MANILA, Philippines – For a moment, it seemed as though Game 3 of the NBA Finals would end the way Game 2 did: with Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki hitting a game winner.
But this time, Nowitzki missed the mark, the Mavericks’ comeback fell short and the Miami Heat held on for the Game 3 victory and took a 2-1 series lead.
In an interview with Boyet Sison on ANC’s Hardball, TJ Manotoc said that Miami’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, praised two of his big men who were vital to the victory.
“Coach Erik Spoelstra credited his two big men for gutting it out and winning the game for them,” said Manotoc, who is covering the game in Dallas, Texas.
The first is Chris Bosh, who hit the game-winning baseline jumper for Miami.
“When Coach Spoelstra called that play, it was actually the pick-and-roll for Dwyane Wade with LeBron James,” said Manotoc. “They do that very rarely, but they like to do that sometimes in late game situations to surprise the defense of the other team.”
With James and Wade both being double-teamed, Bosh was left wide open and hit the biggest shot of the game.
“Bosh hasn’t been the most consistent guy among the Big Three, and he’s had his bad games. But a big shot is a big shot,” Manotoc added.
Bosh had 19 points in Game 1 but struggled from the field, shooting only 5-of-18. In Game 2, he scored only 12 points. This time, Bosh had 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting.
Spoelstra also commended Udonis Haslem, who had the tough task of guarding Nowitzki. Manotoc said that Spoelstra knew that Nowitzki can hit a fade away, and had done so many times before.
“He was just happy that Haslem stayed in front of him, forced him to a fadeaway and not given him the drive,” Manotoc added.
In Game 2, Nowitzki had spun past Bosh for the game winning lay-up, capping the Mavericks’ historic comeback.
Manotoc reported that the Miami Heat are finally getting into a rhythm, both offensively and defensively. Dallas will have to come up with some answers, especially for the duo of James and Wade.
“If they (the Mavericks) want to beat the Heat, who play the best defense in the league, they have to be at the top offensive level,” he said. With a report from Boyet Sison, ANC