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Heat Face a Challenge in Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks will win game three.  I don't normally like to make declarative statements like that, but my intuition tells me that the Miami Heat are in some trouble in Dallas. Sure, the Heat will seek to silence the critics again after blowing the lead late in the fourth quarter in game two.  And they have certainly proven capable of ignoring the national media and simply playing their game.

But there are some critics that the Miami Heat will not be able to escape from in game three: the Dallas crowd.  The fans at the American Airlines Center will heckle, harass, and abuse the Miami Heat.  Ever since Rick Carlisle admitted that he wished the Dallas fans would cheer more loudly in the Portland series, they shouldered the weight of that comment and have been one of the most raucous stadiums in the playoffs.

While the big three of the Heat won't show any signs of concern because of the crowd, the Heat role players may not play as confidently.  Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, all of these guys have been in the playoffs before, but following the mental collapse in game two, they may deal with fragile psyches.  These players are not notorious for their ability to rise in momentous occasions.

On the Dallas side, they field a plethora of players who feed of the crowd energy.  JJ Barea, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler and Deshawn Stevenson improve their play significantly in front of the home crowd.  Dirk will get his points, especially at home where the refs give him free throws for anything more a dirty look.  Miami can win if Dirk scores thirty and the rest of the Mavericks do not show up.  But if even two of those players perform well in front of their home crowd, then the Heat will have their hands full.

Miami needs to take the crowd out of the game immediately.  Their best hope is to push the pace from the opening tip, leaking out in transition where they have proved themselves unstoppable.  This means that LeBron and Wade must instill a confidence in the role players.  No excessive celebrations, no dancing, nothing.  The Heat have to prove they are all business if they want to beat Dallas at home.

While the Heat will appear more composed and mature, avoiding the same egocentric actions that cost them game two, Dallas plays too well in front of their home crowd to lose game three.

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Comments

Looks like you were wrong my friend lol it came down to the people you mentioned, Barea, Chandler, and Stevenson not coming up in the clutch to help Dirk. So maybe the home crowd wasn't a factor?

Ouch, yep, I was. This is exactly why I usually avoid making definitive claims. And perhaps it would've been wise of me to realize that if I am relying on Stevenson and Chandler to show up in a big moment, then the Mavericks might be in trouble. Still, that game was definitely within winnable for the Mavericks, so I don't think all hope is lost for them. Crowd was definitely not as strong as they were in the Oklahoma City series, I would agree with that. Not quite sure what the deal was there.

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