NBA Finals Game 2: Was It a Dallas Mavericks Comeback or a Miami Heat Collapse?

Ryan NeimanContributor IIIJune 3, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 02:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks makes the game-winning shot to put the Mavericks up 95-93 with 3.6 seconds left in the game against Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat in Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 2, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After sleepwalking for three and a half quarters, the Mavericks finally woke up after it appeared Miami Heat was about to slam the door shut after their 13-0 run that put them up 88-73 with 7:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Dallas Mavericks finished a furious comeback after a tie-breaking layup by Dirk Nowitzki with 3.6 remaining on the clock to give the Mavericks a 95-93 victory.

Dirk Nowitzki, who scored the final nine points for the Mavericks, finished the game with 24 points.

The Heat had a chance to be up in the series 2-0, but they are now trudging their way to Dallas with the series tied up 1-1.

And what many will debate tomorrow and up until Sunday for game three, will be if this was this a Dallas Mavericks comeback or a Miami Heat collapse?

The Mavericks simply played better than the Heat in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter as their defense provided a spark they desperately needed.

With Dallas's zone defense, the Heat were forced to take outside jumpers because they were unable to get anything going underneath the basket.

The Mavericks did not settle for shots and they took their time setting up their plays.

However, even though the Mavericks stepped up when it counted, the Heat where unable to close out a game which appeared was theirs for the taking.

In the final 6:19 during the fourth quarter, the Heat scored five points, they only made one of 10 of their field goals, and they had just two rebounds.

Miami's defense squandered 22 points to the Mavericks during that span.  

LeBron James was non-existent during the fourth quarter as he just had two points.

If you take a closer look at the shot chart during those closing moments for the Miami Heat, they kept on settling for long range shots as they were constantly trying to drain threes.

In the final minutes, the Heat had shots from 21 feet, 16 feet, 15 feet, 26 feet, 25 feet, 24 feet, 24 feet and 28 feet.

Only one of those shots went in, and that was a Mario Chalmers three point jumper to tie the game up at 93.

The Heat were settling for shots and they were forcing every shot they were taking and it might be because they felt they had this game won.

The Heat were dominating the Mavericks throughout the whole game, but they forgot the game is 48 minutes long.

As remarkable as a comeback it was for the Mavericks, everybody watching this game truly believed there wasn't any way the Heat were going to let their lead slip away.

I even switched the television to a different channel because I was confident this game was over.

It was not until I received a text message from my friend, informing me the Mavericks were starting a late rally and this was the only reason I turned the game back on.

If I was in shock, imagine the scene at American Airlines Arena.

I give the Dallas Mavericks all the credit, but Heat's players will even admit they collapsed in the final minutes.

What do you think: Was this a Dallas Mavericks comeback or a Miami Heat collapse?

Game 2 is on Sunday in Dallas at 8 pm ET.