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Heat, Mavs remind us they are not the same Heat, Mavs teams

Mar 30, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT

Miami Heat's Wade is congratulated by teammate Chalmers after he scored against Dallas Mavericks during their NBA game in Miami Reuters

It was, by definition, a rematch of the NBA finals from last June.

It sure didn’t feel like it. Because these are the same franchises and the same uniforms, but they are not the same teams.

The Miami Heat got a comfortable win, 106-85, playing with more energy than we have seen in recent weeks. But nothing felt much at all like we saw last June:

LeBron James played his best game in little while (unlike last finals), finishing with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Not monster numbers, but he was the best Heat player on the floor and kept the team in synch.

• Dallas got poor play from its bench — Jason Terry shredded the Heat last series but was 1-for-10 in this game.

• Last June the Heat bench was non-existent but it was the key to this win, them helping the Heat pull away in the second quarter. Udonis Haslem had 16 points in the game.

• Last year it was all about Miami’s big three, in this game there were six Heat players in double figures, led by LeBron and Chris Bosh with 19.

This wasn’t a rematch, but it showed some of where these teams are now.

The Heat had been in cruise control seemingly since the All-Star break, playing without the energy that defined them early in the season. Maybe motivated by memories of last season, maybe by trying to break their slump, maybe it was random — but they brought good energy this game. And when they do Miami is a difficult team to beat.

One bright spot for Dallas — we have had a Lamar Odom sighting. He helped spark a little push by the Mavs in the third quarter and finished with 12 points on six shots. Consistency has never been Odom’s middle name, so we will venture a prediction on what to expect next game. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 25 points. He still looked good against the Heat, but that was about it.

Bottom line — time to forget about the last finals and start focusing on the next one.

  1. storebrandcookies - Mar 30, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    As a Maverick’s fan I got to say that I’m worried about there chances in the playoffs. I’m sure that they can snag a 4 or 5 seed. They can match up with teams like an older San Antonio team, but they’ll get trampled by Durantula and the Rolling Thunder.

    • ditkahead - Mar 30, 2012 at 2:33 AM

      No one gave them a chance last year, but they came though. Obviously they are not same team, but its a bit too early to count out. They are among handful of teams that could possibly win title, even though chances are slim.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 30, 2012 at 7:25 AM

      The key for the Heat was Bosh, PG, Battier, and UD made shots last night. Wade and James are always going to be great to awesome. But when the “other guys” miss their wide open looks like they have recently, the Heat are going to lose.

  2. ditkahead - Mar 30, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Kurt, if you ever wonder why people think your the ultimate Heat Fanboy, it’s blogs like this. We never hear a peep out of you when heat lose, but a win of any team that might be consider elite you jump on as fast as you can. Good thing Tom wrote about Thunder-Heat, because you never would have.

    Might as well let heat fans like 1972 and David write blogs, they would just as balanced.

  3. boilerup1869 - Mar 30, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    You better take out that remark about Odom being inconsistent or he might get confused and hurt. And then he’ll probably cry.


  4. vicktator - Mar 30, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    “Bottom line — time to forget about the last finals and start focusing on the next one.”

    Yeah, because everybody was talking about last finals all season and picking the Mavericks to repeat. Glad the bottom line is you wrote a story about nothing to write a story.

    • lmoneyfresh - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Any excuse to put the heat on a pedistal, they’ll take it here.

  5. davidly - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Kurt, did you not mention Tyson Chandler because you knew it’d get me to comment with, “But what about Tyson Chandler!?”

    And, of course, a certain perennial inspiration from hoops of yore by the name o’ Skibby MaRue!

  6. ndirishfan1 - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Bold move by Cuban and Donnie Nelson not bringing back Tyson Chandler, but it’s the right move going forward. They’ve got ample cap space to make a major, much needed, signing this summer. Deron Williams fits here perfectly.

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