In: NBA Free Picks7 Jun 2011
Dirk Nowitziki can’t do it himself.
That’s you’re likely to hear if you listen to sports talk radio, or watch the experts on ESPN.
The Miami Heat have been in charge for three straight games, but the Dallas Mavericks have been hanging in just close enough make the games interesting. Unfortunately for Nowitzki and the Mavs’ fans, the scores have made this series appear to be closer than it’s actually been.
As one sports analyst observed, the Heat led by 12 points at one point in the first game, 15 in the second and they achieved a double-digit lead several times in Game 3.
If the Mavs had no Nowitzki to keep the offense moving, this series would likely end tonight.
It’s hard for someone who has watched all three games to say that Dallas hasn’t appeared to be out-classed on the court for most of the playoff minutes that have ticked away so far. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh have combined for an average of nearly 70 points per game.
By comparison, the Mavs’ big three so far, Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, have averaged a combined 56 points per game. Sure, basketball is a team game and there are five guys on the court at one time, but other than Nowitzki, no one on Dallas’ squad appears to be able to hang with Wade, James and Bosh.
I’m not quite ready to say this series is going to end after Game 5, but unless Dallas comes up with some kind of brilliant defensive scheme, and figures out how to shake the Heat from the backs of their jerseys on offense, the future appears dim for the Mavs.
Dallas is favored at home by -3 tonight, and that line is all well and good, but by the end of the night, the most important three on the stat sheet will be the Heat’s three games to one lead.
Pick: Take the Miami Heat (+3)