By John Schmeelk
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Sometimes the NBA is complicated. Other times it’s simple.
This is one of those simple times.
If the Mavericks want to make any sort of run in this series, they’ll need to shoot the ball better. Other than Dirk Nowitzki, no Dallas player is shooting consistently well from the perimeter. Even Dirk hasn’t had a great shot in the first three quarters of any game so far this series.
Jason Kidd isn’t hitting the three-ball like he was earlier in the playoffs. Jason Terry is getting better but is missing too many shots — ones he usually cans. JJ Barea, usually a spark off the bench, has been missing open threes and point-blank layups. Shawn Marion has been the Mavericks’ second-best player after Dirk, but he played poorly in Game 3.
Someone has to give the big man some help — and Barea is the most likely guy to do it. Nowitzki can’t win this series on his own going up against the likes of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
Dirk is probably having nightmares about Wade, who’s just dominating this series much like he did in 2006. Kidd (and every other Dallas defender) has been powerless against him. Wade is clearly the best player on the floor. Unless the Mavericks can figure out a way to slow him down, they will be hard pressed to beat Miami, no matter what they do.
It isn’t just scoring either. Wade is rebounding, passing and playing great defense.
The Heat are winning this series with only five or so guys scoring in each game. It’s something we haven’t seen much in the history of the NBA. The formula is even working for Miami with Chris Bosh shooting poorly. In Game 3 it was Mario Chalmers who made some huge shots to put Miami over the hump. Dallas needs someone — anyone — to have that kind of game for them.
But it’s not all roses for the Heat. Despite winning, they still didn’t look good at the end of Game 3. Wade and James were still taking hero shots, the only difference was Dwyane made two of them. The Heat still get out of their sets in the closing minutes and rely on one-on-one isolation or high screen-and-rolls to get points. Though I must admit, I did really like the LeBron-Wade screen-and- roll with James setting the pick. They should use that play more. But there’s been very little ball movement, though Bosh did get his long jumper off a pass. This is still a weakness for Miami that could eventually haunt them.
Dallas needs to take advantage of it.
How? By making their shots. The Mavericks now must win the next two games at home to have a chance. They won’t be able to win both Games 6 and 7 in Miami.
Who’s going to step up and help Dirk get them there?
– Before hitting that long jump shot, how bad had Bosh been? His shots weren’t falling most of the game and he looked downright nervous earlier in the fourth quarter. He wanted no part of taking an important shot.
– Mark Jackson, really? This was the best coach Golden State could find?
I’m sick of hearing Jackson spout nonsense with his stupid little declarative statements while he is broadcasting a game. Can you imagine how annoying he would be as a coach?
“Mama, there goes that man – with a grown man play – taking it to the hole. Hand down, man down!”
Ugh. I was hoping he would be forced to take an assistant coach job somewhere — like everyone else. Unfortunately, he has been handed something he probably isn’t qualified for. Now ABC has to find someone that can banter with Jeff Van Gundy.
You can follow me on twitter throughout the NBA playoffs and NBA draft at http://twitter.com/#!/Schmeelk.