The Miami Heat Meltdown Epidemic
If there is one constant in the 2011 NBA Finals, it’s Miami Heat building up a double digit lead only to watch it evaporate in the fourth quarter. Thanks to what we can call the Miami Meltdown, the Dallas Mavericks are in prime position to steal an NBA championship.
And it’s all Miami’s fault.
For three games, the Miami Heat outplayed, out rebounded, out hustled and just about outdid the Mavericks on every aspect of the game for 36 minutes. Too bad they can’t do it for 48 minutes. Aside from Game 1, the Big 3 are completely lost when it comes to putting the final nail in the coffin.
In Game 2 the Miami Heat led 88-73 with just over seven minutes remaining. The Heat looked like the Harlem Globetrotters and the Mavericks looked more like their vanilla counterparts, the Washington Senators. It was a party out there as the Heat tossed alley oops, stole the ball at will and celebrated like it was 1999. But as they floated on their caviar dreams, Dirk Nowitzki and his band of misfits rallied back and shocked the world with a 95-93 victory. It was an epic meltdown, but it wouldn’t be Miami’s last.
In Game 3, Miami led by as many as 13 and slowly coughed up the lead when they had the opportunity shut Dallas down. They hung on for the victory, but let it be known that they aren’t confident enough to close the show. Game 4 was just the same as they eased off the gas and gave up a nine point lead in the fourth quarter and watched as Dirk brought it home and evened the series at 2-2.
So what happens if and when Dallas builds up a double digit second half lead? Will Miami be able to scratch and claw their way back into the games as Dallas has? Dallas must be used to living in the red by now. They’ve dealt with adversity for the entire series, a lead would be like heaven for the Mavericks while Miami would be in no man’s land.
The Heat are the more talented team and when Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are on, there is no defense on the planet that can stop them. There’s no reason that they should be coughing up leads to a Dallas Mavericks team that nobody expected to be in the NBA Finals.
But alas, here they are and this is the reason why we play the games.