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Playoffs? We’re talking about Playoffs? Playoffs?

10 Jun

So I know I haven’t written a sports blog in a while. But the happenings in the NBA Finals this past week can not go without writing about.

I really haven’t been a basketball fan all season. Just casually following it here and there. But there past games have really been what thee finals are all about. Before the finals, I didn’t think that it would be close. As much as I hated to say it, I thought the Heat were the better team. Lebron and Company had been on a tare, beating the Celtics, and Bulls in convincing fashion.

But this series, wow. That is really all I have to say. I saw an interesting stat, that pretty much some up the entire series. Out of ten halves of basketball, eight of those halves have been decided by two points or less.Just think about that. That’s ridiculously close.

The first two games in Miami drew an even 1-1 series tie. Both teams flexed their muscles, with Dallas coming from 15 points down with 6 minutes left in the fourth to win.  The ‘Dirk Show’ came out of the gate strong for Dallas, carrying Dallas to split the two games with the Heat.

The last three games in Dallas have proven to be a momentum shifter. Miami wasn’t too worried going in to Dallas. They knew the last two games of the series were to be in Miami, so as long as they won at least one game in Dallas, they would be set up for success. But what happened to the Heat was the opposite of what they wanted.

Game three seemed to be a turning point. The Heat were up by two as time ran out. Dirk Nowitzki, who had been clutch all game, missed the game-tying jumper as time expired, which took the entire air out of the arena in Dallas. After the game, Nowitzki called out Jason Terry for not pulling his weight. The Mavs seemed to be on the ropes, giving the Heat the 2-1 series lead.

But the Mavs came out with vengeance in game four. Dirk, who was suffering from a sinus infection, had a relatively quiet game up until the fourth quarter. Once again, with the game going back and forth, the Heat had a lead in the fourth. After the Mavs took acceptation to a little excessive celebration by the Heat with five minutes remaining, the Mavs went off. Nowitzki shined, scoring 39 for the game, and leading Dallas to a win in Game 4. The overlying storyline of Game 4 was Lebron’s poor fourth quarter play. He had zero points in the fourth, not helping the Heat at all.

Even with the loss, the Heat remained cocky. The Heat joked around about Nowitzki’s illness, saying it was blown out of proportion, and started mocking him.

Game 5 started off slow, but ramped up quick. It was the most offensive game of the series, with both teams scoring more than 100, for the first time in the Finals.

It was the Jason Terry show in Game 5. Circus shots after clutch shots kept the Mavs ahead of the Heat. An injury of Dwayne Wade in the first half left the Heat at a severe disadvantage. But to my surprise, Lebron James took over the Heat. He kept them in the game.

But in the fourth quarter, like the game before, Lebron went cold. This time, he only had two points in the fourth. But with five minutes left, the Heat were up by one point. After a timeout called by the Mavs, they came out swinging. Terry’s took over the Mavs, instead of Dirk. After the game was tied, Terry hit a huge three to push the Mavs out in front. On their next possession, Terry hit a long three OVER James to widen the lead. This time, Dallas was able to hold, and expand, their lead, winning Game 5, and going to Miami with a 3-2 series lead over the Heat.

Unfortunately, the Mavs winning is being overshadowed by Lebrons failure to show up in the fourth quarter. Before Game 5, he called this game “…the biggest of his career.” But the last two games, he scored a total of 2 points over the last 24 minutes.

For someone who was supposed to be “The Chosen One,” and the next MJ, he is definitely not living up to the billing. These playoffs have shown two flaws in James’s games. One, he doesn’t do well against a tough defense. Just put bodies on him, and it will shut him down (sort of like Tom Brady). And two, he doesn’t perform in clutch situations.

Game 6 is on Sunday. Me, and every other NBA fan, are waiting on pins and needles, waiting to see if Lebron lives up to the hype, or whether the Mavs can smother the Heat once again, and clinch the Finals where Lebron took his talents to, South Beach.

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in NBA

 

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