The Dallas Mavericks win game five Thursday night which means possibly two more games remain in the NBA finals. But just about everyone continues to ask: What’s wrong with LeBron James?  Social media is buzzing with rumors that LeBron can’t concentrate because of trouble at home.  Hoop experts say he’s playing too many minutes and doesn’t have the energy to be an effective closer as the game winds down. And again he didn’t have many baskets when it mattered – only two points in the fourth quarter. These are issues for sure, but enough already.  What about Dallas?

Yes, it’s legitimate to wonder about LeBron’s state of mind or his physical well-being but it suggests the other guys on the court don’t matter much.  Well, if you are paying attention at all, you have to admit that Dallas may be largely responsible for LeBron’s less-than-stellar performance.  In fact, Thursday night LeBron had one of the most ineffective triple doubles I’ve ever seen.

The Mavericks proved in game five that they did not get to the finals by chance.  They’ve got good players too and not all of them are named Dirk Nowitzki.

Jason “The Jet” Terry finally found his shooting rhythm, bombing eight huge points in the closing minutes.  Tiny guard J.J. Barea again sliced and diced his way through defenders but this time his shots didn’t bounce off the rim, they went in.  And the aging Jason Kidd nailed several key three pointers as well.  Dirk, by the way, finished with another great game – 29 points, including a ridiculously beautiful rainbow jumper that took forever to swish down through the nets.

This is the explosive Dallas team that swept the Lakers and toyed with the OKC Thunder. If they continue playing this way the Heat will have trouble beating the Mavericks twice back home in Miami.

No, I’m not saying that Dallas is definitely going to win game six or even game seven if it goes that far.  But the point I am trying to make is that all of us need to get over this obsession we have with the “disappearance” of LeBron James and finally give Dallas credit for playing like a complete and perhaps better team.

 

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  1. Reggie says:

    Regarding LeBron – if you watched his final playoff game with Cleveland you noticed a similar turn of events. He did all he could and then basically checked out, quit. James is one of the most talented players in the league but he isn’t a “winner” just yet.

    I resent the Jordan comparisons because MJ was definitely a consistent winner. He simply came to play practice after practice, night after night. He never, ever quit.

    The difference with LeBron is he has basically never been coached. Based purely on talent, he’s had his way with regard to how he plays, where he plays, etc. You may have noticed last night that he was frequently down on the block actually rebounding with put backs, but he won’t do that most of the time.

    Huge talent but there is a definitely lack of discipline. Something is not right with him and we may not know for years exactly what it is.

  2. Marvin Wamble says:

    I think the keyword in this series is “team.” It is clear to me that the Mavericks are a team that has worked together for a long time without egos to get to this goal. The Heat is a great collection of talent that has yet to gel as a cohesive unit. Talent can take you a long ways, but this is indeed a team game with everyone working together. In reality, most people did not expect the Heat to get this far in year one. They have not gone through the adversity it takes to be a true champion. It is adversity that develops a trust that shines during crunch time. It it takes more than 82 games to develop that trust. I think the Heat will make it interesting, winning game six and battling in the sudden death of game seven. But despite my dislike for anything Dallas, I am leaning toward the Team Mavericks to pull this one out. It doesn’t hurt that Wade is hobbled. And I think we have seen the best we will see from LeBron. He has his limitations, and they are shining bright under the bright lights of the finals.

  3. DavidBurnett says:

    I think its a shame that so much of the series revolves around what’s going on with LeBron. This has been an absolutely intriguing series all around. It was good that finally Dallas started playing up to their potential. The problem until last night that was that Dallas squandered so many make-able baskets. The blown layups, the missed put-backs added up negatively. Dallas played tight for the first four games which is why the easy shots couldn’t go down, and if you add the wide open but missed three pointers, it made Dallas’ problems worse. Last night most of those shots went in. Pretty simple. If that happens again on Sunday, Dallas goes home champions, if not, there will probably be a game 7 on Tuesday. I think this series is about Dallas not missing easy shots and converting the jump shots they normally would make during the season.

  4. Kathy says:

    Good points David.