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2011 NBA FINALS GAME 3 -- Heat 88, Mavericks 86: My Top 10 Observer-Ations

10. I absolutely love ABC's The Finals open with snippets of great plays and legendary players from the past. How surreal would it be to a year from now see Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd in that production?

9. Down 45-31, Dallas came roaring back again and almost pulled off another miracle comeback win. This series is feeling like the tortoise and the hare. The Miami Rabbits always sprint to a lead and the Dallas Turtles slowly fight back the whole game. Hard way to win a series.

8. If dunks counted 2.5 points, this series would easily be a Heat sweep. My unofficial count is Miami 137, Dallas 2.

7. Raise your hand if you had a high anticipation of Ian Mahinmi vs. Joel Anthony. Once upon a time The Finals gave us a center matchup of Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Shaquille O'Neal. Sorry, but Mahinmi vs. Anthony wouldn't draw flies in the D-League.

6. Very cool, spine-tingling promo played on AAC video board during second quarter: "The Time is Now" motivational vignettes from Roger Staubach, Nolan Ryan, Mike Modano, Daryl Johnston, Emmitt Smith, Ron Washington and, wait, Modano? The Detroit Red Wing? Just happy Dwaine Caraway didn't give Dwyane Wade the key to the city of Dallas.

5. Dirk was fantastic with 34 points and 11 rebounds. But on Dallas' last two possessions he produced a bad-pass turnover and a missed shot. Every now and then we're reminded that he's human.

4. Coulda swore that at one end Dirk missed a wide-open 3-pointer and then at the other blocked a dunk attempt by Chris Bosh. He was wearing No. 41 but that wasn't Dirk, was it?

3. This will sound like sour grapes, but the Mario Chalmers 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter shouldn't have counted because of a back-court violation. Refs missed it. Chalmers nailed a 40-footer. It counted three points. Miami wins by two. Just sayin'.

2. Give credit to Chris Bosh. The Mavs played great defense to get the ball out of the hands of LeBron and Wade in the final minute, but the former Dallas Lincoln High School star nailed a baseline jumper that proved to be the game-winner. Biggest shot of Bosh's career.

1. Down two with 4.4 seconds left, the Mavs appropriately went to Dirk. And his Flamingo Fadeaway over Udonis Haslem from above the free-throw line was...off the back rim. Last game it was Wade's last shot off the back rim. Hell of a series we got going, eh?


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