Coaches always say forget about the bad and just focus on this possession, this play, this quarter. That’s what the Mavericks mindset must be like heading into Thursday’s game. The bench can’t dwell on their embarrassing play from last game but must focus on the task at hand.
Everyone says a series hasn’t started until someone wins on the road. The Mavericks have to try and make it a series tonight.
They are one of the best road teams in the league and with their extra ounce of desire from last game’s disappointment then they should be taking this game in Miami.
I’m looking for the Mavericks to come out strong. I suggested giving the ball to Dirk more often. I watched how Miami was playing him and they were getting Mike Miller or another perimeter player and Joel Anthony to harass Dirk as soon as he touches the ball. That did limit his offense but he has become such a talented passer that he got the ball to open men who scored a lot of points. I don’t think they realized that was working. They didn’t give it to him enough, Shawn Marion and Jason Terry played too much like a street-ball player and was trying to dribble by everyone. That won’t work. Especially not against a defense like the Heat.
Then they have to get Tyson Chandler in a more aggressive mindset.
He came to Dallas this year and instantly set off a different personality for this team’s defense. They were tougher, and put in more effort. This is not the stage to be getting soft on. He has been compared to Kevin Garnett for his instant defensive presence on a new team.
Only difference is Kevin Garnett got more than 4 rebounds in game 1 of the 2008 finals.
Then they need J.J Barea to snap out of his fantasy world and get into the game. Last game he scored 2 points, and barely dished out any assists. He was a no go in game 1. Dirk is 32 years old. When you’re superstar player is a seasoned veteran then the bench gains much more responsibility to produce when he isn’t on the floor. He was getting so much hype throughout the post-season for his fast play, his dribbling skills, and his nifty moves around bigger defenders. I know he’s a younger player, and is new to having such big role on a big stage but he has to produce. It’s that simple.
For the Heat. This is their chance to put the Mavericks in a hole. Put them in a deep 2-0 hole, cover them with dirt and fill the hole up. If they can win this game it’s going to be very hard for the Mavericks to win the next three games in Dallas. It’s a very hard task for teams. If they lose 1 game in Dallas then this series is pretty much over because we all know when Lebron and the Heat get back to Miami they’re winning. They’re 9-0 at home this post-season.
Miami won last game with lockdown defense and a huge advantage on the boards.
They only declared victory in the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. That’s how close the game was. Both teams shot below 40% from the field. But the Heat only won in the last 5 minutes.
That may be too close for comfort for Erik Spoelstra and the Heat. They know that that game could’ve easily gone the other way. It just came down to the Heat having Dwyane and Lebron and Bosh on their team in the closing minutes. And the Mavericks having to depend solely on Dirk.
The Heat need to stop with the silly ball handling and careless passing. They fooled around too much in the first quarter and that prevented them from getting into a rythm. Also on one of their first possessions Lebron took a fade away jumper on Deshawn Stevenson. A 6’8 guy fading away from a 6’4 to 6’5 kind of guy. Why is he doing that? Sure he made the shot but c’mon. I feel like Lebron settled a bit in game 1. Sure he got 24 points but most of it was from jumpers. He could score an easy 30 next game if he attacked the rim and tried to penetrate the paint especially when Tyson Chandler is off his game.
They did nothing else wrong. Nothing I could see at least. The Heat played a strong game, they let their defense win them the game and they stepped up when they needed to. Maybe with a bit more offensive production they could easily win this game in the third quarter.
Game 2. We’ll see you in 9 hours.