Huge shift in Finals series
By: Corby Yarbrough | 6/3/11, 1:41 AM EDT
In the 2-3-2 format that is the NBA Finals, the road team certainly has the advantage if it can grab one of the first two games. You would figure that the best chance for the road team to do that would be Game 1 as both teams are full of nerves.
That didn't happen for Dallas.
Big D instead put on the big comeback in Game 2 Thursday night.
Down 15 with 6:20 left in the game, the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki closed out the Heat with a 22-5 run, and not only evened the series but took control of the series.
The Mavericks return to their homecourt now for the next three games. They weren't necessarily dominant on their homecourt during the regular season (29-12), but are 7-1 there in the postseason.
An even series. Revenge on the minds of Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry for losing to the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals and a great home crowd makes for a great recipe to a championship for the Mavericks over the next three games.
With a victory like Dallas pulled off Thursday night and its postseason success at home thus far, one would have to say the clear advantage leans toward the Mavs.
But let's not discount what became the most hated team in the NBA this season.
As terrible as "The Decision" fiasco was by LeBron during the offseason, I think if it did nothing else it at least made the Heat a battle-tested team. They are booed everywhere they go and LeBron is booed on the road everytime his hands touch the ball. And through all those boos Miami still managed to tie (with Dallas of course) for the league's best road record at 28-13 but are just 4-3 away from home in the postseason.
I told people around the office on Thursday that if the Heat went up 2-0 in the series it was as good as done because of the road-tested Heat - and the fact a team down 2-0 in the Finals has only come back to win that series three times (the 2006 Heat being one of those three). But now that the Mavericks get to go back home all square I think the series has taken a magnificent shift.
- Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
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