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June 7, 3:00 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome back to Mavs chat, NBA Finals version. The question is will this be the final chat of the Finals or can the Mavs take the series back to Miami? Tons of questions are already up and loaded so let's get right to it.

Mark (Chicago)

Jeff, why are so many "expert" analysts saying that this is Dirk's last legit shot at a title? He seems to have at least a few good years left in the tank, and with a healthy Caron Butler there's no telling what next season could bring. Understand Memphis and OK City are young and could be scary good in the coming years, and you can never count out Kobe or the Spurs either - but isn't the "now or never" talk a little drastic?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:00 PM)

Mark, no one knows what next year's roster will look primarily because of there will be a new CBA in effect and likely after an extended lockout. I agree that if they re-sign Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler, this team has a decent shot to make it back. But, Kidd will be going on 39 and everyone else is a year older.

Paul (Denver)

Why is everyone overlooking the biggest play of Sunday's game (Chalmers foot on the halfcourt line)? It sickens me to think that the NBA turns a blind eye on an obvious halftime correction. Corruption still reigns supreme.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

Paul, that was a close, close, close play. You say that was obvious??? Even Carlisle after watching it over and over again said he thought the right call was probably made. For any Mavs fan to be looking to the refs as excuses has lost his/her marbles. Have you seen the foul disparity and free throws in this series? Please.

kevin (lewisville)

do you think mavs win tonight? Is it just one of these streches where mavs cant buy baskets outside of dirk or miami d because have been of the opinion games in 90's mavs win--if we elimiate carelessness.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:03 PM)

I have no idea who will win tonight, that's why they play and we watch. And, no this isn't just one of those stretches where the Mavs can't buy a basket. The Heat won't let them buy a bucket. Now, yes, the Mavs have missed some shots they might normally make, but the Heat defense is easily the best Dallas has faced in the playoffs by far.

Zach (IA)

What has Kidd been doing this whole Series? He has had so many dumb turnovers and is often wide open in the paint after penetration and passes back out to someone 24 feet from the basket.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

Kidd has 12 turnovers in the series and he's had a few where he just gets caught in the air at the top of the 3-point arc trying to make a routine pass setting up the offense. That goes to show you how stifling the Heat defense is. As for Kidd's penetration, if you don't know that Kidd absolutely refuses to finish a drive, well, you haven't been watching the Mavs closely enough.

Hunter (Dallas, TX)

I find it humerous Deshaun Stevenson says D wade and Lebron are actors when the foul differential is clearly in Dallas's favor. I believe it was 27-14 on Miami if I am not mistaken. I say Deshaun get your facts right and stop making excuses...

Jeff Caplan
  (3:06 PM)

Hunter, yeah, at some point guys like DeShawn and Terry need to just go play ball. DeShawn played 14 minutes last game was yanked way early in the third quarter for J.J.Barea. The fouls have gone in the Mavs' favor. DeShawn said he's afraid if the Mavs go for a hard foul on either Heat superstar that the refs will automatically call it a flagrant.Well, you don't know until you try.

RickyMFFL (Houston)

Why do you think Carlisle continues to go with Peja, Barea, etc. when they have consistently put up horrible numbers this series? At least give Brewer, Roddy B, Cardinal a chance and see if one of them can't provide a spark. It can't be any worse than the garbage minutes were getting from Barea and Peja.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:08 PM)

Ricky,Come on, you want to throw a mentally-shot, no-confidence Roddy B into the NBA Finals against Wade and LeBron? Corey Brewer could see some time tonight especially if Peja struggles again. Look, what choice does Carlisle have? J.J. was very good in the last 2 series and he's the only backup point guard they have. You want Kidd to play the full 48? Rick is also knows that if Peja heats up he can be a difference-maker as he has been at least twice in the postseason. Carlisle will have a short leash on Peja again.

Neil (College Station)

Who do we need to step up most? Terry, Barea, or Peja? They've all been pretty bad so far.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:09 PM)

Neil, Jason Terry is your man. He's spending a lot of time trash talking, saying Portland's D is better than Miami's, challenging LeBron to stick with him in seven games. I mean it's time for Jet to close his mouth and let his game do the talking. He's been horrible in the fourth quarter all playoffs and now it is killing the Mavs.

Michael (Dallas)

I wish we would get our pick and roll game going. I mean Dirk is wide open every time for atleast a split second, but the guards are drifting to much and not getting him the ball when hes open. your thought?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:10 PM)

I think the Mavs have not see a defensive unit that is as disciplined and as quick as the Heat.

Dee (Oceanside, CA)

Whether the Mavs win or lose, do u think Jason Kidd is done???

Jeff Caplan
  (3:11 PM)

Jason Kidd has one more season left on his contract worth $8.6 million. He has already said he will be back next year. The only caveat is if a lockout wipes out the entire season. Kidd said in that case he could hang 'em up. I don't see the entire season being wiped out however.

Tom P (Plano)

Whats the latest on Haywood, felt we missed his play big time in game 3.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:13 PM)

Haywood was definitely missed. For one, Chandler said he was too passive early at both ends for fear of picking up early foul trouble. He also had to play a season-high 40 minutes because Ian Mahinmi picked up five fouls in eight minutes. The latest on Haywood is he worked out during shootaround to test the hip. Media availability was before shootaround so we will have to wait until before game time to find out if he's playing or not.

Chris (Frisco)

Mavs have to find thier shot, we are playing better defense than I expected we could have to this point. How did they look in practice yesterday?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:14 PM)

Media is allowed to watch only the tail end of practice, at which point it is mainly shooting, so you don't get a good idea of much.

Jerry (Dallas)

Do you see the bench getting on track this evening? No way we can win this series without them hitting their shots.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:15 PM)

It depends Jerry. First of all, who's going to be coming off the bench. Can Haywood play? Does Peja get his normal substitution spot in the first half? Does Corey Brewer get some run. The main guy is Jason Terry. Does he show up? Against that defense, it is going to be hard. Add to it Jet's silly challenge of LeBron.

Angie (Little Elm)

Did Bynums "The Elbow Play" cause an unknown injury to JJ (if you could even say that if you knew)? Or is he just in a funk, need the spark and seems they have cut off his dribble drives.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:16 PM)

It's called good defense. Barea played well against OKC too. Now he's averaging 4.3 points on 21.1% shooting. He got into the lane in Game 1 but couldn't convert. He hasn't been able to get into the lane since because, as JJ says, once he gets by his man, LeBron is waiting for him at the free throw line and behind him is a Heat big.

John (Irving)

Is it time to play the Corey Brewer card for a 5 minute spurt tonight?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:17 PM)

If Mavs are down and need a spark, I wouldn't be surprised to see that. His last big impact was 8 minutes in Game 1 at L.A. and he turned that game around.

Tex (Wisconsin)

Even with the great defense and pressure of the Heat, why can't the Mavs cut down on the turnovers?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:19 PM)

Tex, they can and they have to. They had only 11 in Game 1. And look in Game 3 they had 14, not a terrible number. But, the problem is the Heat cash in turnovers with dunks and layups. They got 14 points off 6 Mavs turnovers in the first half of Game 3. Dallas has to stop giving up points if they have any chance to win.

mk (albuquerque)

would sure like to see the mavs come out of the gate tonite with the type of defensive intensity they've been showing in the 4th qtr the last two games. seems like it puts miami on their heels and kick starts the offense.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

mk, they need to bring the intensity early. It was shameful that in their first NBA Finals game since the debacle five years ago, since watching Miami celebrate on their home floor, that they give up 29 points in the first quarter. That's unacceptable and they'll have to change that tonight.

Maniesh (NYC)

What is the point behind JET's comment on Lebron's defense against him? Is he trying to put himself on the spot and motivate himself?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:21 PM)

I guess some guys motivate themselves in strange ways. As Chris Bosh said, better to let sleeping dogs lie -- not that LeBron was a sleeping dog, but you get the point.

maniesh (NYC)

Your thoughts on Peja's performance so far? I believe he hasnt played enough minutes in this series to get into a offensive rythm. Is it sue to his liability in defense?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

Yes, he is a defensive liability. He can't guard anyone on the floor and the Mavs' zone has been only OK.

David (Dallas)

It makes me sick watching great players flop. How can the league stop this from happening in the future? (Example, Wade jumping out of bounds and getting a foul call because the official couldn't see that Kidd didn't push him.) Can a league review and a fine for these players stop this stuff?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

I guess you don't mind J.J.'s flopping? Every player flops, this is the NBA. The Mavs have had the clear advantage of the whistle. No more ref talk people.

Charles (Cleveland)

What's the likihood that Caron Butler plays tonight?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:23 PM)

Zilch.

matt (haltom city)

Why is Dirk getting a pass after the horrible way he ended game 3? He passed to Terry when he had room to drive and get to the line, he threw the ball away with less than a minute, and misse the shot? when we win he gets all the credit (rightfully so) but when we fail it"s always Terry, Kidd, Marion, etc. Why is he not held to the same standards as other elite superstars?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Matt, You do recall that Dirk scored 34 points -- 40 percent of the team's total. He was 11 of 21 from the floor. His teammates were 17 of 49. Yes, it was a bad turnover, but at the same time, he and Marion got mixed up on the play. Same thing happened to Kidd and Terry in the corner in a past game -- I can't recall which one at the moment.

Madison (Richland Hills)

Any chance the mavs could run a more effective zone if they have a line-up of: Haywood, Chandler, Dirk, Stephenson, and Kidd?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:25 PM)

Madison, Haywood and Chandler are not going to be on the floor at the same time. Look at that lineup. OK, maybe they play good zone defense, but how the heck are they going to score. You've got Dirk out there with four non-scorers?!?!

jason (New London, Tx)

i looks as if the heat have really played their best basketball, and the mavs have not played well at all, and yet they were right there in the end in all of the games played with a shot to win. so that being said if they get it going and dirk gets some help do you think the mavs can win this thing?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:27 PM)

Yeah, sure they can still win, but they have to figure out how to score, how to limit turnovers, how to semi-control LeBron and Wade, both of whom are shooting better than 50 percent. I'm not so sure the Heat have played their best game yet. They have thrived off turnovers that, yes, they create.

Ryan (Kansas City)

Did the Mavs learn something in the second half about defending Wade? It seemed like they made a more conscious effort to double team him and force the ball out of his hands on the pick and roll. It seemed like that was more successful than anything else.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:28 PM)

Maybe. He still scored 29 points, which is what he's averaging in the finals. There's only so many guys you can double, so if Wade gets trap treatment more often than not, the Mavs will have to be quick to rotate over on LeBron. And then there's the problem of Chris Bosh standing wide open for a baseline jumper he can make in his sleep.

Shane (Valdosta, GA)

Carlisle seems reluctant to go to Corey Brewer, who I think would be a slightly better option to throw on Wade than J-Kidd right now. Is this because there may not be much trade-off since Peja can't guard and Brewer isn't a shooter? Do you think Brew gets more minutes in Game 4?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:30 PM)

Somewhat of a trade-off. Carlisle is sticking with Peja wishing for a 3-point explosion. Brewer is 6-9 and obviously more athletic than Peja, but his numbers against LeBron aren't good throughout his career and how difficult will it be to come off not playing for weeks and suddenly find yourself going up against D-Wade. At some point, Carlisle will just have to make the decision to do it, but if Brewer gets off the bench, it's not like you can just expect him to excel or a result such as Game 1 in L.A.

Bryson (Dallas)

If Haywood sits out Game 4 that means Roddy B. will be in uniform. Do you think Coach Carlisle will use him and Brewer in a situation where he feels he wants to change the flow of the game? Your thoughts....

Jeff Caplan
  (3:31 PM)

Brewer perhaps, Roddy very very very unlikely.

Yolanda Joe (Dallas)

Why won't Rick Carlisle have someone else other than Terry to guard James?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:31 PM)

Just to make it clear, Jason Terry does not guard LeBron James. James guards Terry.

Matt (Plano,TX)

Dirk says he needs help and Terry says he will be back to form, but what are the Mavs going to have to do with LeBron to stop him from his dunks?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:32 PM)

Stop turning it over.

Kevin M (Jax, FL)

So the Mavs decide to wait until the Finals to play their worst BBall this season? Jet can't make a shot to save his life? Luck gets us game 2? What's happening w/ this team? Are they just too old this late in the season?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:32 PM)

Maybe give some credit to the Heat. They've lost four games in the playoffs and have allowed 100 points once.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:33 PM)

OK everyone, thanks for your questions. Get some rest before the game. And remember, for the most comprehensive Finals coverage log on to espndallas.com 24/7 and follow @espn_caplan, @espn_macmahon,@calvinwatkins and @ArtGarcia_NBA on Twitter.