy in mind and body while on the offensive side, you don’t deserve to win, don’t deserve glory. Wade did everything he could, including one huge block on Tyson Chandler (reminding me of his Perkins rejection in the regular season) and dozens of other huge plays. He didn’t have the support Nowitzki did.
Dallas have one more home game, and maybe momentum on their side once again. They need Nowitzki healthy again. Help or no, there’s no way in hell LeBron has another night like this, and there’s no way the Mavs win again with Jason Kidd giving up on handling his point guard duties. Yeah, he played his heart out on defense, but 0 points? 3 assists? The Mavs need more, they need someone to create and get the ball moving, something that hardly happened during the first four games. Giving it to Nowitzki in the high post get a bit old, and easy to read at some point.
Two players who should be smiling more than anyone after this game are Tyson Chandler (13 points, 16 rebounds) and Shawn Marion (16 points). Chandler was huge on the offensive glass (9!!), Marion kept the Mavs alive with some improvising and ugly shots that went in. If a sick Nowitzki is what they need to bring it out of them, let him be feverish for the rest of the way. He still manages to score 21 points anyway.