Game 5 of the NBA Finals is an absolute “must win” for Dallas. They can't go back to Miami needing two W’s for a title. No matter what happens, the Heat have two home games in their back pocket. Why bring this up? Here's a stat for you…95% of games between evenly matched teams are won by the team that plays harder and with greater sense of urgency. These teams appear to be evenly matched.
Key for Miami...what are the players doing with their free time? NBA players are young, rich, and popular. That lends itself to trouble when staying in one city for any length of time. They also bore easily. You hear athletes say "it's a business trip". Ok… when you’re in a great city for a few days on business, how many of you go straight to the hotel when the business day is over? That’s right…none of you! You find dinner, maybe hook up with friends, find a nightspot. It’s the same thing with pro athletes, but multiply the hijinks by 100! Trust me, social discipline is most important for the Heat.
As for the Mavs... the media has totally missed on JJ Berea. Most of them think he has been awful. Wrong! He is the second most important Mav. He creates help. He can get to the rim and above all has given his teammates great confidence. Sure, it would be nice if he was a 50% lay up shooter...but Berea is an absolute key. As Van Gundy has pointed out repeatedly, "it's a make or miss league". Make shots, you win. Miss shots, you lose.
Last... a word about LeBron James. Think of all the truly great NBA players. They all have this in common...they are always trying to prove something. James has lost that. He acts as if he has arrived. Jordan, Isiah, Magic, Bird never played as if they arrived. They all played as if to constantly prove they belong. I don’t understand everyone's shock at his performance in Game 4. He acted that way to close his career in Cleveland.
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