NBA Betting Favorite: Mavericks -3
It was the Miami Heat who came out on the winning end of a close game Sunday night in Dallas. Dwyane Wade led his team to a crucial 88-86 hard-fought victory over the Mavericks to take a 2-1 advantage in the series. The next two games are in Dallas, and the Mavericks realistically need to win both games if they expect to win the NBA title this year. Can Dallas bounce back in Game Four?
While LeBron James has gotten more attention much of the year, it has been Dwyane Wade who has been the main star for the Heat in this NBA Finals. Wade made his first mark on the NBA during the 2006 NBA Finals when he put on a show for the ages in the Heat’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks. It seems like a repeat of that amazing performance so far in this series. Wade has averaged 29 points and 8.7 rebounds per game so far in the 2011 NBA Finals. Some role players have stepped up in a big way during this series as well. Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem have both been instrumental in doing the little things to help the Heat win Game One and Game Three.
Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points in Game Three, but he was unable to tie the game on his last-second turnaround jumper. Nowitzki continues to be an absolute machine at the free throw line. He has yet to miss a free throw in the NBA Finals, and he has made 37 straight overall. If the Mavericks are going to win this series, they must get some improved play from guys like J.J. Barea and Jason Terry. These are the guys who need to take some pressure off Nowitzki, but right now they aren’t making their open shots. The Mavericks have managed to outrebound the Heat in the last two games, and they must continue to do that through the rest of this series. Dallas has struggled to take care of the basketball, and team in the NBA does a better job turning steals into baskets than the Miami Heat.
I expect a raucous atmosphere in Dallas for Game Four. The Mavericks understand they must win this game, but the Heat are a very tough matchup for them. I think Dallas will knock down more shots, and Miami will keep taking the ball to the basket. The over looks like the best value in this one.
Free NBA Pick: Miami/Dallas over 186.5
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