We seen a fantastic Game 3 in Dallas Monday afternoon with the Heat taking a 2-1 lead in the best of 7 series with a gutsy 88-86 victory. Dwayne Wade was terrific for the Heat scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Chris Bosh added 18 points, Lebron James17 and Mario Chalmers hitting 4 3 pointers off then bench. Dallas relied on superstar Dirk Nowitzki (34 pts, 11 rebs) while the rest of the side struggled offensively shooting just 17 of 49 from the field. As much as he done for his team though Dirk could not hit a jumper to force the game into overtime in the final seconds.
Looking ahead to Game 4 (Wednesday 11am AEST) I predict that the Mavericks ($1.71) will come out firing to try and shut Miami ($2.18) down early. Wade was sensational in the first half in Game 3, keeping the Heat in front almost single handedly. Chris Bosh took a shot to his eye early in Game 3 but was able to play the game out without too much difficulty and will be fine to take the court in his hometown Dallas in Game 4. LeBron James is yet to explode in these Finals with Shawn Marion doing a great job defensively on him, I expect Game 4 is looming as a big game for King James. If the Heat bench can continue to provide strong minutes as Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller & Udonis Haslem have been doing Miami should be fine.
The Maverick now have their backs against the wall and must treat Game 4 as a must win if they want to stay in this series. We know what we will get from Dirk but other players need to take their game to another level. Dallas should welcome back reserve centre Brendon Haywood who missed Game 3 with a hip flex-er to provide backup to starting centre Tyson Chandler. The Mavs 4 other starters only contributed 27 points in Game 3, I predict they will need to have atleatst 40 between the 4 of them to try and get the Mavs over the line. Jason Kidd has had his moments in this Finals series, making some clutch 3’s but also having some bad turnovers which he needs to erase. The main spark Dallas need will be from bench players Jason Terry (15 pts in Game 3), JJ Barea (6 pts) and sharp shooting veteran Peja Stojakovic (2 pts). All 3 players can score a lot of points in a hurry and will need their radar on from downtown where they shot a combined 2 for 9 in Game 3.
At the end of Game 4 I predict the Mavs will have tied the series with a comfortable 10 point victory. Expect them to be energetic from the opening tip and to get hot from downtown. James, Wade & Bosh will combine for over 70 points but I think the crowd and they need to win Game 4 to stay alive will get the Mavs across the line.
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