We have a series. Thanks to some clutch play from an infirm Dirk Nowitzki and a no-show from LeBron in Tuesday’s Game 4, we’re all knotted at two. But before the Mavericks can even think of relaxing, they’ve got to regroup for another bout tonight. With Games 6 and 7 in Miami, tonight’s contest is as close to a must-win as there is. With that in mind, let’s look at three keys to a Mavs victory.
Key #1: Tyson Chandler must stay active
In the Mavs’ two victories this series, Chandler has averaged 13 points and 11.5 rebounds. In their two losses: 7.0 and 7.5. If Dallas hopes to get the win tonight, it’s necessary Chandler be aggressive both on the boards and in the paint. In Game 4, Chandler did much of his damage on the offensive glass, pulling down a game-high nine off. rebounds. He needs to keep that up if the Mavs are going to return to Miami with the 3-2 advantage.
Key #2: Shut down Miami’s bench
Miami’s Big Three is going to get theirs. In Games 1 through 4, Bosh, D-Wade and LeBron combined for 65, 68, 64 and 64 points respectively. It’s when the rest of the Heat’s squad gets involved that the Mavs are in trouble. In the Mavs’ two losses, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers killed Dallas coming off the bench, combing for 19 points in Game 1 and 18 in Game 3. This must stop for the Mavs to get the W.
Key #3: Solid shooting from DeShawn Stevenson
Stevenson isn’t known for his offensive game, but when The Locksmith gets hot from deep, it’s good news for the Mavs. Stevenson knocked down three treys in both Dallas victories. After Tuesday’s 11-point, six-rebound performance, Stevenson made a strong case to be reinserted in the starting lineup.
What do you think? Will the Mavs win Game 5 tonight?
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