Dallas vs. Miami Game 4 Pregame Analysis

Game 4 Video Preview

By Charles Klask, Advance Scout, Orlando Magic

Dallas Turning-over in Their Sleep: Miami gave Dallas every opportunity in the world to take Game 3. The 20 turnovers for 28 points, the missed layups, and even the whistles were blowing in their favor. These factors seemed to be too overwhelming to conquer for the Heat, yet somehow, some way Miami pushed all of their blunders aside and stole Game 3. Riley would agree that you are not supposed to win games when you give a team 28 points or 29 percent of their points off turnovers, not in the preseason and definitely not in June. It would be interesting to see what the biggest margin of points off turnovers by a winning team is in Finals history; I canít imagine it being more than 28. Not all of the credit can go to the Mavericks' defense. The chart below depicts how many of the Heats miscues were brought upon by their own errors.

Heat Turnover Break Down
Player Forced Unforced Total % of Team
Haslem 0 3 3 15.0%
Williams 2 1 3 15.0%
Payton 0 2 2 10.0%
Posey 1 0 1 5.0%
O'Neal 4 3 7 35.0%
Wade 0 1 1 5.0%
Walker 2 0 2 10.0%
Mourning 0 1 1 5.0%
Total 9 11 20

Thanks Be to the Third: The most climatic point in the series took place when Dallas came back from being down nine at halftime to outscore the Heat by 18 points in the third. This was critical because Miami had been playing anxiety-laced basketball which helped fuel their poor decision making throughout the game. The Heat wanted so badly to win that they were full of stress instead of playing relaxed. Once they were down by 13 they forgot about how badly they had been drowning in the series and played care-free with a "nothing-to-lose mentality." This game gave the Heat the confidence they needed to take the series back to Dallas.

Wade-a-Minute:The recipe for the Heat's success has been forged with a steady diet of Dwyane Wade. He will need another point-per-minute-production type game on Thursday for Miami to even the series.

Four Defending Wade: Howard is typically their best perimeter defender, but struggled to contain Wade for most of the game. Wade scored 8 baskets or 40 percent of his points vs. Howard, with three baskets coming off direct drives and three coming off pick and rolls. Harris gave up the equivalent of four baskets, and Griffin three. Look for Dallas to give Griffin more minutes on Wade in Game 4 and get back to playing all five defenders on Wade's drive.

The Chess Game Continues: Both Miami and Dallas did a great job of jockeying back and forth on how to counter double teams. Miami mixed up how their other four players moved around the post and Dallas jumbled their designated trapper all night. The biggest difference regardless of tactics was the reduced turnovers in trying to force-feed Shaq that occurred in Game 2. Miami must remain to be proactive in how the utilize Shaq inside.

Easy Baskets: Miami made a concentrated effort to get easy baskets in transition, off second shots and from hard drives. The Heat were determined to attack the basket in transition, vs. man-to-man and vs. the zone. Look for more of the same in Game 4.

Fourth Down: With all of the mental mistakes in the first 41 minutes, Riley would even agree that this game belonged to Dallas. The biggest difference was their ball security in the last 6:30 of the game. In the closing moments, the Heat did not commit one turnover -- within that 6:30 stretch held a 17-5 run over the last five minutes. Hopefully this trend continues and serves as a wake-up call to what the Heat can accomplish, for an entire game, when making sound decisions.

Player on the Spot - Stackhouse: His contribution in Game 2 was substantial in the Mavs' win and his lack thereof in Game 3 was detrimental. He means a lot to the impact of the Mavericks.

Charles Klask is an advance scout for the Orlando Magic, holding the position the last three seasons after spending the previous three as a video scout. Prior to joining the Magic, Klask spent one season with the WNBA's Detroit Shock in the role of video coordinator.