Message to Mavs: Play Better

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Tyler Daly:

That’s all that can be said if you’re Rick Carlisle. Dallas needs to play better, simply put.

Being down 2-1 certainly has nothing to do with the performances of Dirk Nowitzki. In this series thus far he is averaging close to thirty points a game plus the ten boards he is pulling down. He has been “reDIRKulous.” He has hit clutch shots in the 4th quarter to give his team chances to win. He was inches away from sending game 3 into overtime and possibly flipping this series on its heard. What the two losses in this series bring to light is the lack of hitting open shots that has become a problem for Dallas in this series.

JJ Barea struggled to find his shot once again in game 3, Jason Terry has been shooting at a low percentage, and Shaun Marion picked the wrong game to not show up on the offensive side of the ball. Sure, credit the Heat defense for closing out on shooters and not giving great looks to the Mavs. But, the Mavs are getting a lot of the same shots they did in previous series against the Lakers and the Thunder. The only difference is, they were making them before.

If I’m Rick Carlisle, I do not change much in how my team approaches game 4. The pick and roll has been largely successful in getting Dirk the ball in his usual spots, and the rotation of the ball to open shooters has been great. Other than cutting down on turnover numbers, Dallas shouldn’t do much different except make shots. If Dallas can shoot at a high percentage in game 4 then I look for this series to get tied up.

Either way this series will be highly entertaining basketball for the remainder. Miami has shown that they consistently have the ability to develop a large lead, and then become stagnant on offense and allow Dallas back in it. Dallas has shown they struggle at times defensively and give Miami too many easy buckets and points off turnovers, but they can also lock down and always have the capability to come back.

In my honest opinion the Mavericks will win game 4 because its very rare that a team does not shoot well at home in back to back games. BUT, I do not see game 4 as a “must win.” If Dallas loses they will be down 3-1, but these games are all virtually coin flips that will come down to who performs better in the 4th quarter. Either way it ends up, I expect to see some highly entertaining basketball for the rest of the Finals.


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