Here is my updated NBA Finals Win Chart through Game 4. Remember, the game values are multiplied by a factor of ten in order to make the numbers understandable. So, to determine the true number of wins and losses I am attributing to a given player, divide the numbers stated by ten.
Prior to Game 4, several NBA analysts claimed that “Dirk Nowitzki needs help”, implying that Dallas was a one-man team. To the extent that any team in an NBA Finals can be a one-man team, in this Finals that team has been the Miami Heat.
Dwyane Wade has so far been performing as a “band alone”. You will notice from the chart above that I credit Wade with fully 1/2 of the wins produced by the Heat so far in the Finals. That is remarkable. He’s been brilliant in every possible way (well, he did miss that free throw at the end — but no one is perfect).
Meanwhile, the rest of the Heatles are not doing their share. Wade has received diminishing assistance from his pal LeBron James, and Chris Bosh… well, he has been awful, simply awful. As a power forward, Bosh can’t cover Nowitzki at all. As a center, Bosh has repeatedly turned Tyson Chandler completely loose on both the offensive and defensive boards.
Speaking of Chandler, when will that guy get his due? Last night he put on a performance worthy of Bill Russell himself. In the fourth quarter, Chandler’s work on the glass was particularly relentless. Time after time he either extended Dallas possessions or finished Miami’s. He was nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely righteous.
Everyone talks about how Dallas has suddenly become “tough” and “rugged”. If that is true, it is mainly because of Tyson Chandler. Can’t people see this? He is the one significant difference between the Maverick teams who failed in the playoffs of old and the Maverick team that is currently two games from a world title. His play — especially in comparison to Bosh and Joel Anthony of the Heat — has been more valuable to the Maverick cause than any other Dallas player, including Nowitzki.
Finally, when will Dallas itself get credit for its achievements? First it blew the doors off an excellent Laker team. But, we were told, that was the Lakers “laying down”. Then it pushed back a rising power in Oklahoma City. But, we were told, Oklahoma City “wasn’t ready”. Now it has stood toe-to-toe with a pretty good Miami Heat team. Instead of admiring the Mavericks, many analysts are acting as though the Heat are giving the series away.
Its all so self-serving (“We told you the Heat were better, so if the Mavericks win, it has to be because the Heat failed to play their best.”)