At some point during the last couple of weeks, probably game 4, in the fourth quarter, this series turned around. LeBron James became invisible when it mattered. Dirk Nowitzki? He was awful in the first half, but scored 18 points in the second half, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to seal the series, to finish off the Heat, to win the 2010-2011 NBA title, the first in franchise history.
When Miami couldn’t sieze control of the game after a huge run in the second quarter, Dallas never let go. Jason Terry finished with 27 points, Dirk Nowitzki with 21, despite shooting 9-27 from the field. Every time the Mavs needed a big shot, they got it. For the Heat? Nothing. Turnovers, choking from the line. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the big three, will have to wait at least four months before they start another run for the title that seemed so close after the win in Game 3.
Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler were there with the huge offensive rebounds and tips. Brian Cardinal was there for some borderline flagrant fouls, that eventually sent the Heat to their misses – 20-33, 60.6%. Jason Kidd hit two huge tres and dished out 8 assists in his best game during the finals series. He reached the NBA Finals twice almost a decade ago. I don’t think how much belief he had in him he’d be there again, that he’d win. We can erase Nowitzki from the MVP winners without a title.
Spoelstra spoke about staying mentally stable during the fourth quarter. The mental strength, toughness, just wasn’t there. Dwyane Wade couldn’t raise his game, finishing with 17 points. Bosh had his moments, but he can’t create on his own. LeBron James, despite 21 points, despite a moment when it seemed that he would catch on fire very early on and in the middle of the fourth, is heading into another summer from hell.
Rick Carlisle – the Mavs’ head coach made the right adjustments and went with right players. Barea, keeping Chandler in despite the foul trouble, getting Nowitzki the rest in the right moments. I don’t know how much of Jason Terry’s amazing Finals is thanks to Carlisle, but they knew what stallion to ride. Nowitzki won the NBA Finals MVP, averaging 26 points in the series, but it was Terry that carried the Mavs in the big moments during the last 3 wins.
One last thing about Miami – when Eddie House looks like the only player not afraid to take brave and gutsy shots in the fourth quarter while LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can’t make the right decision time and time again, something there just went wrong somewhere along the way.
The night belongs to the Mavs – to Cuban, Carlisle, the huge Tyson Chandler, to Jason Terry. Jason Kidd. Dirk Nowitzki, above everyone else. He deserved it. He earned it.