Tonight the Dallas Mavericks will attempt to tie this series for a second time. The Miami Heat hold a 2 games to 1 advantage after taking Game 3. Questions abound as the teams prepare for this important game. What are they? Find out after the jump!
Will Brendan Haywood be able to play tonight? The Mavs need him on the court. Whether his injured right hip will allow him to play and perform well is yet to be determined. If he can play, the Mavs have a much better chance to win. We have seen that Chandler is prone to pick up early fouls. Ian Mahinmi almost averaged a foul per minute in Game 3, providing nothing but 1 rebound and a lot of frustration for coach Rick Carlisle.
Who will step up and help Dirk Nowitzki? It doesn’t really matter who does it, just as long as someone does. The obvious candidates are Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. Terry has been unable to duplicate his performances against the Blazers, Lakers, and Thunder. LeBron James should change his nickname to the Eraser because when he covers Terry, Terry disappears. Marion has been playing well but scored only 10 points in Game 3. More offensive production is needed.
Maybe Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler can hit double-digits in points. When Kidd scores at least 10 points, the Mavs hardly ever lose. The problem is that Kidd does not get to that level of production often. Chandler has been productive on the boards and on defense in spurts. A few more buckets from these two would really go a long way towards a victory.
Peja Stoyakovic and J.J. Barea have been disappointing to say the least in this series. Both men need to step up, hit some shots, make the Heat worry about them, and take pressure off Nowitzki and Terry. Barea is still getting good penetration and is getting to the basket, but he has not been able to finish it off. That has to change.
Unfortunately, just like the Mavericks must occasionally go on the road to take care of business, so must I. I will be at a conference for the rest of the week and unable to keep you updated. But do not fear! You can follow me on twitter at mspell75. I will be giving live game time thoughts from my phone.
Tonight, the Mavs will win. They will tie this series up and then win Game 5 to take control of this series. That is my fearless prediction. What do you all think?