What did the Miami Heat do over the summer?
The big thing the Heat did this summer hasn’t shown up yet. They took a risk that they were uniquely situated to take and signed Greg Oden. Oden has yet to play in a game and it’s not clear when he will, and how long after that, if he survives, he might be effective, but as good as the Pacers look right now, and as much as the Heat seem to have lost a step….well, I’m not going to say that Roy Hibbert having to deal with a healthy active Greg Oden in the playoffs, if that’s even possible, completely changes the complexion of that hypothetical series, but it would certainly be the NBA version of "I’m sorry Mario, but the princess is in another castle", wouldn’t it? Other than that, they added Roger Mason, Jr., the NBA player whose name sounds most like he probably signed the Declaration of Independence.
Which Heatle might be due for a big game?
Talking about anybody but LeBron in this space would be silly, but did you know that the Heat’s fourth leading scorer is Michael Beasley? That means it may be Ray Allen’s time to break out, doesn’t it? Regardless, ‘Bron is doin’ fine, but nobody else in the league makes 25.5-7.3-5.5 seem pedestrian. If LeBron needs some help getting those rebounding numbers up, may I suggest Samuel Dalembert as the cure for what ails him?
Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?
Nothing in the entire Dallas sports world is more important than Dirk busting out soon. His 18 points a game is fine, his 43% from the floor sucks and he’s actually averaging 15 over the last five. Other than a couple of timely threes, it’d be really hard to say that Dirk has taken over any portion of any game, and he certainly hasn’t deployed much of his post game recently. Believe me when I say we all completely believe in you big guy. Just get out there and do it.
What do the Mavericks need to do to beat the Heat?
In the abstract this is as bad a matchup for the Mavericks as it is for anybody else. This season, the Mavs have been able to significantly outpace teams that struggle scoring and haven’t been able to keep up with those teams that don’t. Count the Heat in that latter category. The Heat have yet to score less than 100 points this year, and it’ll be worth watching this season whether the Mavs beat anybody who can do that. The defense, right now, is just too bad.
However, if there’s hope for this game, it comes from the fact that the Heat D is as bad as it was at the beginning of last season, and that, for a change, the Mavs will be facing a team that’s actually way worse at rebounding than they are. While the boys in blue grab 43 a game, good for 15th in the league, the devils in red are grabbing just 34, 30th in the league. This is the time of year to beat the Heat, and if the Mavericks shoot well from deep and give themselves some second-chance points, it can be done.
Also LeBron’s back hurts so…there’s that.