Heat Vs. Mavericks, 2011 NBA Finals: Is Jason Kidd The Key To Dallas' Clutch Play?

The Dallas Mavericks have been great late in the 2011 NBA Finals, repeatedly getting big baskets from Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry and great defense on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the crucial moments. But Jason Kidd has been plenty clutch, too — and that might be no surprise to the Mavericks.

The Painted Area examines the Mavericks' clutch performance and finds that Kidd's contributions have been nothing short of astounding. While guarding such players as Wade, Russell Westbrook, and Kobe Bryant, he's been a terror on defense, getting 3.6 steals per 36 minutes in playoff games with the score within five points in the last five minutes.

And on offense, with a retooled shot that is many degrees different from his old "Ason Kidd" days, Kidd has been making big shots late in games and facilitating a Dallas offense that executes Rick Carlisle's plays exceptionally well.

Combined, it's a great performance from a future Hall of Fame player. And it might get Kidd his first NBA title.

For more on the championship series, follow our 2011 NBA Finals hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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