Dallas vs. Miami Game 5 Postgame Analysis
By Charles Klask, Advance Scout, Orlando Magic
Greatness before our eyes: No other way to describe just exactly what Dwyane Wade is accomplishing. His playoff performances are placing him among the most elite players to ever grace the basketball court.
Wade has countered everything Dallas has thrown at him and has shredded every defender. It is a rare spectacle that one player shoots more total free throws than an entire team. He almost took as many free throws as field goals.
Riley & Wade: Coach Pat Riley did a great job of adjusting to Wade. Early on in the game, Dwyane was over focused on driving the ball with every touch and the Heat were running multiple sets that involved him in pick-and-rolls or on the sides of the floor.
Throughout the course of the game, Riley ran more sets for Wade to be isolated at the top of the key. This isolation increased his room to operate and made the defense less able to load up because no weak-side was established. Miami's strength is in their one-on-one ability which is what Riley took advantage of.
Josh Howard: Josh had his best three quarters of the series in Game 5, with spirited play on both ends of the floor. His aggressiveness was noticeable early with his 10 rebounds (five offensive) and his mixture of transition, post-up and penetration points. Josh was able to establish a rhythm early and will be called upon to do the same in Game 6. One area that he was lacking was in crunch-time. For the game he was 8-for-17 shooting but was 0-for-3 in the last 17 minutes of play. In order for Dallas to be lethal they need him to be threatening.
Jason Terry: His emergence sort of reminds me of Chauncey Billups in 2004 in that he was partially hidden in obscurity in his previous stints and now he is proving his worth at the grandest stage.
He has been very efficient with his touches and scoring off the dribble or off the screen. Miami's guards have struggled to get a grasp on Terry's offense. If the finals ended with Dallas hoisting the trophy, it is Terry that might have to clear space on his mantle for the MVP, just like Billups.
Shaq Catch 22: The chess match continues when it comes to debating whether or not to Hack-a-Shaq. His 2-for-12 (17 percent) free-throw shooting makes you lean toward fouling him on every possession, especially when his counterpart is scoring on each touch. Then in overtime you want to foul Shaq to get him on the line but because you're not in the penalty you are just adding fouls.
Those are team fouls that could be preserved to prevent other players non-shooting fouls turning into free throws or fouls that could be strategically used when needing a foul to give in the last :09.1. Those personal fouls could be on instrumental players that might be called upon to stop Wade later in the game. Look for Dallas to use Hack-a-Shaq only when the foul situation foresees free throws as a result.
Timeout: Taking the same stance as Avery. It wasn't the single reason why they lost the game.
Missed – Ops: The game comes down to which team can limit their mistakes and who can create and capitalize on easy-opportunities. Miami gave up another 20-points off turnovers in Game 5 but secured their ball control after the first half. The Heat committed 8 of their 11 turnovers in the first half and gave up 15 of their 20 points.
Both teams must find a way to generate possessions from effort and energy. One reason why James Posey is so valuable to the Heat is his ability to protect possession from being lost with energy and is ability to create additional opportunities with effort.
Miami Defense: Miami has proven how well they can be when they choose to defend They played great the last three quarters and really swallowed Dirk's touches. Each defender was quick to help to Dallas' main players.
D-evin Harris: He is doing about everything that is humanly possible to stop Wade. His defense has been fundamentally sound and inspiring. He has tremendously quick feet and hands to stay in-front of Wade. Earlier in the series the Mavs were using 4 to 5 defenders but in Game 6 they might only use one.
Energy and Effort -- The two determining forces of the series: Both coaches have preached on the importance of playing with a high level of effort and energy. The teams that have supplied the most energy for the longest periods of time have been successful.
When energy and effort are equal it comes down to talent and execution. Game 5 was a colossal battle that came down to the individual talents of one man who has single handedly transformed this series. Wade's Game 3 and Game 5 heroics will be marveled for decades to come.
X – Factor: Aside from the whole Stack-less factor the Miami bench outplayed Dallas' reserves. The Heat bench were 6 for 13 shooting for 23 points compared to Dallas's 5 for 8 shooting.
It wasn't only the total points involved but the timeliness of the shots made. Payton's two tough baskets with the clock winding down and Posey's three-point bombs helped deflate the Mavs defense. Not just the offensive support but it was also Posey's relentless individual and team defense and Payton's lighting quick hands causing havoc. While Miami got a boost the Mavs struggled. Although Daniels had his best game of the series his sporadic decision making and unorthodox plays lead to a lot of inconsistency.
Stat of the Night: Miami free throws, 32-for-49 equals 65 percent. Dallas free throws, 21-for-25 equals 84 percent. Wade alone shot and made the same total as the Mavs as 48 percent of Wade's points came from the line.
Those free throw attempts are so critical because they reduce Dallas' opportunity to push in transition and slows down any chances to build momentum.
Honorable mention to ZERO total blocked shots for a game which can be attributed to the amount of charges being drawn and the amount of fouls.
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.
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