My main man DeShawn Stevenson lived up to the hype of my t-shirt with six big ones on 2-3 from downtown, but he didn’t get enough help from his teammates as the Mavs shot 37 percent and fell to LeBron (24/9/5) and the Heat 92-84. Despite ‘Bron’s team-leading point total, I thought DeShawn did a pretty solid job on defense as well. LBJ did much of his damage from the outside (4-5 from three, also hit some tough jumpers), and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about that–not even the great DeShawn Stevenson.
Before I say anything more about this game, you should take five minutes of your day and dedicate them to watching the following masterpiece…
Yes, I’m aware that it was only just over two minutes long, but I figured you’d want to see it twice.
Moving right along… my first note says “atmosphere not that great.” I guess that’s no surprise seeing as I’m never impressed by Heat fans; they’re kind of like Laker fans… there to be seen, not heard. Also, these t-shirt give aways need to stop. Unless you have some epic slogan like the Warriors did back in ’07, just stop it. It’s being overdone.
The fact that this game began with 15 of 19 shots being missed probably contributed to the dull atmosphere. Credit Chris Bosh for stepping up on the glass. CB was all over the offensive boards early on, and collected five of them on the night. He only scored 19 points on 18 shots, but I felt like he was a big reason why Miami had the momentum from the start. Dallas is going to have to hit the glass much harder if they plan to win this series… which I actually don’t feel that they’re capable of doing anymore. Why am I panicking after one road L if I’m a Mavs fan? Well, for a few reasons I guess. Firstly, I don’t think the Mavs have enough offense to beat this team. The Heat showed that they can contain Dirk (yes, 27 points is containing Dirk right now) by sending double teams early and often, as well as a variety of more-than-solid defenders his way. These early doubles are going to be very effective because Dallas starts four players who are essentially inept when it comes to scoring the ball. Jason Kidd banged in a few threes in the first half, but you’ll live and die with that. The same can be said about my dude DeShawn Stevenson, as well as Shawn Marion… if those dudes are gonna burn you, you just take the L. Dallas does have a lot of firepower coming off the bench (which does not include Brendan Haywood), but the Heat showed that they can keep them contained as well. Their suffocating defense resulted in the toughest go of things that Jason Terry and JJ Berea have seen this postseason. They finished up a combined 4-18, which to me is what made the biggest difference in this game. Dallas relies very heavily on their bench for offensive production. Guys like Berea, Terry, and Stojakovic tend to take care of business. The Heat, on the other hand, may not get a damn thing from their bench on any given night. Miami’s reserves out-scored Dallas’ reserves 27-17 last night (big ups to Mario Chalmers, who led the attack with 12, and Udonis Haslem, who scored seven and played great defense. Dallas will not win a game in this series in which their bench is out-scored–I would bet my autographed Stromile Swift jersey on that.
To put that all into one sentence, I guess this game just didn’t leave me feeling confident that Dallas is going to get enough quality looks to win this series. Miami only shot 38.8 percent themselves… but they can get away with that. Dallas isn’t winning any series where they’re shooting sub-40 percent on the regular… and I have a feeling that this won’t be their last night of that variety. Although guys like Peja, Berea, and Terry did miss some open ones, Miami did a great job closing out on the shooters for the most part. Dallas is a team that moves the ball extremely well, but Miami’s D is capable of keeping up with them.
I think Dallas is going to need to run more. Half-court looks are simply not going to be plentiful. The way this Miami team defends is pretty effing incredible. Said Rick Carlisle: ”They’re a very good defensive team. …Both teams shot (below) 40%. It gives you some idea of (how) difficult good, clean shots are going to come by in this series.”
…and I think a series where good, clean shots are so hard to come by favors the Heat; don’t you? Said Shawn Marion: “You hold a team to 38 percent shooting and 92 points, for us, that’s usually a victory.”
In the first three rounds? Yeah, that was a victory. Miami is a different beast, though… they can beat anybody with 92 points. I figure many of these games won’t reach triple-digits, and that’s why I think Dallas is in a little trouble.
Also, Dirk Nowitzki’s got a torn tendon in his finger. Fortunately, the finger is on his left hand… but still, I’m sure it’s not gonna help.
While LeBron did most of the offensive work early on as Dwyane Wade was continuosly being stuffed…
…it was D-Wade who closed this one out. Wade accounted for seven of Miami’s fourth-quarter points, and while a whole crew of other guys pitched in 20, Wade created a lot of their opportunities with his three assists… the flashiest of which came on the final exclaimation point…
The previous exclaimation point…
I suppose what I should’ve said in that opening paragraph was “…as the Mavs shot 37 percent and fell to LeBron (24/9/5) and the Heat 92-84!!“
I suppose game one was cool and all… it was close most of the way, and the finish included some entertaining plays… but it wasn’t the battle I had hoped for down the stretch. I want to see LeBron and Dirk attempt to match each other bucket for bucket at least a few times before this thing wraps up. That’s the finish I’m hoping for in game two, which will be played on Thursday night.