NBA Finals 2011: Dallas Mavericks Win Their First Ever Championship
The first five minutes were fast-paced and just as we expected them to be. Both teams came out with bundles of energy, but most notably, LeBron James seemed to have that energy that everyone accused him of lacking. The Heat were penetrating easily, and getting second chance opportunities. The Mavericks didn't look too shabby themselves, with Jose Barea doing his work on the inside, both hitting shots and dishing dimes. Shawn Marion continued to make his circus shots, but Dirk Nowitzki started off cold, missing his first two attempts.
Dirk picked up his second foul midway through the first quarter, but have no fear. Because when Jason Terry entered off the bench, the offense lit up a little, and he hit back-to-back baskets, the second of which was a three. What was a seven point game when he came in was cut to just two. The JET came into game six with the right mentality, and it spread to the other players on the floor. Even Brian Cardinal forced a turnover and hit a three of his own. The Mavericks finished the quarter on a 21-4 run, leading 32-27.
Dirk returned to start the second quarter, and immediately missed a three-point basket. Ian Mahinmi was in to start the quarter as well, and managed to hit a turn-around jump shot. Who knew? The most pleasant of all surprises, however, was DeShawn Stevenson. Well, it wasn't really a surprise because we all know how deadly he can be from three, but he was making it rain and extended the lead to 40-28 within two minutes.
But as we all know all too well, this is a game of runs, and the Heat went on an 11-0 run to close the gap to one. Then a three from Eddie House (right?) set something off in the Mavericks, resulting in a skirmish on the court between Udonis Haslem and DeShawn Stevenson. Stevenson gave Chalmers a little shove to the gut, and Haslem got up in his face. Those three players were assessed technical fouls, and since two of the were offset, the Mavericks shot one free throw. Dirk went to the line and hit it for the Mavs.
The momentum looked entirely in the Heat's favor, until Jason Terry checked back in for the Mavericks. With just over two minutes remaining, he hit a huge three, and then drove to the hoop for a nice lay in. He led all scorers with 17 points. The scored stayed in the same place for almost the remainder of the quarter, that is until JET hit ANOTHER jump shot. He committed a foul on the other end, sending Chalmers to the line with 21 seconds left in the half. The quarter ended with a missed three from Dirk, and they went into the locker room up two.
On the first play of the second half, Dirk hit a jump shot, and Mavericks fans had a collective sigh of relief. He hit another jumpshot after forcing a turnover on the other end, and the lead extended to five. Then little Barea returned to form, hitting a ridiculous shot, getting all kinds of surprised sounds out of the crowd. On the other end, he ended up on James, a mismatch made in hell, but forced James into an offensive foul. With five minutes left in the third, Nowitzki FINALLY hit a three pointer, giving the Mavericks a six-point edge.
Making a strong statement in the third quarter was Cardinal, who was committing hard fouls, trying to send some kind of message. And continuing his absolutely ridiculous game was Jason Terry, who apparently isn't keen on having his tattoo removed. However, probably the biggest help for the Mavericks tonight was the Heat's inability to make their free throws. They went into the final period up by nine after Ian Mahinmi hit a jumper to beat the buzzer.
The fourth quarter started with the Heat making a few buckets, but they couldn't hit a free throw to save their lives, and the Mavericks continued to make shots. Terry and Barea were simply unconscious and totally immune to the raucous crowd. Every so often, you could hear the Dallas fans chanting "Let's Go Mavs!" over the din. The Heat were desperately trying to orchestrate a comeback, and they were hitting shots here and there, just enough to keep the fans in the game. With 5:32 left to play, the Mavericks were holding on to a 94-87 lead.
With the clock ticking down, Dallas defense took on a new level of insane, forcing turnovers and blocking shots. They even managed some second chance points thanks to a few offensive rebounds. The Mavericks began playing with the clock, running it down before they took their shots. They had a nine point lead with just under three minutes to play, and then Dirk, with hands in his face, hit a beautiful jump shot. It was at this point that Heat fans quietly began to file out of the arena.Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you, your 2011 NBA Champions, the Dallas Mavericks