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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Jun 11 2011 @ 3:52 pm In Miami Heat | No Comments

The Miami Heat have returned home down 3-2 in the NBA Finals.  Fans and most of the local media appear to be shocked.  What is wrong with the Heat?  Why is LeBron playing like crap in the fourth quarter?  Is Eric Spoelstra being outcoached by Rick Carlisle?  It’s time to stop looking for problems within the Heat and quit looking to blame LeBron, Coach Spoe, or even the refs.  Miami doesn’t need to look in the mirror.  They need to look at the guys in blue and white.  It’s time for South Florida to quit looking to blame their own team and place some blame on the boys from Texas.

The Dallas Mavericks are good.  Really, really good.  They have two seven footer’s that are key starters, while Miami doesn’t have one on their roster that’s even played in one of these games.  The Mav’s have significantly better ball movement than the Heat.  While it is no secret that I think Dwyane Wade is not just the best player on his team, but the best player in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki has been the most important player on the floor in these Finals.  He is basically unguardable.  He can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and unlike the Dirk of five years ago, his biggest baskets have come on drives to the rim, not fadeaway jumpers.  When he is double-teamed, ball movement ensues and Dallas winds up with an open look, many times from 3pt range.  In Game 5 the Mav’s hit those open looks, shooting over 65% from the field in the first half and hitting almost 70% from 3pt land for the game.  This should not be seen as an aberration.  Game 5 is an example of what Dallas is capable of.

It does seem as if the Miami fans thought that the Mavericks would be no match for their Heat.  After going through Boston and Chicago, I think most of the people in South Florida thought this would be another five game series and the Heat’s “Big 3″ would have their first of many NBA Titles together.  This is the same Dallas team that swept the Lakers in round 2.  They ran L.A. out of the gym in the elimination game.  This Mav’s team is much better than either the Bulls or Celtics.

Does all of this mean that this series is over?  No.  Miami has two games at home, obviously with no margin for error.  LeBron James does need to play a little better, but he is not the key to the Heat’s success.  DWade needs to lead the team in to combat, but their defense needs to step up as well.  Find a way to have somebody, maybe Bron, man up on Dirk so that guys are not leaving Kidd, Terry, or JJ Barea open on the perimeter.  Also, get one of those big bodies off the bench to bang around with Tyson Chandler.  I don’t care if it’s Dampier, Magloire, or maybe even Dexter Pittman would be better, but Miami needs some weight down low.  Even if they foul Chandler, at least they would be making him work a little harder in the paint.  For everybody outside of South Florida, these Finals have been a pleasant surprise.  Some, like Jeff Van Gundy and Michael Wilbon, have called them the best NBA Finals they’ve ever seen.  I’m not sure about that, but hopefully we all have two more games to decide if it’s true.

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