Mavericks Push Heat to the Brink

Dallas one win away from Championship.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

2011 NBA Finals

“Now or Never”


Those were the three words tweeted by LeBron James in the wee hours of the night before Thursday nights game with the Dallas Mavericks. When asked before the game about them, James replied that they were more a personal message, a self motivation tactic.


“Now or Never”


The implication of those three words carried as much weight as any uttered by the self proclaimed “king”. They implied that he was ready. That he was going to deliver the type of game that pundits and nahsayers everywhere have been claiming for. There was no way that he was going to be rendered just an insignificant afterthought in the fourth quarter again.


“Now or Never”


As the seconds ticked down in the pivotal game 5 with Dallas holding a comfortable lead, the personal message of LeBron James, tweeted to his many, many followers, was answered.




With Dallas's 112-103 win over the Miami Heat Thursday, the Heat return home on the verge of elimination and the Mavericks are just one road win away from avenging their 2006 Finals loss and cementing Dirk Nowitzki's place in the history of great big men.


"We didn't want to go to Miami and give them basically two shots to close us out. So we kept plugging there in the fourth. So definitely a big win for us," Nowitzki said. "And now we have to go down there and basically approach Sunday's game as Game 7."


Oh, by no means is this series over. The Heat battled all season to secure home court and they are still, essentially, in control with two games remaining and both at Miami. But they can't be feeling good about themselves because for a team that was supposed to be the best of all time, they are suddenly looking more vulnerable and uncertain than ever before.


Dwayne Wade is suffering from a hip flexer that limited him in game 5 and may impair him going forward. Bosh is just an after thought who has had no real impact in this series for about three games. And James, oh the great James, is wilting under the pressure like no superstar has ever done before. Yeah, he had a triple double in game 5 but it was the weakest one ever recorded and almost goes to prove how anti-clutch he really is. In yet another pivotal fourth quarter, he disappeared, only scoring 2 points.


Not very King-like, is it.


"I could have made a couple of more plays for my team," James said. "But at the end of the day, all it's about is a win or a loss. Triple-double means absolutely nothing in a loss. So we will be better in Game 6 on Sunday."


In game 6 Sunday, the Heat will have to be more than better, they will have to be at their best. The Mavericks see the blood in the water and you can expect nothing but their best. They don't want a game 7, they don't want the Heat gaining confidence. They understand exactly what what James has failed to realize.


“Now or Never”


Photo credit  – AP