The Heat are down 3-2. Dwyane Wade has a busted hip. LeBron James had a triple-double and still, somehow, looked horrible. It was a bad night.
But it doesn't have to be a bad day, too. Cheer up! Make yourself feel better by winning an argument about the game. Don't bother trying to have the most logical points or the most informed opinions; the easiest way to come out on top in a sports discussion is to whip out an off-beat statistic or a reference the average fan isn't particularly familiar with. To aid in confusing your opponent into submission, here's your Friday-morning cheat sheet for a victory at the water cooler.
4. Jason Kidd has only scored one second-quarter point this series, compared to 36 the rest of the time. This almost certainly means nothing, but it's primo fuel for coming up with a bullshit strategy combining quotes from Phil Jackson and General Patton. Insist it's the unconditional key to success in game 6. You could combine this with Kidd's 19 turnovers being the most in the series, but you'll probably want to leave out that LeBron has 18 himself.
3. Dirk Nowitzki has 52 fourth-quarter points in this series. LeBron has 11. That's fewer than Udonis "Big Drooly" Haslem (17), who averages just over 28 minutes per game compared to James's 44. This will be a common observation, but you can one-up the yuckster pointing it out by making some fictional reference to the 2000 Trail Blazers and their collective pants-crapping in the Western Conference Finals.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
2. OK, so maybe LeBron is tired. Those 44 minutes a game could be wearing on him, and saying that makes us feel better about his being a weenie. Earn some originality points by discounting this argument -- try pointing out that Karl Malone averaged 41 minutes in the 1997 playoffs and still notched 23.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in the finals against Jordan and the unstoppable 90s Bulls, and he was much older than 26. Further the distraction by casually mentioning that Malone may have impregnated a 13-year-old while he was in college.
1. The Heat have sent Dallas to the foul line 137 times this series and have only gotten 115 foul shots themselves. The Mavericks (and Dirk's 43-for-44 foul-shooting clinic) have turned that into a 24-point advantage in free-throws made, which turns into a bigger deal when you consider that the Mavs have only outscored Miami by 4 points over the entire series. If this point doesn't go over as well as you'd hoped, just blame it on the convicted felons officiating the games.