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NBA News: Fever Pitch





You think the odds grew when the Mavericks were entering game 4 last night. Already down 2-1 in the best of seven NBA Finals to the Miami Heat your star player comes in fighting a sinus infection that induced a 101 degree fever.....Like Dirk didn't have enough on his plate. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle elected to shake things up a bit by starting back-up point guard J.J. Barea alongside Jason Kidd and having Deshawn Stevenson come off the bench. A bold move by Carlisle but a smart one.......Dallas didn't want the Heat to come in and steal another game in their house and stare at a potential one game elimination. Regardless of his aliments Dirk managed a gutsy 21-points and 11-rebounds. Dirk exhausted and battered mustered 10-points in the final period to help lead the Mavs to a 86-83 victory over the Heat. Unlike game 3 Dirk's teammates showed up, Tyson Chandler had a monster game with 13-points and 16-rebounds. Contributions came from Jason Terry who took it upon himself to call out Miami's Lebron James, stating that he doesn't think James could guard him for seven games. James in the last couple of games shut down the enigmatic Terry in the 4th quarter and Terry didn't think James could keep it up. Terry was on fire with 17 points and Shawn Marion added 16. With the move to the bench Deshawn Stevenson had 11 points and he took turns with Marion in giving Lebron James fits defensively.
Speaking of Lebron James you do have to wonder who really had the 101 degree fever, him or Dirk? James finished with a playoff low 8-points, 9-rebounds, and seven assists. You would think after Terry called him out like that, James would of brought the fury........Not even, James looked like he didn't want to be there......Dwayne Wade the other superstar of this great tandem yet had another strong game with 32 points but missed a potential game tying free throw with about 30 seconds left and fumbled an inbound pass off his foot with 6.7 seconds on the clock. Wade recovered it and passed it to Mike Miller who heaved up a desperation 3-pointer that would of forced over-time. Unfortunately Miller's shot was an air-ball that wasn't even close to hitting the rim. The only real help Wade got was from Chris Bosh who finished with 24 points, in regards to the remaining players none of them scored more then six points......
This game had so many lead changes and ties it could of ended either way, but with Lebron's lack of contribution it killed the Heat's opportunity to go up 3-1 in the series. Did Lebron have a bad game or was it the Mav's zone defense that just finally broke him.....Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra suggested in the post-game that he has to come up with a new strategy to give Lebron better opportunities. You see this wasn't one of those issues of Lebron being clutch in the 4th quarter, this was a matter of just showing up. Look I'm not going to start getting into comparing him to how other past legends performed in the finals, as far as I'm concerned there is none. Yet if Lebron continues to be confused or fail to enforce his will those championship aspirations are going to be out the window real fast. This was the reason why Lebron teamed up with Wade and Bosh right?......Lebron felt that in Cleveland he didn't have enough help and he needed to align himself with other stars to achieve that goal of a championship. Lebron is choosing the wrong time to flake out in the big stage. Is there really an excuse for it?
Look like I said previously after game 3, no matter what he does he can't win.....I honestly think its getting to him......With the way Wade is playing can Lebron stand it that even if they do win the championship he would get very little recognition and earn the distinction that he is a great player who played second fiddle to Wade......Lebron claims that he is taking names and all the criticism is fuel, but he sure is not playing like it. When Wade was on the bench Lebron did nothing, when Wade tried to hold it down in the 4th quarter Lebron did nothing. You like to think Lebron won't even care how he is perceived if the Heat win but I highly doubt that. As talented as Miami is they can ill-afford to take the foot off the gas. Make no mistake if the Heat give the Mavs that window of opportunity, they are going to take it. Lebron got away with that excuse in last years playoffs in the Boston series, that his supporting cast was not strong enough, it lacked additional talent. Okay now that he is in Miami with Wade and Bosh who are putting up great numbers, what is Lebron's excuse now...........Game 5 in Dallas Thursday night......nuff said
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