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The pivotal Game 5 picks for the NBA Finals will be made here at Cappers Info, as the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat engage in a battle to beat the NBA Finals odds. The winner of this game will break the 2-2 series deadlock and determine which team will be fighting for the right to win the title this weekend in South Beach for Game 6.
NBA Playoffs Preview: Miami Heat @ Dallas Mavericks Game 5
Date: Thursday, June 9th, 9:00 ET
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Game Line: Dallas -1
Heat Notes: The man that is going to be taking all of the heat in the world for Miami over the course of the rest of this series is LeBron James. The man that was the “Chosen Boy” for the Cleveland Cavaliers was never quite able to get the Cavs all the way through the Promised Land, and now, he is coming off of one of the worst performances of his entire career with a chance to really stamp the NBA Finals on the line. James shot just 3-of-11 from the floor and scored eight points. He had more turnovers (4) than made baskets (3), and that really erased the fact that he had a ton of assists (7) and rebounds (9). Of course, the 86-83 Game 4 loss also marked the first time in this series that no one was really able to step up off of the bench or in an unexpected role to help out the Heat. Mario Chalmers didn’t hit a single three point basket and only had five points, and Mike Bibby was held scoreless. Mike Miller did hit two three pointers, but he was really the mass majority of the production for the bench. As always, the game really belonged to Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh scored 24 points and had six rebounds, while Wade accounted for 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor. Still, Miami held a big lead in the fourth quarter before the Dallas comeback, marking the second time this series that it was able to fight all the way back in a game late on. The Heat need to clean up their sloppy play late in games, or they’re going to lose a championship series in which they were clearly the better team.
Mavericks Notes: The job isn’t nearly done yet for the Mavericks, but they’re certainly working on improving themselves for the rest of this series. For the mass majority of this series, they have been outworked and outperformed by the Heat, but they still sit level after four games and are the same two steps away from a title that Miami is. For the second time in this series, Dirk Nowitzki really didn’t have a great game. After all, he only shot 6-of-19 from the field and scored just 21 points on Tuesday night in Game 4. However, this was the second time in which he was held to relatively iffy numbers on the stat sheet (relatively speaking, anyway), and the second time in which he was huge down the stretch to prompt a big time comeback to spark a Dallas victory. Head Coach Rick Carlisle also deserves some credit for the way that he handled his starting lineup. DeShawn Stevenson didn’t look good as a starter, and Carlisle moved him to the bench instead. Stevenson came off of the bench and knocked down three big time triples in 26 minutes of action, and he looked to play a lot better with Jason Terry off of the bench than he was as a starter. Jose Juan Barea scored eight points as a starter. Again, Tyson Chandler had a big game in the point. He scored 13 points and had 16 boards, including just a dominating performance on the offensive glass, accounting for nine rebounds on the offensive end of the court. Still, it has to be concerning that the Mavs only shot 39.7 percent from the field and had just 13 assists in total for the game.
The Final Word: We’re not all that concerned about the fact that Nowitzki is battling an illness right now, but we are concerned that we just don’t feel as though Dallas has the better team in this series. The Heat know that there is little pressure on their shoulders right now, as they just need to hold serve at home to be able to win the title. They’ll get the job done on Thursday night though, amidst a raucous crowd in Big D, and LeBron and the crew will rebound to move within one step of the NBA championship.
Free NBA Playoffs Picks: Miami Heat +1
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction: Miami 89 – Dallas 86