Dirk Nowitzki Finger-Gate Eclipsing Mavs’ Real Needs for Improvement

It’s funny how when a season comes down to the finals or a final game (NFL), the amount of information and buzz given to any little thing is amazing, overwhelming. The last couple of days, if you’ve followed the NBA Finals, the one game of it and the couple of days following it, there’s only one thing being talked about – Dirk Nowitzki’s left hand, and how will it make a difference.

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No talk , or not enough, goes to how the Mavs should improve in Game 2. Rick Carlisle didn’t provide any interesting observations on the adjustments he plans to make, so we’re left with how bad Nowitzki’s finger is. No talk about how much faster Dallas’ ball movement needs to be. Yeah, it’s good to have Nowitzki with the ball, but this Heat defense isn’t whatever the Mavs faced out west. It moves quicker, adjusts better, and actually, Haslem and Anthony or whoever was helping, did a pretty good job on Dirk.

Dallas need to create those spaces and time for Jason Terry to bomb from three. They need have some inside outside game going on. The offense was stuck, plain and simple. With Nowitzki not working his magic, with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade eventually taking over, it was doomed.

So any hope for Game 2? Well, like we said – ball movement, ball movement. Oh, and defense. Look, saying stopping Wade and LeBron is easier said than done, but it’s possible to keep the ball away from them, or at least make an effort. Try and get Bosh to hold on to the ball way way too long, like he did on a few occasions during the second half, when Dallas were able to stop and create a run that gave them an 8 point lead. In short, keep the ball in hands that can’t create that many points.

It’s mostly in Miami’s hand. They’re better matched up and equipped for this series. If they keep playing this kind of defense, they’ll always have a chance down the stretch to finish off the game.

Nowitzki Magic? Udonis Haslem said he won’t change the way he defends him tonight. No need to actually pay attention to his injured finger. He won’t play dirty, cross his heart and hope to die. He’s not that kind of player, or so he says. It sounds a little simplistic right? Play better or lose again? Well, that’s the truth, like it or not. Nowitzki needs another guy to step up, and probably not Jason Terry. It’ll be hard creating those outside shots for him. It’ll have to be Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, someone who can score from the inside to Dallas can get some space. Or just pray for Nowitzki to have one of those +40 night, which is looking highly unlikely right now.