The best way to sum up the game tonight is to say that the Mavericks looked "crisp". Everything was falling, people were helping on defense, Erick Dampier owned the paint, and even JJ Barea was contributing.
This is the Maverick team that you hope shows up every time they step on the floor for a game. Even though this isn’t the same Heat team that beat the Mavs in the ’06 NBA Finals, it still feels really good to beat them (would have been better to win the championship, but hey).
Game as a Whole:
Every shot that the Mavericks put up seemed like it was going to go in (yes the Mavericks did miss shots tonight). The team that decimated the Heat tonight could easily give the Lakers a run in the conference finals. The Heat tried every defensive scheme they could think of to cool the Mavs’ hot shooting with absolutely no luck (Dallas shot over 48% for the game). The Heat tried to make a couple of runs but each time the Mavs responded with a big play to keep the Heat in check.
Dirk and Dampier both won their match-ups for tonight, putting up a combined 45 points. The big surprise was to see that Barea and Dampier were the ones setting the tone in the first quarter for the Mavericks. It might be a good idea in the future to start running a few plays for Dampier, because he can obviously be somewhat dangerous if he gets rolling early.
Lets look at the quarters…
- 11:08, Dirk starts the game off with an awesome dunk. Team must get fired up when Dirk gets a dunk.
- Erick Dampier is just abusing Joel Anthony tonight. Need proof? Just check out his dunk at 8:36.
- JJ Barea with two back-to-back 3 pointers. Glad he is leading the charge tonight on the offensive end. His defense is still suspect (fouling Mario Chalmers after his last 3 pointer).
- A bit strange that two role players are really getting the whole Mavericks offense going tonight. Would be nice if this happened every night.
- Ending the quarter poorly from a defensive perspective. Dwayne Wade starts getting everything going to the basket.
- Jason Terry hits a nice 17ft jumper to end the quarter on a positive note.
- The Heat miss their first ten shots. I want to say that is good defense.
- Hot start Mavericks! Ending the quarter up by 12 is a great way to come out. Dwayne Wade has me a little bit worried.
- Josh Howard decides that he wants to start the quarter off aggressive. Unfortunately for us all, aggressive means that he throws up two bricks and fouls Michael Beasley.
- 9:22, Dirk comes in for Shawn Marion. I actually think this was a bad move as it seemed that Shawn was starting to get into a bit of a rhythm.
- 8:30, Drew Gooden’s kryptonite is taking ill-advised jump shots. I wish he would just continue forcing the issue by going to the basket.
- 1:21, Come on Dwayne, how do you let yourself get a foul for hanging on the rim? You should know better than that but the Mavericks will take the points.
- You absolutely cannot give up a good look at the rim, an offensive rebound, and then put back to end a quarter. Luckily we still have a little bit of a cushion.
- Udonis Haslem is perfect from the floor at the end of the quarter. Somebody is blowing their defensive assignment.
- Erick Dampier has his fifth double-double of the year already. Let’s push for more points!
- A little confusion on the first play of the second half leads to a turnover. The refs can’t even figure out what team has possession of the ball (it goes to the Heat).
- 9:22, Erick Dampier deflects a poor alley-oop attempt and then Michael Beasley misses another alley-oop attempt. Great block from Dampier, but why would you attempt two alley-oops in one sequence?
- I think the way the Heat announcer says Dwayne Wade is pretty silly sounding. Would you agree?
- 7:58, Marion running the break on his own and getting fouled while going to the basket. Exactly what you want to see from Shawn.
- 7:17, Dirk looks like Wade or Duncan with a nice kiss off the glass. He really should utilize that shot more.
- 7:03, No one closes out on Chalmers at the three-point line. Jason Kidd basically just stares at him.
- 6:45, it’s okay, Shawn Marion makes up for the team’s defensive misgivings by getting a nice alley-oop.
- Haslem is the only person keeping the Heat in the game. Luckily the Mavericks seem to be firing on all cylinders.
- 5:20, Looks like Shawn Marion may have sprained his ankle, again. Hard to establish team chemistry when you are constantly coming out injured.
- 2/3 zone for the Heat. This could be good for Dampier if they try to stick with it. You beat a zone by attacking the middle.
- 2:07, Josh Howard splits the double team and throws up a great floater but Gooden messes everything up with offensive basket interference.
- Perfect defense from Josh Howard ends the quarter on a positive note. Jones was obviously trying to draw a foul on that three-point attempt.
- Gooden makes the first basket of the quarter to give him six for the game.
- Marion seems to be okay. He drew the foul on Beasley and just made both of his free-throws. He doesn’t look to be playing hurt.
- 10:41, Gooden looks like he is going to get a clean block on Arroyo but gets the foul when Arroyo flops a tiny bit.
- Again, Gooden takes it to the basket and gives the defense a couple of shot fakes to get the type of look he wants. Gooden is on the line shooting an "and-1".
- 8:41, JJ Barea has the right idea by taking it hard to the rim. You can’t make up for a missed basket by fouling.
- 8:07, Josh Howard picks up his 4th foul of the game. He is going to stay on the floor.
- Still pushing the tempo even though the Mavericks are ahead by 14 now with 5:48 to go in the game.
- 5:04, Wade gets a call on Dirk. Are the refs just trying to make it interesting now?
- The point guards are sharing the rock tonight. The game isn’t even over, and Barea and Kidd have already combined for 20 assists.
- In the Mavericks win, JJ Barea and Erick Dampier both have double-doubles.
Some Choice Statistics
- Jason Kidd has ten straight games with a three pointer.
- Jason Kidd is currently number 8 on the Mavericks all-time 3 pointer shooters list. He has 1,531 three pointers, just behind Tim Hardaway.
- Dirk wears his first black headband of the season. Glad to see he has a number of color options available.
- Shawn Marion has played with two of the greatest point guards in the game today (Steve Nash and Jason Kidd). Has it made the game easier for him?
The Mavericks benefited tonight from getting their other role players involved early and often. The Mavericks had 30+ points in the paint, thanks in large part to Erick Dampier. There isn’t really much to complain about in the Dallas Mavericks win over the Miami Heat tonight. As always, the defense could have been a bit tighter (Udonis Haslem had a huge night) and the offensive rebounding needs to drastically improve but overall it was a great team effort.