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DALLAS, TX - JUNE 05: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a shot against Joel Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
It's never happened. Ever. A team down 3-1 in the NBA Finals has never come back to win the championship.
And before you start the: "there's a first time for everything" rhetoric, let me stop you. Because this isn't the series that will make history.
Fourteen turnovers and sloppy play gave way to the Heat winning Game 3. In the process, Miami stole every ounce of momentum the Mavs earned in Miami. And now Dallas put themselves in a position they've avoided all postseason: win tonight, or the season is over.
Down 3-1 in The Finals, is a death sentence. Sure, a coach can use it as motivation, but basketball history shows it's an insurmountable mountain too steep to climb -- even for a team many gave the moniker "Team of Destiny."
We've heard the Mavs say it throughout this two month long postseason stretch: "Treat every game like it's a game seven, Treat have possession like it's your last, Don't stop until we reach our goals."
That makes good TV. But those quotes mean nothing if they don't get the win Tuesday night at home.
Dirk called out Jason Terry Monday for not being clutch. JJ Barea has been missing in action. And Peja Stojakovic has looked clueless.
Use all the quotes, give them any label or title you want. But if the Dallas Mavericks don't win Game 4, they will all be summer vacationers.