June 6, 2011
Though it’s only three games into the series, each game has come down to the wire. After losing Game 1 in Miami, the Mavericks stunned the Heat – and everyone watching- when they went 22-5 in the final minutes. Dallas rallied from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit to win the game by a single basket, 95-93. Dallas vet Dirk Nowitzki, who gave the Mavericks 24 points in Game 2, has continued to lead the team through the series, including scoring 12-straight points in Sunday night’s Game 3. Despite his energy, talent and obvious desire to win, Nowitzki can’t do everything for the Mavs. While he gave the team its winning layup in Game 2, he can’t be expected to close every game for his team. After all, it’s a team, not just a Nowitzki showcase.
While the Mavs relied heavily on Nowitzki to get the job done, the Heat were more focused in Game 3. With LeBron and Wade waiting for the final buzzer to celebrate, Chris Bosh came through with the 3-point game winner, despite playing poorly earlier. The loss was a big one for the Mavs, who weren’t able to capitalize on momentum from their Game 2 win or home-court advantage. If the Mavs can bounce back and win Game 4, the series will be tied 2-2. If not, they face a 3-1 deficit and the possibility of seeing the Miami Heat become champions on their home court.
The Nationals are still digesting a big win as they settle in San Francisco for a late-night game. After being shutout 0-4 Friday and 0-2 Saturday, the Nats breathed some life into their bats Sunday afternoon, in an extra inning battle at Chase Field. The game was tied at 4 until Diamondback left-hander Joe Paterson was pummeled and allowed five runs, including a grand slam by left-fielder Michael Morse. It was a much needed win for the team, who at one point led 1-0 before the bullpen imploded and allowed three runs in the bottom of the 9th to force extra innings. The win was the team’s first since Wednesday, and it moved their record to 26-33, a few games shy of .500.
The MLB draft starts tonight, and for the first time in two years, the Nats don’t have the No. 1 pick. Their 2009 and 2010 picks were both well publicized: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, respectively. This year, though, fans are in the dark as to whom the D.C. franchise will choose. Perhaps it’s because the Nats have the No. 6 pick this year and they’re unsure they’ll get their top choice. Or maybe it’s obvious gaps in both the batter’s box and pitching mound that cast doubt on which player would fit best. The Nats will also get two additional picks — at 26 and 34 — as part of the deal of letting Adam Dunn go last winter. Nationals’ General Manager Mike Rizzo is confident, saying “It’s the best draft he’s seen in at least six years,” leaving fans to wonder if another superstar talent like Strasburg or Harper is due to arrive in the District.
Various mock drafts circulating the internet have different outcomes for the Nats. Baseball America’s final mock draft posted earlier today shows the Nats ending up with Danny Hultzen, a left handed pitcher from the University of Virginia, while My MLB Draft’s website has high school senior and outfielder Bubba Starling landing with the team. If the draft is as good as Rizzo says, the Nats will be lucky with whomever they get.
The end of the NBA usually means the start of another season: the WNBA. The Mystics fell in their season opener against the Connecticut Suns, 73-89. They play just one more game before their home opener against the Chicago Sky, Saturday at the Verizon Center.