The Dallas Mavericks don’t want to just watch Dirk Nowitzki make shot after shot in the NBA Finals.
Nowitzki needs some help, from someone. Anybody.
The supporting cast that helped carry Nowitzki and the Mavericks into the NBA Finals have shrunken under the force of this phase, the defense of the Miami Heat or a slight of both.
The Mavs trail 2-1 going into Game 4 tonight mostly because they aren’t achieving sufficient. Their standard of 88.3 points per game is down 11.4 from the preceding three rounds.
Nowitzki is giving 28.3 points, approximately precisely his postseason standard upcoming into the Finals. The drop-off is everywhere else, particularly between the three guys who are hypothetical to give immediate offense from the bench: Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic.
Terry’s slump hurts the most. He and Nowitzki were among the league’s top fourth-quarter scoring tandems this season. The Heat foiled that with the surprise move of having 6-foot-8 LeBron James cover Terry, who’s 6-2. He was shut out in the fourth quarters of Game 1 and 3, the ones Dallas lost.
In Game 2, Terry was a large portion of the Mavericks’ winning rally, averaging the first six points in a 22-5 surge and eight in general. When Nowitzki scored Dallas’ final 12 points, Terry went 0 – 4 in the fourth quarter, counting a 21-footer with the game tied the final minute in game 3.
Nowitzki said, “Jet (Terry’s nickname) hasn’t really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to. We have to find a way to get Jet some freedom and get him off some movement, and he’s got to make some shots for us.”
Self assurance is not a trouble for Terry. This is a man who obtained the Finals trophy tattooed to his right biceps in October and swears to have it removed if the Mavs don’t win it all.
If he again acquires similar shots he missed the stretch in Game 3 he said, “I bet I make them.”