2011 NBA Finals: Chaos in Dallas! Four Mavericks Who Must Step It Up in Game 4
Despite Dirk's legendary efforts during the 2011 NBA Playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks are down 2-1 in the Finals.
Rather than take a look at a group of players (e.g. the bench or the starters), let's go four specific players who need to step it up for the remainder of the series, starting with the least urgent at No. 4.
4. Jason Kidd
This guy IS an all-time great... but what is he doing guarding Dwyane Wade? Other than that, turnovers, turnovers, turnovers, are killing the Mavs.
Now, the Mavs lost last night's game by two points (88-86). Think about it this way: If the Mavs had committed one or two fewer turnovers than the 14 that they committed, chances are, they would have taken the game.
This is where Jason Kidd comes in; he is the point guard, the leader on the court, and the extension of Coach Carlisle onto the floor. His job is to come into the game and orchestrate the offense to limit these turnovers.
Jason needs to help the Mavericks score in some way, whether by getting Dirk three-pointers or getting players like Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler some wide open layups.
3. Shawn Marion
Where was this guy on defense last night? And somewhat on offense as well?
The Matrix dropped 10 points—far below his playoff average of 18 points. He went 4/12 from the field, something that isn't helping the Mavs.
Jeff Van Gundy, who I think should be fired because he talks about the Heat while completely forgetting that there is another team on the court, said that the Mavs were playing the most atrocious defense he had ever seen.
This is probably because everytime D-Flop and Queen James drove the lanes, Shawn simply swiped at the ball, stepped aside, and let Tyson or Dirk take care of it. Shawn's defense had been winning us games. If he gets back to that defense, let's just say we have a fighter's chance to win this series.
Shawn needs to pick up his defense, the defense that he had in the series vs OKC. He shut down Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook; why can't he shut down Dwyane Wade?
2. Peja Stojakovic
If he's doing that (the picture) in practice, why can't he do it in the games? Peja has completely disappeared in this series, and his play alongside that of Jose Juan Barea was the biggest reason we beat the 2-time defending champions in the Los Angeles Lakers.
In Game 3, Peja scored 2 points, committed a turnover, and had 3 rebounds. That's pretty mediocre for a regular rotation player.
He needs to help put some points on the board, most likely with three-pointers, because he obviously can't play defense.
1. Jose Juan Barea
Oh, JJ. I can't even put into words how much you have done for us. You helped us pummel the Lakers with endless penetration and layups as well as kick outs to shooters like Peja.
If Barea can drive, penetrate, and put in some easy layups, we win Game 4. Obviously, he didn't do that the first 3 games, which clearly is why we didn't win. Throw in Jose Juan Barea, and we have ourselves a win.
Basically, Jose needs to get back to what he used to do. Rather than stand behind the three-point line and brick three-pointers, he needs to drive the ball, get layups, and get kick outs to Dirk and other open three-point shooters to help carry the offensive load.
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