Tyson Chandler shares how Dwyane Wade inadvertently helped Mavs come back vs. Heat in 2011 NBA Finals

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The Dallas Mavericks were trailing the Miami Heat by 15 points with just over seven minutes remaining in Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. It seemed like the Mavericks were destined to lose Game 2, which would have put them in a 2-0 series hole.

But the team put together one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history. The Mavericks outscored the Heat 22-5 in the final seven minutes and change of Game 2 and won by a final score of 95-93.

The Mavericks rode the momentum from their Game 2 victory to a title, as they proceeded to win three out of the next four games to eliminate LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat in six games.

Former Mavericks center Tyson Chandler recently explained how Wade inadvertently helped Dallas come back against the Heat in Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals, sparking the turnaround in the series.

“They was whooping us the second game,” Chandler said. “And we were still almost shell-shocked. What turned the series was when D-Wade hit the 3 by our bench and held it up and then walked by our whole bench. After that, it was like, alright, wake up. That woke us up. And we was literally in the huddle, and it shifted for us at that point. And then we got back to us and then started rolling them off.”

Chandler, 40, was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft out of high school. He played for eight teams — the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Mavericks — across his 19 seasons in the NBA.

Most recently, Chandler averaged 1.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 26 appearances with the Rockets during the 2019-20 regular season (five starts).

Arguably the best season of the center’s NBA career came during the 2011-12 campaign, the season after he helped the Mavericks to a title. Chandler averaged 11.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 62 games played for the Knicks during the regular season (all starts). Additionally, he led the league in field goal percentage (67.9 percent).

Those numbers were good enough for Chandler to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors and All-NBA honors.

Wade’s celebration late in Game 2 may have been disrespectful to the Mavericks, but Dallas fans should be happy that he did it. After all, nobody knows how the 2011 NBA Finals would have played out if Wade hadn’t helped inspire the Mavericks’ historic comeback in Game 2.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.