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NBA Finals Schedule: Miami Heat Control Pace, Control Series

For the Miami Heat, the final seconds of their 2011 NBA Finals Game 3 win over the Dallas Mavericks went exactly as they envisioned it. When they assembled their "big three" superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh the hope was that at some point in crunch time of an NBA Finals game they would have too much talent on the floor for the other team to guard. That's exactly how it played out when LeBron and Wade ran a pick and roll and the Mavericks were forced to double-team each of them which left Bosh wide open for the game-winning shot.

It's slightly ironic that this 2011 NBA Finals which was billed as "stars (Heat) vs. team (Mavericks)" came down to the Heat running a great play while the Mavericks drew up a straight isolation look for Dirk Nowitzki to tie the game at the buzzer. Dirk was defended well but got off a shot over Udonis Haslem that for most players is highly improbable but for Dirk is about a 50/50 proposition. It just barely missed and the Heat took a 2-1 lead in the series over the Mavericks.

We said all along that for the Mavericks to win against Miami, the games needed to be played at a faster pace and with more scoring. Games in the 80's or low 90's favor the Heat while Dallas should hold the advantage if they can get the score over 100. To do that though, Dallas needs more production from J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic who've been absent so far in the series thanks in large part to Miami's defense which doesn't get enough credit. 

Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals tips off on Tuesday June 7, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ABC. Down 2-1 in the series, Dallas needs to get more of its offense involved in the game.

Here's the full remaining schedule for the 2011 NBA Finals:
Game 5 Thursday June 9, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
Game 6 * Sunday June 12, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT
Game 7 * Tuesday June 14, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
*If necessary


Miami Heat's LeBron James dunks during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, June 5, 2011, in Dallas. The Heat won 88-86 take a 2-1 lead in the series. (AP Photo/Mike Ehrmann; Pool)