My Twitter & Facebook feeds blowing up with anti-Heat sentiment, is amazing. 90% Of NBA fans rallying against Miami's championship bid probably can't remember what team LeBron left last summer. 75% Of those fans couldn't name more than two players on Miami, and an equal amount couldn't name you one player on their Finals opponent, the Dallas Mavericks. With that said, Game 1 in the books, this series will answer a slew of questions we've been waiting all season to have answered.
For approximately (2) days prior to Tuesday night, I actually believed the Mavericks were going to avenge their '06 debacle. I anticipated the moment NBA commissioner David Stern has to grin and hand The Davey O'Brien to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the future owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kidd would go out on top, cap off his Hall of Fame career with a championship, Dirk would finally get his due amongst the NBA elite, the Mavericks had a shot here. Yet I've got to be real here, that went up in smoke in the final minutes of Game 1, entirely.
Wade, LeBron, and Bosh went for 65. LeBron James was as aggressive as he's been in the postseason. Dwyane Wade got 10 rebounds attacking the glass and passed off for six assists. Chris Bosh played steady throughout the entire game, got to the free throw line twelve times, scored 19 points, and was a rebound away from a double-double. Gone is the team that played cautiously in the fourth quarter earlier in the regular season, this is a team that gripped the lead late in the game and held on. In every postgame interview, the Heat were humble, they were serious, they were all business, someone has schooled this team on winning four games in four games, not in one.
So where was I off?!? I really like the Mavericks bench with Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic, and Brendon Haywood - but they got outscored 27-17 and outrebounded 15-8. I really liked Tyson Chandler, the Mavericks seven foot center - 9 points, 4 boards, and 5 fouls?!?! Well, the Mavericks can really shoot from behind the arc, right?!? 9-22 From the 3-point line. The Heat are more than happy to allow Dirk to get his points, as long as they play up in Dallas face and contest shots, crash the boards, and get production from bench players Chalmers, Haslem, & Miller, as they did in Game 1.
The Mavs are in trouble, yes already. With a night off in between games the Mavericks should be headed back to the drawing board, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade aren't going to stop coming anytime soon.
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