Blog Entry

NBA Finals: Are Mavs in the heads of the Heat?

Posted on: June 8, 2011 2:10 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 5:53 am
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Posted by Matt Moore

DALLAS -- It wasn't supposed to work. They're the less talented team, down 2-1, after losing the first game of the three-game set at home. They're older, wiser, and the other team has all of the superstars save the Big German guy. So all the trash-talking and verbal barbs the Mavericks threw at Miami over the past two days weren't going to work, right?

Right?

For starters, Jason Terry's talk about LeBron James proved accurate. The focus will be on James not producing enough offense, but defensively during the Mavericks' furious fourth-quarter rally, Terry took James to the rack four times. On a key possession he pump-faked and blew right past the former-MVP, having his shot blocked by Joel Anthony, but on the recovery, Tyson Chandler was left wide open for a put-back dunk. In the ensuing timeout, Dywane Wade expressed his frustration, clapping and glaring at his superstar teammate.

DeShawn Stevenson's talk about the Heat "being dramatic" wasn't supposed to change anything. Instead, the Heat complained less to the officials Tuesday night, even as the Mavericks' free throw advantage swelled to 110-89 in a series that's as tight as it can be. The Heat were notably less upset with the officials.

James said after Game 2 that "no one can guard me one-on-one" and that in Game 3 he was playing well defensively. In Game 4, Shawn Marion guarded him one-on-one and JET blew by him. And on Dirk Nowitzki's key final layup, there was James in the corner, watching without helping, as Nowitzki blew by him to ice the game and tie the series.

Neither LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade would take the bait about the comments, with James simply saying JET is a "great player for them."

Maybe it was just an off-night. But with all the intensity on James and Co. from the media, and now the added daggers of the Mavericks through the press, and after their second fourth-quarter collapse in this series, the question has to be asked.

Where is the Heat's mind right now?

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