NBA Finals 2011: 5 Keys to Dallas Mavericks Game 5 Win over the Miami Heat
It’s on now. The Mavericks have done something they have attempted to do all series: take control. While their ideal isn’t heading to Miami for the final two games of the series, it’s their reality.
The Mavericks game up big in the fourth quarter once again, charging back after getting behind and icing the game with a minute left. The Heat wanted to win Game 5, but the Mavericks needed it in the worst way. Going back to Miami down 3-2 would have been suicide for Dallas, but they managed to take the series edge heading to South Beach.
Here are 5 keys to their Game 5 win.
5. Dwyane Wade
While the Mavericks deserve the credit for their clean Game 5 win, it must be pointed out that Dwyane Wade was injured midway through the first quarter and never seemed right after that point.
After a collision near the basket with Brian Cardinal, Wade was in and out of the trainer’s room prior to the fourth quarter.
While Wade still managed to put up 23 points, it was clear he wasn’t as effective as he had been throughout the series.
4. Big Three's
You don’t have to know a lot about basketball to know that if you can connect on 68% of your three pointers, you are going to win the game.
To put it simply: the Mavericks were too good from downtown, converting 13-19 including Jason Terry’s ridiculous three pointer to ice it for the Mavericks. If the Mavs shoot this well from downtown in Game 6, it could be a very sad Sunday in South Beach.
3. Jason Terry
To put it simply, Jason Terry was everything the Mavericks hoped he would be throughout the first three games.
He had 21 points, was 8-12 from the field and hit big shot after big shot. In addition to lighting the Heat up, Terry seemed to be the emotional center of tonight’s game. He constantly worked the Dallas crowd, and was never afraid to jaw it up. The Heat really had no answer for him tonight.
Dirk complained about Jason Terry needing to step up a couple of days ago. Something tells me that Dirk has nothing to complain about now.
Look, there weren’t a lot of places where Dallas fared better statistically, but turnovers where one of them.
The Mavericks managed to keep their turnovers to a minimum. The Heat had five more turnovers. In a game that was decided by single digits it’s clear that five turnovers may have been a big difference.
Maybe the most telling thing about the Heat’s penchant for turnovers tonight was that the turnover blame was shared equally by James, Wade and Chris Bosh who each had four.
1. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk continued to add to his own post-season legend. The Mavs go-to player was simply as good as anyone on the court tonight. He outscored each of the big three and shot 50% from the field.
However, where Dirk really made his impact felt was at the free throw line. Time and time again, when the Mavericks needed points, Dirk managed to get to the line and hit free throws. 10 attempts from the charity stripe might not seem like a lot, but for a jump shooter like Dirk it was that extra effort that gave Dallas the edge.
Dirk was not considered, in anyone’s opinion outside of Dallas perhaps, to be the best person playing in this series, but he’s been sensational. If he’s the best player in Miami when he arrives he’ll finally get his trophy.