NBA Finals 2011: How Erik Spoelstra Blew Game 6 in the 4th Quarter

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NBA Finals 2011: How Erik Spoelstra Blew Game 6 in the 4th Quarter
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 On June 12th, 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won their very first NBA Finals. The series was a long, hard fought battle between two very good teams. In Game 6, the Heat collapsed in the fourth quarter, giving the championship to the Dallas Mavericks. What actually happened in this game? How did the Heat collapse? There were three costly decisions that were or were not made by Erik Spoelstra. 

 

Leaving in Mario Chalmers

Spoelstra made a bad decision in leaving in Mario Chalmers. First off, Chalmers has no playoff experience as a starter. I don't know why you would leave him in late in the game. You have three point guards: Eddie House, Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers. House and Bibby both shoot better, and they both have more experience. Why do you leave Chalmers in in the fourth quarter? Chalmers had a few turnovers and missed shots in the fourth quarter that were very costly to the Miami Heat. 

 

No Defensive Players Left in 4th Quarter

In the fourth quarter, the lineup was Chalmers, James, Wade, Bosh and Haslem. Haslem is a good player on defense, but he isn't a tall guy compared to Dirk and Chandler. In the fourth quarter, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion were just tipping the ball out to their teammates without much of a challenge. The Mavericks got a few offensive rebounds that wasted probably one-and-a-half minutes in the fourth quarter, which can be a lot of time—especially with LeBron and Wade on the other team. 

 

Defensive Matchups

Dirk vs. Bosh

LeBron vs. Terry

Chandler vs. Haslem

Kidd vs. Chalmers

Marion vs. Wade

Spoelstra probably should have put LeBron on Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk got 10 points in the fourth quarter because Bosh isn't a very good defensive player—especially not compared to LeBron. I think that LeBron vs. Dirk would have been good, as LeBron would have at least put pressure on him. Wade could probably take care of Terry, and Bosh vs. Marion. The other two matchups are OK, but I think that these matchups cost Miami late.


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