The real reason the Mavericks won Game 2
Coverage following the Maverick’s victory in Game two of the 2011 NBA Finals gives several reasons as to why the surprising Mavericks win took place. Although most of them aren’t correct in my opinion, it’s worth taking a moment to discuss them before we get to the truth.
Reason 1-4: The Heat totally fell apart in the final minutes leaving the door wide open for the Mavericks to win. Let’s go ahead and add that Chris Bosh was guarding Dirk, there was no double team, and what were the Heat thinking not to foul Dirk and make the Mavericks rethink another plan after inbounding?
Reason 5: If you don’t hear those reasons, you are sure to hear that the Heat players enraged the Mavericks bench during their “celebration” after Dwayne Wade scored what seemed like a game deflating three-pointer to give the Heat a 15 point lead with well-under half a quarter left to play. With that kind of performance from the Heat, the Mavericks coming back to win could only seem like luck.
However, if you’ve been watching the Mavericks and have seen their performances throughout the playoffs you should know they deserve more credit–especially Dirk and even the Mavericks bench which stepped up in this game. Yes, the Heat did commit what their coach must now think is the ultimate defensive meltdown, but perhaps that’s not the only explanation. The Mavericks have pulled comebacks before this season against the Lakers and the Thunder in multiple games which makes the Heat’s more excusable (these things happen). While the eventual defeats of the Heat had something to do with tremendous meltdowns, the Mavericks victory came from the mental toughness and strong desire to win. Dirk all but plainly said the Mavericks were not going to lose Game 2, even if he had to play through an injury and dominate the last few minutes of the game, which he did. Now that’s my first reason. I only need two, so now to the second.
Additionally, the Mavericks played the entire game and Dirk wasn’t out there by himself this time which is reason two. Don’t forget that Shawn Marion scored 20 points and other teammates from the bench showed up big time in ways they didn’t in the previous game. Sure the Mavericks might have been upset by the “celebration or lack of “celebration if you listen to D-Wade and Lebron, but that’s just another storyline.
The Mavericks had to score baskets that they weren’t able to make in the first game or the majority of Game 2 and block shots that the Heat were supposed to make. They had to believe they could win and play all 48 minutes: otherwise nothing else mattered and the Heat would have been right to celebrate.
Instead somewhere on that court late in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks realized they were down tremendously looking their chances of winning a Championship in the eyes before it slipped away unless they stepped up. That motivation didn’t come from any other outside factor, be it obnoxious banter from the opposing team, media who wrote them off after one game, or their star player being a trending topic on Twitter. That motivation came from within and that’s where they will have to find the rest of their momentum to win this series and the Championship.