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Heat bring the defending champs to Dallas, have no trouble dismantling the Mavericks

Dec 21, 2012, 12:49 AM EDT

Miami Heat forward James shoots on Dallas Mavericks Mayo during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas

The Miami Heat are the defending champions for a reason. The overall talent on the roster, which includes the league’s best player in LeBron James, is enough to beat most teams in the league with ease, but only when everyone is engaged, and interested in defending to the level that they have proven to be capable of during last June’s run at the title.

On Thursday night in Dallas, Miami brought that championship-caliber effort, and made quick work of a shorthanded Mavericks team while cruising to a 110-95 victory, the Heat’s third straight.

James set the tone for his team from the very start. He had 13 first-quarter points on 6-of-7 shooting while playing all 12 minutes, to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and a blocked shot in the game’s opening period. Miami led by 11 after one, and never looked back, seeing their lead balloon to as many as 36 points in the third before Dallas closed the gap a bit in extended garbage time.

The Mavericks were without Elton Brand and Brandan Wright in this one due to injury, but it wouldn’t have made a difference had they been able to go. Miami was dialed in, perhaps motivated by the 2011 championship banner that hangs at the American Airlines Center that came at the expense of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the NBA Finals just two seasons ago.

O.J. Mayo has been taking the load of carrying the Mavericks’ offense on his shoulders thus far with Dirk Nowitzki still sidelined, and has put up All-Star level numbers to this point in the season while doing so. But he couldn’t get anything going in this one, and finished with just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, while missing all five of his attempts from three-point distance.

Dallas was forced to go small with its lineups given its available players, and had very limited success. The team finished the night shooting just 38.5 percent from the field, while making just three of its 22 three-point attempts.

The defense was more of a problem than the offense for Dallas, however, with the Heat getting what they wanted when and how they wanted it on virtually every meaningful possession.

We’ll never know for sure if seeing the Mavericks and that banner was the reason for Miami’s breakout performance, or if it was simply the circumstances surrounding the lineups Dallas was forced to go with given its list of available players. But the Heat brought the intensity with which it was able to win last year’s title, and when they do that, there are only a very limited number of teams that even have a chance.

  1. progress2011 - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Watching the Heat play “FUNDAMENTAL” basketball:
    1. Swinging the ball to the open man, for the highest percentage shot
    2. Playing solid man on man and team rotation defense
    3. Players “Unselfishly” making the extra play to build upon team chemistry.
    It’s an enjoyable experience to watch.

    CONVERSELY,

    Watching the FAKERS:
    1. One guy (kobe/harlem globetrotter/ ball hog) jacking up any shot, whenever without any flow
    2. Poor defensive play and rotations because guys check out, if they don’t get touches on offense
    3. One guy, killing any attempt at team chemistry / is a cancer to the team !
    It’s a TERRIBLE display of what TEAM PLAY is about and is not FUNDAMENTALLY sound. It shows lack of coaching leadership because they are allowing one guy to disrupt the greater good of the team.

    Looking forward to seeing the Heat Repeat and the best player on the planet (LBJ) get his 2nd ring !

    • badintent - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      Well, this report just sums it up. Keep riding the bike , LBJ.
      But watch that stretch on Old Culter Road between The Gables Estates and Coconut Grove, it’s dicey at night.

  2. fanofevilempire - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Dallas is garbage,,,,,,,,,,,,

    that is not a big win……………..

    who did the Heat beat this year.

    • ceschatz - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      JUsat about anybody the lackers could’nt….keep on hating, youre making yourself look dumb talking about “who has the Heat beat this year”. I can tell you who they beat last year, EVERYBODY!!!! CHAMPIONS!

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    You know how you know you’re good? You know youre good when you’re winning by 30 on the road, and all Charles and Kenny can say is that they don’t think you’re good enough to win 6 chsmpionships. Seriously? That’s all they got?

    Ok everyone. We’ll give it to you. We all know the Heat won’t win the next 6 championships. May not even win one. But really, there’s got to be something else to say about this team if you’re a national analyst during a game when they’re absolutely killin it. Progress2011 did a better job in his post above talking about the Heat’s performance last night than the TNT guys who are paid 7 figures to do it.

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