The Dallas Mavericks were thoroughly beaten by the Hawks on Monday, and it's safe to say that at this point they are counting the days til the All-Star Break when some much needed rest will be on the docket.
However, there's still basketball to be played, and Wednesday night the Miami Heat will come to town for the second night of a Texas Two-Step.
What have the Heat done lately?
A 115-102 loss to the Houston Rockets ended a four game winning streak for the Heat. That streak came without standout center Hassan Whiteside, who has missed six straight games with an oblique injury. Unfortunately for Dallas, Whiteside has ramped up his practice workout of late, and may make his return against the Mavs. Miami has already seen Goran Dragic return to the lineup, after missing eight games in January. Miami's season has been largely up and down, but as the trade deadline approaches their arrow would seem to be pointing up.
What happened the last time these teams played?
Miami crushed Dallas back on New Year's Day, led by a monster 25-19 performance from Whiteside (who had a 16 point, 24 rebound effort against Big D last season). The Mavericks managed just 10 points in the first quarter, and only 27 points in the second half. Zaza Pachulia led Dallas with 14 points and was one of only three Mavs to score in double figures. Sufficed to say, this one was ugly, and I hope you were all too hungover to have watched.
What stat might surprise you about Miami?
The Heat are a very strong defensive unit, registering in the top five in defensive rating. For all the offensive talent the Heat have on their roster (Wade, Bosh, Whiteside, Dragic, etc), though, they're a surprisingly poor offensive team. They rank near the bottom of the league in pace, which should in theory make them a solid matchup for the older group Dallas puts on the court. They also are third to last in three point shooting, though they shot 44 percent against the Mavs back in January.
How to watch
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 Central, and can be seen on FSSW or through your League Pass-capable device. Enjoy!