- John Carroll, Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
Miami Offense: Which Dwyane Wade will show up in Dallas on Tuesday? The very human one who averaged 25.5 ppg in the two previous NBA Finals games in Dallas or the Michael Jordan clone who is averaging over 40 points a game in the three games in Miami? How many points would Wade have scored if he shot the ball well Sunday night or got off to a better start? What would worry me as a coach is whether Wade can carry that load for one or two more games. It seems at times that the Heat literally are standing around waiting for Wade to carry the team. I am not sure that is the blueprint for winning a world championship. The Mavs did everything they could do to slow Wade and will continue this strategy in Game 6. Other Heat players will have to do more for them to win.
Miami should look to attack more with their dump downs into Shaquille O'Neal to start the offense. The emphasis that Dallas puts on stopping him opens up so many lanes for cutters and drives on closeouts after the ball is thrown out of the post. The hardest thing in basketball to do defensively is defend closeouts: running out to your man from a help or double-team position. This is where the Heat should look to capitalize more than they do.
Turnovers and free throws: We have been talking about these two statistics all series. The Heat took care of the ball in Game 5 with only 10 turnovers, but Shaq's free-throw problems almost cost them the game. At the line, Wade was 21-for-25 (84 percent), O'Neal was 2-for-12 (17 percent) and the rest of the team was a combined 9-for-12 (75 percent). It is even amazing that with the Heat missing a total of 17 free throws that they were able to extend this game to overtime and win it. This will not happen in Dallas. The Heat and O'Neal must make a decent percentage from the foul line to win this series.
4hEthan Sherwood Strauss
3hMatt Walks, ESPN.com
1hVince Masi, ESPN Stats & Information
8hArash Markazi and Ben Alamar