You want the Sole reason why the Mavs lost last night? Ill give it too ya. Finesse vs Physical play. Its that simple.
First things first, before i get into why the Mavs really lost lets look at some of the other things. The Officiating in these playoffs has been atrocious beyond belief but it has worked against all teams not just one here or there. Mavs fans say that Wade got to the line too much. Well, duh. Wade is a physical offensive player and thus will get hacked a lot. But.. If it wasnt for the Mavs playing Hack a Shaq the Mavs would have never been in the penalty as much as they were. They just kept fouling Shaq throughout the game so there is no shock as too why the Heat were shooting free throws all night.
Not only that but the Heat missed 17 free throws to boot as opposed to 10 missed free throws by the Mavs. Technically, the Heat should have won this game by a mile anyway. But that is still not why the Mavs lost this game. This game hinged on two similiar plays made by two different players.
Fact 1: At the end of regulation Jason Terry receives the ball and puts up the final shot in which he has to arch it over 3 defenders. Not only that but Terry decides to perform a fade jumper in order to clear the ball over the defenders. Terry's biggest mistake here is that the game was tied. He had nothing to lose whatsover so why not try to jump into the defenders and draw the foul? I have more of a problem with this but ill get into it after my next point.
Fact 2: At the end of OT Dwayne Wade receives the ball and continues to drive towards the basket. Keep in mind that the Mavs are already in the penalty so ANY kind of body foul or reach in can send Wade to the free throw line. For the most part the Mavs play Wade well but Wade being the Superstar he is drives between 3 defenders and puts the ball up and draws the foul. Wade hits both free throws, end of game.
Now, this is where im confused with Llama and anyone who has been giving me the Dirk is a Superstar response. If you have a SUPERSTAR on your team and the game is on the line wouldnt you do ANYTHING you could to get the ball into that person's hands? Now before i get ridiculed for coming down on Dirk im not saying he isnt a great player. Im merely pointing out a fact of either bad coaching or a player not playing up to his potential. If im Avery Johnson i set up a play to get Dirk the ball at the end of regulation, not Terry. Dirk had some monster shots towards the end of the game and was clutch.
So why did Johnson choose not too put the ball into his best player's hands? Even if Dirk didnt have a great look he could have passed it to someone who was open as Dirk had been making great passes all night. On the other hand, Riley knew to put the ball into his best player's hands. Sure, Shaq is a HOF and Allstar but Shaq also hasnt been a factor in this series. Wade was the hot hand just like Dirk was for the Mavs only one guy got the ball while the other didnt. Although Dirk is distributing the ball well he really isnt taking charge of his team. If Dirk is going to be the face of the Dallas Mavericks he is going to have to at times put that team on his back and run with it. Not just in a game during the regular season but when it matters most.
But i read last night someone say that the Mavs are a soft team. Commentators today reiterated that same fact by saying the Mavs are getting too comfortable shooting jumpers instead of taking it to the basket. The last 3 games have seen the Heat playing much more physical than Dallas. Overall, there are 2 games left in which the Mavs will more than likely win them. They have much more firepower than the Heat and will be at home which they love. But to whine about officiating or claiming it to be the reason they lost is bogus. The proof is in the pudding, the Mavs had multiple chances to win last night and didnt get it done.