Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals is just a few hours away, and history is holding its breath. Will the Dallas Mavericks ride another strong fourth-quarter performance to the first championship in franchise history?
The Mavs come in having won the last two games in Dallas, and the foolishness surrounding Dirk Nowitzki’s Game 4 illness (and Miami’s subsequent comedy routines about it) is hopefully behind both teams. With Nowitzki and Jason Terry both at the top of their games, Dallas has a real chance to win their second game in Miami and finish off the series tonight.
For LeBron James and the Heat, tonight’s contest will be the first elimination game they’ve faced in the postseason. With the pressure turned up to 11, will the Heat stumble as they did in so many tight games in the regular season, or will James and Wade take over the action tonight and force a decisive Game 7?
James has been fiercely criticized in the press for his lack of aggression in the series. He’s shot just 16 free throws in five games, and scored no more than 17 points in any of the three games in Dallas.
Meanwhile, running mate Dwyane Wade (one of the few Heat players who earned a championship ring with the 2006 edition of the team) has repeatedly seen strong offensive efforts come up short. Will Wade, who’s been among Miami’s best rebounders as well as its leading scorer in the series, take over again tonight?
Read on for all the latest buzz on these and other key storylines as Dallas plays for an NBA title and Miami plays to keep the series alive for one more game.