Dallas-Miami: Game 4 Hero
The highlight of the game wasn't Rick Carlisle's switching up of the starting five with J.J. Barea replacing DeShawn Stevenson, Dirk Nowitzki coming through in the clutch again, or the Mavs' defense on LeBron James, but it was the assertiveness of big man Tyson Chandler. This type of performance was the exact reason why Dallas traded for the 28-year old last summer despite the fact he was in the last year of his contract. Chandler showed he was deserving of a big contract with 43 minutes of action, killing the depleted Miami Heat frontline on the boards; he collected 16 rebounds total, 9 on the offensive end for additional possessions and 7 on the defensive end. His four offensive rebounds in the final six minutes of the game resulted in a put-back and three fewer opportunities for Miami to play catch-up.
Chandler consistently out hustled the Heat and pushed loose balls and rebounds up the court to create transition scoring opportunities. His interior defense helped Dallas produce eight straight stops in the fourth quarter to spark the Mavs comeback. The defense held the heat to only five field goals and forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Moving forward, Dallas doesn't necessarily need Chandler to score, but he has 26 points in the Mavericks' two wins and only 14 in their two losses, but they need him to continue to dominate the glass, get out and run in transition and continue to roll off of the guards and get himself open in the paint for offensive rebounding positioning or a slam dunk.
By President Corey Ruff - 6-8-11