We saw another nail biter in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals, this time Dallas getting over the line by 3 points to square the series at 2 games each. Dirk Nowitzki come up huge again for the Mavs in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes of game time whilst fighting the flu. But more importantly for Dallas it was the play or their role players that got them the win, Shawn Marion had 16 points and done a huge job defensively holding superstar LeBron James to just 8 points. Tyson Chandler had his best game of the series so far with 13 pts and 16 rebs, and Jason Terry 17 pts and DeShawn Stevenson 11 pts off the bench.
Dwayne Wade was once again Miamis best with 32 points, Chris Bosh added 24 points but no other Heat player hit double figures. LeBron had his lowest scoring playoff game of his career with just 8 points on 3 for 11 shooting and will be looking to game 5 to redeem himself.
Game 5 will be the last game in Dallas on Friday morning 11am AEST before the series moves back to Miami for Game 6 and Game 7 (if required). Dallas will not want to have to go into Miami needing to win 2 games to win the NBA Championship, so this is a must win for them.
I have looked through a few standout stats for each side and a few players that need to lift for their team to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy. For Dallas Nowitzki is averaging 26.5 pts & 10.2 rebs. For the Mavs to win the title I think these numbers need to improve to 30 ppg, 13 rpg. Dallas’s next 2 leading scorers are Jason Terry (15.5pts) and Shawn Marion (15 pts) followed by Tyson Chandler with 10 pts per game. The Mavs need a lift from JJ Barea (5.2 ppg) and Jason Kidd (6 ppg) in the backcourt to carry the scoring load.
The Mavs need a huge lift from Peja Stojakovic if he is going to see anymore courtime these finals. He has only contributed 2 points through the first 4 games in 25.46 minutes gameplay. I would be giving Corey Brewer game time if Peja continues to struggle. Suprisingly for me Jason Kidd is averaging 4 turovers a game and just 6 assists. His experience will see him continue to see big minutes but for me he would want to limit the turnovers.
For Miami I can not fault any part of Dwayne Wade’s game. He is averaging 29.7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. He is definitely doing his part for the Heat and needs his mate LeBron James to step up his game. James is only averaging 17.2 points after averaging 26.7 during the regular season. James is also turning the ball over too often (3.5 per game). Chris Bosh has been Miami’s second leading scorer averaging 18.2 points per game and Mario Chalmers coming off the bench with 9.5 points, hitting 8 3 pointers in the series so far.
For the Heat to go on and win the NBA Championship they need more from LeBron offensively, I think he needs to attack the basket more instead of settling for jump shots. Role player Mike Miller has just 12 points over the 4 games and needs to improve and Udonis Haslem just 19 points in 27.31 minutes per game.
Expect both teams to come out strong defensively to start game 5 trying to wear one another down. My prediction is that this will be another close game as the last 3 games have been decided by a combined total of just 7 points. LeBron James will be out to prove to everyone that he is still the best player in the NBA and will put in a huge game in Game 5 and with Dwayne Wade in exceptional form I think Miami can knock off the Mavs on their home court for the second time and go back to Miami needing just 1 win to claim the Championship.
My best be if your looking to have a punt on this game is the Miami Heat to win between 1-10 which is paying 2.90 at Sportsbet where they give you a $200 free bet bundle just for signing up. See more info here.
A few other bets that caught my eye as standouts were
Total points under 185 at $1.91
Dallas to lead at Halftime and Miami Fulltime which is paying a very healthy $6.20
Last score of the first half to be a 3 pointer at $4.50
Lasc scoring play to be a free throw at $1.83