Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Amazing Game 4

Game 4 of the NBA Finals was quite simply amazing.  Dallas, as usual, got off to a good start and proceeded to waste that on shoddy defense.  It was a different kind of bad defense this time though, as you recall in game 3 they repeatedly allowed Miami to simply drive and dunk or lay it up for tons of free points in the first quarter, keeping Miami close and allowing them to eventually build a huge second quarter lead.  This time they did a much better job of stopping Miami from just having free points by driving and dunking or laying it in, but they gave up an ASTOUNDING amount of offensive rebounds, nine in the first quarter alone.  Simply unfathomable, so Miami managed to end the first quarter tied despite shooting less than 30 percent from the field, while Dallas shot around 50 percent.  Its amazing the creative ways Dallas can find to give away points like they're a high school team instead of an NBA team.  Dallas played relatively poorly in the second and third quarters, ending them down by 2 and 4 respectively.  Its worth noting that Dirk Nowitsky, who was having a very bad game, was quite sick, he could barely talk, he had a high fever, he was very much not well.  Of course we all remember MJ playing in the Finals with the Flu and scoring a ton of points, but clearly Dirk, especially when he's sick, is no MJ. 

The 4th quarter began the same way the 2nd quarter did, with Dallas giving up a bunch of points without scoring any themselves, quickly going from 4 down to 9 down, much like they went from tied to 7 down less than 2 minutes into the second quarter.  The early parts of 4th quarters have been REALLY awful for Dallas in this series, and it was no different in this game.  Eventually they settled into a medium-high single digit defecit for a while, as the time ticked away.  As the game progressed toward its ultimate conclusion, Dallas finally started getting some offense going, cutting into the defecit, and actually getting some stops as well.  Thanks to the Miami coach inexplicably not calling timeout during a key Dallas run, they were actually able to come ALL the way back, AND take the lead!  A lead they were able to get up to 3 points with about half a minute to go, but then Miami had a very long pass that resulted in Wade getting fouled and going to the FT line, where he cut the lead back to 1.  There was about a six second difference between the shot clock and the game clock, and Dirk was standing there holding the ball.  He could've held it longer than he did, but he decided to drive on the Miami fellow guarding him, and despite his sickness, and the poor game he'd been having, he made a BIGTIME layup with about 14 seconds left! 

Miami called a timeout, and it seemed they would go for a 3 point shot to tie, but instead Wade drove and got an easy basket with 9 seconds left.  Dallas took their final timeout, advancing the ball, and then they inbounded it in such a way that they were able to run off a couple seconds before anybdoy could reach the guy to foul him.  Dallas then hit two CLUTCH Free Throws, extending the lead back to 3 with 6.7 seconds left.  Miami called its final timeout and advanced the ball, and now seemed like a great time to just foul somebody, and make sure Miami couldnt tie the score, since they couldn't advance the ball again, being out of timeouts.  Instead Dallas chose to play defense, Wade received the inbound pass but stumbled and lost the ball, he recovered it and passed to a teammate, Miller, who was probably the LAST guy that Miami wanted to shoot their last shot, but with about 3 seconds left thats exactly what he did.  I don't think the ball even hit the rim, if it did it BARELY did, and the time ran out, an amazing and glorious victory for the Dallas Mavericks! 

What an incredible game, and it sets up a VERY critical Game 5 in Dallas on Thursday night.  Sadly its up against Impact Wrestling, so I'll be forced to go back and forth like I did last week.  It's a pivotal game, just as Dallas had to win Game 4, they have to win Game 5 just about as badly.  Game 6, and if necessary Game 7, will be in Miami, so Dallas will have to win another game in Miami in order to win this series, but if they lose game 5 they'd have to win TWO STRAIGHT games in Miami, quite the daunting task indeed.  Much better to just win Game 5 at home and then win Game 6 in Miami, ending the series right there.  Yeah, let's just do that :) .

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