By: Alex Bogach
When Dallas beat Miami in Game 2, I tweeted (which I rarely to never to do on my @the_REAL_alexb account) numerous times in pure excitement. I changed my BBM name description 5 times until I settled on “YES.WE.DID”. I went literally insane. I went into full We Just Killed Osama mode. It was one of those moments where you wake up in the morning and would be totally unsurprised if none of that actually happened. Like if I sat down at breakfast the next morning and the Heat won by 20, I’d be less surprised than I was that morning when I saw Dirk on the front of ESPN. And there’s a reason. Dallas didn’t just win Game 2—they gave themselves an opportunity to win the series by shaking the Heat.
(Watch the scene for full effect)
In the Chicago series, I compared Miami to Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network in that both are wildly invincible. I begged for Chicago to understand that while winning the series—or in Eduardo’s case taking down Mark—would be nearly impossible, that it would be important for Zuckerberg and the Heat to have a moment of self-reflection, a rattling moment. For Mark, it was when Eduardo stormed out of his office, smashed his computer and completely flipped. For the Mavs, they pulled it off in Game 2. They had the Heat have their “%^*#, we totally screwed up” moment just like Mark. And that was essential.
The only way the Mavs were going to win this series is if the Heat beat themselves and by not just beating Miami on their homecourt for the first time all playoffs, but doing so using that absurdly improbable comeback, it gave the Heat a moment of reflection. A moment of contemplation. A moment of “wait, can we actually do this?”
The Mavericks needed to shake up the Heat and they did it in the absolutely most perfect way at the end of Game 2. Then, after losing Game 3—and only Game 3—they put even more pressure on the Heat because they won two in a row. Now the Mavs get to go back to Miami and make the Heat beat themselves. These words will be running through Miami’s heads before Sunday’s tip-off:
“We’ve beaten you twice”
“Remember last time we were here?”
And lo and behold, the Heat have lost heavily due to mental errors and lapses. The Mavs did it by winning Game 2. That’s why I was so ecstatic. During the Chicago and Boston series, I had no hope. The Heat had their Zuckerberg meter at 11. But then the Mavs gave them the best Eduardo Saverin routine ever! By letting the Mavericks come back in Game 2, they made the Heat look vulnerable and paranoid. The only people that could beat the Miami team that was in Chicago and Boston was that Miami team and they have done exactly that.
(And Pat Riley is Sean Parker, by the way, with the “oh, you’ll sign it” line. Plus, the fact that we would love if a Heat meltdown ended in Riley getting busted at a frat house party for snorting lines off an 18 year olds stomach)
Now, with Game 6 looming…the Mavs have to look the Heat in the eyes and say: We aren’t coming back for 3 wins! We’re coming back—for everything.