NBA Early Preview – Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks
This Sunday, NBA fans will be treated to a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals, as the new-look Miami Heat travel to Dallas to meet the high-scoring Mavericks at the American Airlines Center (7:30 p.m. Eastern).
In the last ten meetings – most of which featured LeBron James – Miami has a 7-3 record against Dallas. The Mavericks’ last win against Miami was back in Game 6 of the 2011 finals, which famously handed Dallas their first ever NBA Championship. The Heat have won six straight since then.
The Heat have put to bed any fears of being a one-man team. While they would certainly be better with LeBron in the lineup, the Heat are still a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference, with Chris Bosh re-learning how to lead and Dwyane Wade looking rejuvenated. The Heat are playing a good team game in the early part of the year, spreading the floor well and finding the open man. They are currently seventh in assists per game (22.0 APG) and the 12th in scoring (101.6 PPG). Meanwhile, after five games, Dallas is third in the league in points per game (106.8 PPG). They were tops in the league before their 108-87 loss in Portland, where they went stone-cold in the second half, managing just 37 points.
As mentioned, Chris Bosh is leading the charge for the Heat, eager to prove that he can still be the focal point of an offense. So far so good for the Georgia Tech product: Bosh is averaging 24.2 PP, 11.0 RPG, while shooting almost 50% from the floor and 43% from three. Wade has been a good second option for Miami, averaging 18.6 PPG. He has also distributed the ball reasonably well, averaging six APG in the early going.
The Heat’s defense has been respectable, averaging just under 100 points against per game. They will have a tough task keeping the Mavs out of triple digits though. Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, and Devin Harris have the Dallas offense firing on all cylinders (at least they did, until the second half in Portland). As usual, Disco Dirk leads the teams in points per game with 20.0, while Parsons has complemented the big German nicely, averaging 17.2 points per game.
While the spread isn’t out yet, and both teams have a game in the meantime (Dallas is in Utah tonight, while the Heat host Minnesota on Saturday), look for the Mavs to take this game handily, as the Heat will have to fly across the country for the privilege of playing their second game in two nights.