Yes, I know the Heat can't win the series tonight. But - after they take a 3-1 lead on Dallas in a few hours, the series will be over.
The truth is, the Heat are just a better team. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, having LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh is simply ridiculous. You can talk all you want about how star-studded teams can't win, but they can. They do it all the time. Lakers, Yankees, even the three-headed pitching monster in Philadelphia is winning games.
While the seemingly super-human Dirk Nowitzki isn't enough for the Mavs, the power of the big-three becomes evident. The most interesting part? It's not because the Heat score 165 points a game. It isn't because they are full of flash and swagger (and they are), it's because of their defense.
Nobody wants to admit it, but the Heat are earning every win they've got this post-season. Their playoff opponents have shot 41.9% from the field. That's the second best percentage for any playoff team this season, and the best among teams that made it past the first round.
Now, against the same team that shot 60% against Phil Jackson's Lakers, the Heat are still finding success.
I nearly had to pick my jaw off the floor when I read that Jason Terry, who has been kept quiet so far this series, said after game 3: "Let's see if [James] can defend me like that for seven games."
Excuse me? Is Jason Terry, the Mavs 6th man, challenging the best player in the league? Does Jason Terry think this series is going to go seven games? They'll make six if their lucky.
First off, Mr. Terry, you're a very unimpressive 0-7 in the fourth quarter of the Mavs two losses in the Finals so far. You're 13-34 on the series. You're down 2-1, and LeBron has simply put the lock on you anytime he's wanted. Even Nowitzki has seen it.
"They keep sticking him [James] on Jet in the fourth quarters and he's been doing a good job," Nowitzki said. "Jet hasn't really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to."
That isn't exactly what I'd classify as a vote of confidence from your team leader. But forget about Terry, try looking anywhere but Nowitzki and you will see a Heat defense causing some serious pain for Dallas.
JJ Barea: 5-23 shooting.
Jason kid: 8-23 shooting.
Peja Stojakovic is so terrible at defense that he doesn't see more than 26 minutes a game. Still, when he's been in, his shooting hasn't been very Peja-esque either. Try 1-5 in the series and a grand total of zero made 3-pointers in four tries.
Aside from all that, as I said a few weeks back, I believe we are finally witnessing LeBron's take-over of the NBA. I think he'll leave with a few rings, never be Jordan, but earn the respect of any reasonable NBA fan. To get some more LeKnowledge, check out Rick Reilly on 'Bron: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6634464
I'll be looking forward to the Heat winning tonight, and being so close to tasting that title in game five that they might take it before they even head back to Miami.